I used to be able to set the key location under com.apple.screencapture to change the save location for the system-wide screen capture facility.

This doesn't work for me anymore -- screenshots save to the Desktop regardless of the setting of location. Here's what defaults says:

$ defaults read com.apple.screencapture
 location = "/Users/jogloran/Desktop/Screenshots";
  • 2
    It was a permissions issue on that folder in the end.
    – jogloran
    Sep 23, 2012 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


Works for me quite happily.

enter image description here

Have you restarted UIserver?

killall SystemUIServer

Does the path exist?

UPDATE: If the screen capture cannot find or write to the designated folder, it will default to the current user's desktop.

  • +1 for this. As well, have you made sure to include the "location" portion of the command? I forgot to do this myself a couple times and never got any correction from the command line. Sep 21, 2012 at 9:17
  • 1
    @Veil I'm sure he has, as the output of the defaults read command gives a valid looking path
    – Stu Wilson
    Sep 21, 2012 at 10:24
  • I definitely have. The path does exist. I've tried restarting SystemUIServer too -- this persists through reboots.
    – jogloran
    Sep 21, 2012 at 12:48
  • 4
    @jogloran if screen capture cannot find or write to the folder, then it will default to the Desktop. Check your file permissions on the folder, triple check the path, and all else fails, run repair permissions.
    – Stu Wilson
    Sep 21, 2012 at 17:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .