Change the Default Screen Shot File Name in Mac OS X
Screen shots taken in Mac OS X save to files prefixed with “Screen Shot” in the file name, but the names of screenshots can be changed to anything else. We’ll use a defaults write command to adjust the naming convention of screen shots taken on the Mac. This can be helpful for many purposes, and it’s easy to do and undo back to default if need be.
How to Change File Name of Screen Shots on Mac
This will allow you to choose a new different name for default screen shots created on a Mac, from “Screen Shot (date)” to “Custom Name (date)”, or whatever you’d like to use:
- Launch the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities) and type the following command, replacing “OSXDaily” with the file name you wish to use for your screen shot names
- Now restart SystemUIServer by killing it from the command line:
- Take a screen shot to confirm the file name has been changed from default to the custom name
defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "OSXDaily"
Only new screen shots will be effected by this change, existing screenshot file names will remain the same.
Once the change has taken effect, all new screenshots will adopt the new name, and additional captures will be sequenced just as before so they don’t overwrite one another. For example. “Screen Shot”, “Screen Shot (2)”, “Screen Shot (3)”, etc, of course conforming to the naming convention you chose.
This will not adjust the suffix of the file, which is dependent on the image format of the screenshot itself. The default is PNG, but users can change the file format of screen shots in Mac OS X to JPEG, TIFF, PNG, or GIF if desired.
Return to Default Screen Shot File Names in Mac OS X
If you want to restore to the default naming convention of screen shot files created in Mac OS X, use the instructions below:
- Open the Terminal in Mac OS X if you haven’t done so already, then type the following command
- Again restart SystemUIServer by killing it
- Confirm the file names have returned to the default by printing a screen shot to the Mac OS X desktop with Command+Shift+3
defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "Screen Shot"
Other than changing file names, you can also change where screen shots save to on the Mac, which can help to organize things a bit, and users can also change file type to a format other than the PNG default as well.
This changes the screen shot file names that are created automatically, of course you can rename the screen shots after the fact at any time if you want.
And yes, this method works to change screenshot file names in all versions of Mac OS X system software, from El Capitan, Yosemite, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Snow Leopard, and beyond.
Thanks to MacTrast for the tip.