There are a number of reasons why you may wish to take a screenshot of your Mac’s display. It could be when sending our staff information about an error that is occurring on your Mac, or it could be simply to recall what was presented in order to forward it to a colleague you are collaborating with. Regardless of your reason the one constant problem we all face is these screenshots get saved on the Desktop and simply clutter it up.

Thankfully, a solution is available. Proceed to Applications > Utilities and then launch the Terminal application. Before typing anything, please note that the Terminal allows access to the command line operations of your Mac and non-responsible use can result in data loss, or unreliable performance.  We recommend you undertake a backup before proceeding. If you have any doubts, or concerns, please don’t undertake this process. Instead, drop into our store and one of our staff would be more than willing to assist you.

With the Terminal open, type the following:

defaults write location ~/Dropbox

Then press Return on your keyboard and enter the following:

killall SystemUIServer

Then press Return again in order to activate the change.

You will likely notice that the Menu Bar and Dock will reload upon activation. This is perfectly normal behavior when making this change.

For my workflow, I have decided to send all screenshots to Dropbox. By doing this I can have instant access to the graphics on my iOS devices and other Macs that are connected to my account. This workflow may not appeal to you, therefore you will need to change Dropbox, in the command presented above, to a new directory of your choosing.

You may decide to add them to your Documents folder. To do this, simply type the following:

defaults write location ~/Documents

If you don’t want your Documents folder to become unorganized, you may wish to create a sub folder titled Screenshots. Your directory path would then become ~/Documents/Screenshots. Hence, you should type:

defaults write location ~/Documents/Screenshots

You may be wondering how you find out the directory of a specific folder on your Mac. Within a  Finder window, proceed to View > Show Path Bar. Alternatively, you can press Command + Option + P to invoke this view option.


You will notice the path bar presents every directory folder from your hard drive, but all you need to worry about are the folders after your home directory. In this example they are Documents and Screenshots.

If you would like more information about taking screenshots, along with their associated keyboard shortcuts, please visit Apple’s support page via this link: OS X Mountain Lion: Shortcuts for taking pictures of the screen

Should you have any questions about screenshots, or the Terminal app, please drop into our store and our knowledgeable staff would be more than willing to assist you with your requirements.