I've tried googling around for this, but search results keep littering things like "screenshot save location" and other junk. I am running MacOS Monterery v12.6 (intel chip).

What I want is to launch the Screenshots.app from the terminal. I do not want to take a screenshot and auto-save it, I want the actual app to open so I can choose to screenshot a specific window, my whole desktop, or a specific square region. I can achieve this by searching "Screenshot.app" in spotlight search and launching from there, but I want to use a keybind to launch the app via skhd (because I'm a power user).

I was able to accomplish this with Firefox.app by using open -n /Applications/Firefox.app. I thought I could do the same with Screenshot.app, but I have come across something odd. In Finder, I can go to /Applications/Utilities/ folder and see Screenshot.app listed. I can even double click the icon and the app opens. However, in the terminal when I navigate to /Applications/Utilities the ls command shows nothing.

enter image description here


% open -n /Applications/Utilities/Screenshot.app
The file /Applications/Utilities/Screenshot.app does not exist.

How can I launch the Screenshot.app application from the terminal? Where is it actually located? Why is finder showing me something different than my terminal?

  • You know you can launch the full app with Cmd/Shift/5 ?? Gotta be a lot quicker than all that typing. Also, you can make your own launch shortcuts for 'normal' apps - How to launch an Application with a keyboard shortcut?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 10:20
  • 1
    Does open -a Screenshot (or Screenshot.app) not work? Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 14:32
  • @D.BenKnoble - same for open -a firefox but the OP seems to have gone down an XY Problem route; asking for the answer to a presumed solution rather than asking for a solution to a given problem.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 16:31
  • I am not using System Preferences to manage my shortcuts as I am already using yabai + skhd to create a tiling WM in Mac and I would like all my configuration to live in one place. This also allows me to use a dot file manager like chezmoi to backup my config files easily, in the same fashion across both Mac and Linux platforms. I did not realize I could open -a Screenshot, without the full path, which is nice and would have saved me a little confusion. But either way this would have been configured in skhd due to reasons mentioned. It's not an XY problem. Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


The correct path to the app is:


The system is stored on a separate read-only volume, and 'merged' in the Finder with the volume where any user changes are made.

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