When taking a screenshot using the keyboard shortcut shift+command+3 it yields a screenshot with a filename of Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 3.25.36 PM.png. I would like to make a change so that the filename would be scr-20141123-152536.png. This would be the same exact date and time but altered to what I have been using for the past 13 years on other systems - it just works better for me. Is it possible to make this a permanent change? And, if so, how would I make this change?

UPDATE: I don't want to install Macports or Homebrew, or other package management system or apps that require the user to disable system security in order to run.

My system: Mac mini, late 2012, OS X 10.10.1 (Yosemite)

  • I'm wondering if this couldn't be accomplished with either an Automator or AppleScript event triggered by a Folder Actions for the Desktop folder?
    – douggro
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 5:09
  • douggro, Thanks for mentioning Automator and Folder Actions, I've looked into it and it seems to be the best option so far. Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 12:32
  • Mac ports does not require you to reduce system security
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 15:19

4 Answers 4


One approach that's forward compatible and will not get overwritten in an OSX update is to create a script that does ls -l Screen*.png (on the correct directory of course, I'm writing generically) if the list is empty the script exits, if not it uses mv to rename the file (and optionally move it if you also want to, you wouldn't need to since the renamed files won't match Screen*.png (the next time the script runs that is). I would look at using an xargs to pipe the ls to mv. (I'll admit this would take me a minute to cook up, but it's do-able.)

Once you have the script working correctly use cron on a one minute schedule (hint * * * * *). Since most of the time the script will exit after one command this will not use any measurable resources.

Previous answer:

One option would be to use fswatch to rename screenshot files as they are created. This option really has the most forward compatibility as well.

fswatch as the name implies allows you to WATCH for File System changes within a script, and then pipe the output to some other command. In this case probably xargs calling mv to change the name the way you want it to read.

I would reccomend this type of solution, as it is more update proof that modifying the way OSX names the file. (i.e. that is let OSX do it's thing, then just have a script that watches and renames immediately).

  • My apologies, I should have specified that I don't want to install Macports or Homebrew. I've edited the original question to reflect this. I'm wondering if an Automator script would suffice. Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 1:27
  • I tried to use Deeper, but it wouldn't run due to being from an unidentified developer - I'm not comfortable disabling system security just to run one allegedly safe app. Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 12:31
  • I wouldn't either, let me google around and see if I can edit my answer, there is another method I just can't remember it straight up
    – Tyson
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 13:05
  • Thank you, Tyson, a bash script and cronjob works great! I have found that this can also be accomplished via an Automator script and Folder Actions. Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 13:31

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23001/deeper works to change destination and filename where you want your screenshot to be saved as. Works with Yosemite. Dead simple.


Onyx lets you change the filename of screenshots.

  • I tried OnyX, but it requires the user to disable system security in order to run the app. I'm not comfortable with disabling system security. Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 14:31
  • Like any other application installation, it requires you to authenticate. It's pretty much impossible to find any application which will run or install without asking the user to authenticate. If you don't care for it, thank Avie Tevanian. Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 20:08

Yes if you don't like OnyX, then give this a app a try, which can be seen on this page: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23001/deeper

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