I have a late 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and when taking a screenshot, I get the option to choose the location on the Touch Bar.

However since I'm using my computer in clamshell mode, I can't see the Touch Bar, and always want to save my screenshots in a specific folder.

The Touch Bar behaviour seems to override the screenshot location that I have set in com.apple.screencapture:

~$ defaults read com.apple.screencapture { location = "/Users/[my_username]/Pictures/screenshots/"; }

Even if the above is set, it always saves to Documents, which I chose on the Touchbar once.

Also if I choose Desktop as the location on the Touch Bar, it's ignored, and it saves in Documents. So it seems to malfunction even when using the Touch Bar.

So is there a "defaults key" (?) that stores the location since the above is ignored, or is there a conflict between the Touch Bar and the default setting that can be fixed?


4 Answers 4


As of Mojave 10.14.2 version, you can change "Save to" destination by entering screenshot mode (press screenshot key on touchbar or Command+Shift+5), then you'd see quick tools (region selection, etc). Go to Options -> Save to... -> Other location... and choose desired location for your screenshots.

Now all screenshot (even those you process with quick editor after making a screenshot) will be stored at chosen folder.

And you don't need any specific software or scripts.


If you are using a Mac with a touch bar, there are two things that you can do to make taking screenshots more simple. Go into System Preferences Then into Keyboard Click shortcuts On the left hand side click screen shots. If you are wanting your screen shots to default to a folder, make sure that only the Save picture of...as a file are the only boxes selected. enter image description here The second thing you can do to make a life of screen shots easier is to: Go into System Preferences Click Keyboard at the bottom of the window find customize control strip... From there you will see a screen that looks something like this.enter image description here You can then click and drag the camera or screenshot icon into your touch bar. There you have it, if you have followed both of these steps, your fingers will no longer get tired if you are taking a ton of screenshots all at once, and you never have to worry again about where or in what folder your screenshots are going to end up.

  • I've been wondering if it was possible to make the screenshot button let you copy a selection to clipboard. This was how to do it! Thanks so much for this tip Jul 21, 2020 at 17:35

I can’t figure out how to edit the save locations either, so this is not a full answer to your question.

But you did ask in your comment how to reset it so that you can choose location on the Touch Bar again. Run the command defaults delete com.apple.screencapture. It appears that setting is no longer needed with Touch Bar, but overrides Touch Bar save location if it it is set.


From what I've seen, you can override the location set on the Touch Bar ONLY if your Touch Bar has been set to "Desktop". If the Touch Bar is set to save in one of it's other pre-set locations (Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Preview, Mail, Messages), screenshots will always be saved there instead of your custom location set in com.apple.screencapture. Your milage may vary but that seems to be what's happening on my machine.

See my other thread on SuperUser:


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