How can I make the Desktop folder, the alias folder for a different folder too?

In other words: In Mail app, if you double click on an image someone emailed to you, it downloads to:
/Users/name/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads

I made an alias for that hard-to-get-to folder, and put in on my Desktop:


But I'd like the Desktop to be the alias, so images show up there instead.

How can I do that?

By the way, this is an unfortunate XY problem. What I really want is to change the default folder for mail attachments, but selecting a folder here:


Does nothing. Images still download to:
/Users/name/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads

I tried restarting mail and the mac after every change, creating a new folder in the Downloads, Desktop, and weird sub-folder, and selecting each of them and tested whether images downloaded to there, but no.

I chatted with Apple and they have no idea of why it doesn't work if I select a specific folder (they didn't know you can supposedly change it either, but that's a different story).

Anyone know what the default folder for mail downloads is? Is it the Downloads folder?

As far as I recall, my attachments have always saved to that sub-sub-folder thing.

Summary: - How can I change where mail downloads download to?
- Otherwise, how can I make the Desktop the "Alias" for wherever they download to in the first place?

Note: @Lizzan helpfully commented that you can drag the image to the Desktop.
It seems though, that doing that also saves it to the sub-folder, so here's a program you can run (Python) to clean up that sub-folder (either run it manually, or if you know your way around programming, make it run automatically periodically - maybe I'll add that later): https://github.com/DaniSpringer/clean-up

  • What I do is simply drag any image I want to save to the desktop (or another folder) directly from the e-mail message, thus I can save it where I want to. While it might not be a direct solution to your problem, I thought I'd at least suggest it in case you were unaware that it was possible. :) – Lizzan Nov 16 '17 at 7:20
  • I just tested it, and yes, it does seem to also save the image to the sub-folder you mention. I don't know why it would show as forbidden if you try to drag and drop the image from the e-mail to the desktop, though, sorry. – Lizzan Nov 16 '17 at 7:41

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