Changing Your Mac’s Default Screenshot File Type

The Mac’s built-in screenshot feature serves my needs most of the time, but the default file type isn’t JPG, which is my preference. You can change the default file type (PNG) and the default save location (the desktop) with Terminal commands.

To change the default file type, use the following command from within Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type FORMAT

Replace the word FORMAT with any of the following file types: JPG, BMP, TIFF, GIF or PNG.

The built-in screenshot save location is the desktop. If you’d like to change the default location to something else, use the following command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /your folderpath/

If, for example, you’d like to use a folder named “Screenshots” within your Documents folder, the command would look something like this:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /users/*yourname*/Documents/Screenshots/

Substitute “*yourname*” with your Mac “shortname”. If you don’t know what your shortname is, then perhaps you should’t be fussing with Terminal. Also, be sure to create the destination folder before executing this command.

After making the changes, log out then back in for the commands to take effect.

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