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How to Change the Default Screenshot File Format in macOS

The default file format for macOS screenshots is .PNG, but that may wind up being more of a nuisance than you'd prefer. That's why I set my MacBook to take screenshots as JPGs, as those are better for our websites.

Here's how to change the default format for your Mac screenshots:

1. Hit Command+Space to open Spotlight.

2. Type "terminal" and select Terminal.

3. Ignoring the quotation marks, type "defaults write type " followed by the desired file format. Your options are JPG, TIFF, GIF, PDF and PNG. Make sure to enter a space between 'location' and the format.

4. Click Enter.

Now, your screenshots will appear in this format. If they do not, restart your mac and they will.

macOS Guide

After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.