Where Do Your MacBook Screenshots Go?

As a proud MacBook owner, you’ve probably taken your fair share of screenshots – whether it’s to capture an important document, share a funny meme with friends, or save an inspirational quote for later.

In this post, we’ll look at where MacBook screenshots are saved and share some handy tips for managing them efficiently.

Default Screenshot Location

By default, when you take a screenshot on your MacBook using the `Shift + Command + 3` or `Shift + Command + 4` keyboard shortcuts, the image file is automatically saved to your Desktop.

The screenshots are saved in PNG format with a filename that includes the date and time the screenshot was taken, in this format: `Screen Shot [date] at [time].png`. For example:

Screen Shot 2023-06-01 at 3.15.20 PM.png

Screen Shot 2023-06-02 at 10.30.45 AM.png

This naming convention makes it easy to find a specific screenshot based on when you captured it.

Finding Screenshots in Finder

If your Desktop is cluttered and you’re having trouble spotting your screenshots, don’t worry – you can also locate them using Finder. Here’s how:

  1. Open a Finder window
  2. Navigate to your user home folder (it has a house icon and your username)
  3. Look for the Desktop folder and double-click it
  4. Your screenshots will be listed there along with other files and folders on your Desktop

Changing the Default Screenshot Location

While saving screenshots to the Desktop is convenient, you may prefer to store them elsewhere to keep your Desktop tidy.

Luckily, macOS allows you to change the default location. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Terminal app (you can find it in Applications > Utilities)
  2. Type the following command and press Enter:


defaults write com.apple.screencapture location


followed by a space and the path where you want to save the screenshots. For example, to save them in a folder called “Screenshots” in your Pictures folder, the full command would be:


defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Pictures/Screenshots


3. Press Enter to execute the command

4. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect

Now your screenshots will automatically be saved in the new location you specified.


By default, your screenshots are saved to the Desktop with a date and timestamp in the filename. But if you prefer to keep them elsewhere, changing the location is a simple Terminal command away.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to find and manage your screenshots with ease. No more frustrating searches or lost images.



Full-time writer, Apple fanboy and macOS supremacist. Currently running: 16" Macbook Pro w/ 64GB RAM & M1 Max. Already wants to upgrade to the M3 😫😭

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