How to Change Where Screenshots Are Saved on a Mac

How to Change Where Screenshots Are Saved on a Mac

Wondering where screenshots go on macOS? Find the default location here, and find out how to know (and change) where screenshots are saved on a Mac (a folder, Preview, the clipboard, etc.).

First, the Order of Things

I cut my nails before and applied cream to my hands.

Unwisely, I did those two things in reverse order. On the fresh fine film of silky and slippery cream, the nail scissors kept sliding around, up and down my fingers. Cutting was a matter of chance.

Well, that’s what the wrong order of things gets you, I fathom. Now, let’s first choose where screenshots go, and then make some:

How to Change Where Screenshots Are Saved on a Mac

Time needed: 2 minutes

To change the location where screenshots are saved on a Mac:

  1. Open Screenshot.

    Here’s how: Open Spotlight with Command Space, most typically, start typing screenshot and open the Screenshot app.
    Alternative: You can also open Screenshot from Launchpad, of course.
    Mac keyboard shortcut: press Command Shift 5 to open Screenshot.

  2. Click Options in the Screenshot app that has appeared.

  3. Choose the desired location for saving screenshots on the Mac.

    Not all folders: Clipboard, Mail, Messages and Preview will not save screenshots to disk but copy it to
    – the clipboard for pasting,
    – a new email with the screenshot inserted in Mail
    – or into a new message in Messages and
    – a new (unsaved) image in Preview respectively.
    Custom folder: Choose Other Location… to pick a custom folder on your disk or iCloud Drive.

  4. Press Esc to cancel or take a screenshot to try your new go-to location.

    Change where screenshots go in macOS on a Mac

How to Change Where Screenshots Are Saved on a Mac: FAQ

Where do screenshots go by default on a Mac?

The initial default screenshot location is the Desktop.

Will Screenshot remember my setting?


Screenshot will automatically save the choice you pick in Options.

Will the macOS screenshot keyboard shortcuts use the Screenshot setting, too?


If you have set up Screenshot to copy to the clipboard, for instance, a screenshot created with the standard Mac screenshot shortcut Command Shift 4 will copy to the clipboard for pasting.

Important exception: The keyboard shortcuts that explicitly copy screenshots to the keyboard (namely Command Control Shift 3 and Command Control Shift 4) will always do just that.

(How to change where screenshots are saved on a Mac tested with macOS Sonoma 14.2–14.3 and Ventura 13.4; first published June 2023, last updated April 2024)

Home » Mac Tips and Resources » How to Change Where Screenshots Are Saved on a Mac