You have many reasons to take screenshots of your Mac desktop. Demonstrate mistakes, show friends and family how to use the software or remember certain workflows. These are some things you might consider to take these captures. While your workflow may change, the methods remain the same.
Whatever the reason you are taking these catches, managing them can be difficult. Where do the screenshots go on Mac computers? Can you change this setting? And what about the video captures? We will answer all these questions.
How to take screenshots and capture video on a Mac
In case you're not familiar with taking a screenshot on a Mac, it's easy.
To capture the entire screen, press Cmd + Shift + 3. Now, if you want to capture only part of the screen, press the keys: Cmd + Shift + 4. Then, you can drag the mouse cursor to capture an established area.
If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, it will be really useful. Press Cmd + Shift + 4. Then, the touch bar will give you some options. You can capture an area of the screen, a single window or your entire screen, simply by pressing different buttons on the touch bar.
Capturing video is equally easy. Press Cmd + Shift + 5, and you'll see a list of options very similar to the options on the touch bar above. For the video, the two icons you should know are the two that are more to the right. The corner button will register a part of your screen, while the button on the left will register the entire screen.
You can also use the built-in QuickTime application to record your screen.
Where do the screenshots on your Mac go?
No matter how you take a screenshot with the integrated macOS options, they are saved in the same place. These are saved on the desktop by default. So, you may find this too messy. But fortunately, you can change the location.
Changing the location of the Mac screenshot was once a difficult thing. But starting with macOS Mojave, it is relatively easy. Now, press Cmd + Shift + 5. Then, click on the Options menu, on the far right. At the top of this menu, you will see options for saving screenshots.
By default, the desktop is checked. However, you can see options to save your captures in different folders, such as: the Preview application, Mail, Messages or even the Clipboard.
Also, you can change it to any directory you choose for "Other location" at the bottom of this menu setting. In the pop-up dialog box, simply choose the folder you want as your new Mac screen capture location.
Video captures on your Mac
Video captures made with Cmd + Shift + 5 are also saved to the desktop by default. You can change this using the same methods as we mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, you can only choose a default save location. You cannot choose a directory for screenshots and another for video captures.
Where are the photos stored?
With regard to the photos, it is a completely different story. Unless you have changed the settings to work differently, the macOS Photos application takes care of this. Storing photos in your own library. Accessing this is easy, once you know where to look.
By default, your photo library is stored in its home directory, within the Images folder. However, accessing it is a bit strange. Inside the Images folder, you will see an icon called Photo Library. And to access your photos, right click on it and choose Show package content. Then, open the Masters folder.
This is where your photos are stored. They are organized by year, month and day. Within these folders, you will find your photos as JPG or HEIC files.
You can change where the photo library is stored, but not how the photos are stored. To change the location of the photo library, first make sure you exit this application. Then, you must press and hold the «Option» key while starting the Photos application.
A screen will appear asking if you want to choose an existing photo library or open a new one. Here you can create a new library and change it to the location you prefer. and to move your existing library, move it using the Finder, then open it using this method.
The simple way to manage your captures
If you're upset about the mess caused by dozens of screenshots and video on your desktop, there's a simple way to organize them. This only works if you are running macOS Mojave or any subsequent operating system, thanks to a function called Stacks.
To start, right-click on your desktop. And then, click on Use Stacks to enable the feature. This feature groups files by several criteria.
So you can organize by date or by label, but in this case, you will want to choose «Group Stacks by» and click on Type. This will group your screenshots into one stack and your video captures into another.
This only works on the desktop, so if you are storing your photos elsewhere, you will need another option.
Manage your catch: the best way
If you are not storing your photos on the desktop or if you want to have more control, you must use a third-party application. In this case you could use a photo manager like Adobe Lightroom.
But that can be excessive for your screenshots. Also, when it comes to captures, Mac users have many more options.
In this regard, you may want to try an application like Capto. This app not only helps you organize and manage your screenshots, but also manages them. This is useful if you are not satisfied with the options integrated in macOS.
When it comes to organization, the application automatically does it for you, using customizable criteria.
In addition to capturing and organizing videos and images, Capto has integrated editing functions. If you plan to make screencast videos or simply take many screenshots, it is worth checking out this application.
On the other hand, Capto is not expensive. It costs about USD 30 for a single license, or USD 75 for a family package. If you are a student or teacher, you can get the application for a USD 20 discount. It is also available through Setapp, which offers several Mac applications for a monthly subscription of USD 10.
Other tips for screenshots and video on Mac
While we have mainly stuck to the integrated methods to capture your screen, they are not your only option. In addition to Capto, there are also other ways to record your Mac's screen.
And this is just the beginning. If you want to deepen, you can also use your computer to capture the screen on other devices. For example, you can use your Mac to capture the screen of an Android device.