Where Do Macs Save Screenshots?

Taking a screenshot is a handy way of capturing what is displayed on your screen in real-time. On Mac, there are various ways to take a screenshot, and you receive confirmation that your screenshot has been taken with a picture-taking sound. But where is it saved?

Where Do Macs Save Screenshots?

Read on to learn where Mac saves your screenshots and how to change the location.

Where Do Macs Save Screenshots?

By default, any screenshot you take will save automatically to your desktop. The picture will appear on your desktop labeled “Screen Shot (date and time).” You’ll then have the option to rename it by clicking on the label and changing it to something else.

Alternatively, holding down the “Control” key as you take a screenshot will copy it to your clipboard. This is the temporary space where anything you copy or cut goes to. When it is saved there, to paste it, press “Command + V.” One thing to consider when saving a screenshot this way is that it will be lost unless you paste it somewhere before copying something else.

How to Choose Another Location to Save Your Screenshot

Although your desktop or clipboard are the two main locations your screenshots will be saved to, at any time, you can choose a new location. Follow these steps to select a new location to save screenshots:

  1. On macOS Mojave or newer, press “Shift + Command + 5” to access the advanced screenshot menu.
  2. Select “Options” from the menu bar that appears at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Next, it will display a pop-up split into sections. In the “Save to” section, you can select one of the preset options to choose where your screenshots will save to by default. Or choose “Other location” to choose a new folder.


How do I get high-quality screenshots on my Mac?

Here are some handy screenshot-taking tips:

• When the crosshairs appear, you can release the keyboard keys.

• After clicking the mouse button, once you start dragging the cursor, hit the “Space” bar for the option to move the selected area around.

• To move horizontally only, hold the “Shift” key.

• To cancel a screengrab, press “Escape” at any time, and no image will be captured.

• Hit the “Control” key while taking a screenshot to copy it to your pasteboard.

How do I capture a portion of the screen only?

Follow these steps to capture a portion of your screen:

1. Long-press the following keys: “Shift + Command + 4.”

2. Now drag the crosshair to highlight the area you wish to capture.

3. Long-press the “Space” bar while dragging the crosshair to move the selection. Press the “Esc” key to cancel the screenshot.

4. Release your mouse or trackpad button to take the screenshot.

5. If you need to edit the screenshot, click on the thumbnail that appears at the corner of your screen. Or you can edit it by opening it up once it’s saved to your desktop.

How do I screenshot a menu or window?

Here’s how to take a screenshot of a window or menu:

1. Access the window or menu you wish to screenshot.

2. Long-press “Shift + Command + 4.” Once the crosshairs appear, hit the Space bar.” Your pointer will display as a camera. Press the “Esc” key at any time to stop taking the screenshot.

3. To capture it, click the window or menu. To eliminate the shadow from the screenshot, long-press the “Option” key as you click.

4. If a thumbnail appears at the corner of your screen, click it to edit your screenshot. Alternatively, it can be edited once saved to your desktop.

How do I screenshot a dropdown menu?

You can screenshot a pull-down menu using the same technique as above:

1. Open the menu you wish to screenshot.

2. Long-press “Command + Shift + 4.”

3. Once the crosshairs display, hit the “Space” bar.

4. Place your cursor over the pull-down menu, then click your mouse or trackpad.

Your screenshot will be off the menu, excluding its title. To include the title, use the regular “Command + Shift + 4,” then adjust the selection.

How do I take a timed screenshot?

Follow these steps to take a timed screenshot using Mojave or later:

1. Long-press the “Command + Shift + 5” buttons.

2. Select “Options.”

3. Beneath “Timer,” select 5 or 10 seconds.

4. Select the type of screengrab you wish to take: the whole screen, a selected window, or a selected portion.

5. A timer will begin. Once it gets to zero, your screenshot will be captured.

How do I crop a screenshot?

Follow these instructions to crop your screenshot:

1. Open the screenshot in question, then click on the pencil icon to access the editing tools.

2. Select the crop icon, and then you’ll see a button labeled “Crop” appear, along with white corners at each edge of your image. Drag the edges until you get the cropped image you want.

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

The ability to take a real-time picture of any area of your screen is super handy. Screenshots can be used to reference something later or when an image is easier than a verbal description. By default, Mac helps make life easier by sending your screenshots straight to your desktop and saving them by date and time. You can do many other things using the screenshot feature, including taking timed screenshots, editing your screenshot, and setting its dimensions for a default size.

What do you think of Mac’s screenshot-taking feature? How do you think Apple can improve it?

Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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