I very often take screen shots, and have my system configured to save them directly to the desktop, without the intermediate processes.

This question has been asked a lot. For example, see the following:

Capturing screenshots on macOS Sierra is very slow Screenshot taking a very long time to appear on desktop

However, none of the situations and solutions discussed there are applicable.

  1. The questions above talk about 5-6 seconds to save. On my system it takes 15-20 seconds. This is a 2017 iMac; not a slow machine.

  2. A lot of the discussion talks about Google Backup and Sync. I have never used these.

  3. Some of the discussion talks about turning off anti-virus. As I test, I turned off Bitdefender. It made no difference.

Any other ideas?

EDIT: several posters have suggested unchecking "Show Floating Thumbnails". This has never been checked on my system, as explained in my comment to an answer below. This suggestion does not solve the problem.


1 Answer 1


What worked for me on macOS Mojave to have screenshots saved to my Desktop instantaneously, was to uncheck Show Floating Thumbnail from the Options menu when pressing ⇧⌘5.

This change carried over to the other screenshot keyboard shortcuts too.

enter image description here

Note that I still allow Spotlight to index my Desktop too.

  • That suggestion is in the article I cited. But it is already unchecked for me and thus is not a factor for me, but clearly is a first thing to try since it has helped so many. For me the solution is to add the Desktop to Spotlight Privacy section. Aug 29, 2019 at 13:54
  • @Jeffrey Simon, I didn't read the article, only stated what worked for me. You should have mentioned your other settings in the OP! Aug 29, 2019 at 13:59

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