How to Convert a Screenshot to a Jpeg on a Mac

As a blogger, I have to take frequent screenshots of my MacOS. And thankfully, there is a built-in option for that (Cmd + Shift + 4 if you don’t already know)

But there is one big issue, by default MacOS saves all screenshot to png format, which although is the best option when it comes to text, but the file size is too big for online websites.

Related: Why Screenshot Are Always Saves As Png?

To give you an idea, following are two full-size screenshots of my 5k iMac’s and although there is no noticeable difference in quality, the png file is over 5 MB while the jpg screenshot is just 32 KB. So, long story short, if you often upload the screenshot on the web, change the default screenshot format to jpg.

File Format for Mac Screenshots

And here is how to do it.

1. Launch Terminal on your Mac. To do that, press spacebar and cmd, to bring up spotlight search and then search for and click on “Terminal”.

open finder

2. Type or copy/paste the following command into the Terminal window and then press the enter key

defaults write type jpg

Change the for Mac Screenshots 

4. From now on, the default format of your screenshot will be jpeg. However, the effect will take place only after you restart your Mac. Or, you can type the following command to restart the interface server,  (the finder window) and it’ll do the same thing.

killall SystemUIServer

Change the for Mac Screenshots

5. Press enter key. And that’s it. From now on, when you take screenshots on your MacOS, the default file format should be jpeg.

What if you want some other file format?

You can pick any other file format like – gif, pdf, png etc. The command is same as the method we used above for JPG. Just replace the jpg part in the end of the Terminal command with the file format you want. For example –

Change Screenshot Format to GIF

defaults write type gif

Change Screenshot Format to PDF

defaults write type pdf

Change Screenshot Format to PNG

defaults write type png

How to change the location where screenshots are saved?

By default, MacOS saves all the screenshot on the desktop. But in the long run, this can clutter your desktop, so it’s better to create a new directory for all the screenshots. And here is how to do it.

1. Create a new folder, where you want to save your screenshots. Open finder, go to Documents > create a new folder, let’s called it Screenshots.

Change the location for Mac Screenshots

2. Again, open up your terminal, and type the following command and press enter.

defaults write location /Users/mrinalsaha/Documents/Screenshots

Make sure to replace the mrinalsaha name with your system’s username or you can also drag and drop the screenshot folder in the terminal to get its path.

Change the location for Mac Screenshots

3. And this is it, now if you take a screenshot, it should get saved to the new folder you just created.

 Related: 8 Ways to Take Screenshots on Windows

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-