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Are there any sort of configuration options for specifying the default save location for gnome-screenshot, or is this hard-coded into the source code?

It used to be ~/Desktop, which seems to have changed to ~/Pictures (in 12.04).

The only possible solution I've seen is about Setting the default name (as it includes time stamp information now instead of simply Screenshot#), but that solution doesn't really seem ideal to me.

Also, this post suggested that the last save location is remembered the next time you take a screenshot, but in my experience, this doesn't seem to be the case. And in any case, following on from that, that entry in gconf-editor doesn't even seem to accurately reflect the last location, so more than likely an entry related to an older version of gnome-screenshot.

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I have opened a bug report as even though the folder is recorded it is not being used to preselect it. – pt123 May 17 '12 at 3:23
Graphical methods below work, but what you really want to do is: gsettings set "org.gnome.gnome-screenshot" "auto-save-directory" "file:///home/$USER/screenshot" – Ciro Santilli 巴拿馬文件 六四事件 法轮功 Feb 10 '14 at 7:20
up vote 85 down vote accepted


  1. Install dconf-editor

    • From the command line, run the command sudo apt-get install dconf-editor
    • Or click here to install from the Ubuntu Software Center:

      Install via the software center

  2. Press Alt + F2 and type dconf-editor

  3. Go to org -> gnome -> gnome-screenshot

  4. At "auto-save-directory" type the desired directory in the following format: file:///home/user/Desktop/

    name: auto-save-directory, value: file:///full/path/

    A tip for anyone who is using the configuration editor in unity: click on the arrow to the left the org text to expand it.

Via Terminal

Simply run this command, replacing the path with your preferred directory.

gsettings set org.gnome.gnome-screenshot auto-save-directory "file:///home/$USER/Downloads/"
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For what it's worth, this worked in Debian Wheezy for me. – Erik Youngren Jun 23 '12 at 4:42
Anyone else bothered by this being the easiest way to achieve something so simple in Ubuntu? – Gabriel Sep 22 '12 at 0:40
Thanks desgua, this gave me less stress than changing it every time. – Luis Alvarado Feb 6 '13 at 16:03
NB It is auto-save-directory as mentioned in the text, not last-save-directory as highlighted on the screenshot – rds Oct 3 '13 at 12:43
it works without using files:// in ubuntu 14.04. Clrl+L will tell you the location . '/home/userName/location' – diEcho Oct 30 '14 at 13:46

It can be be configured in 12.04 for 'auto save' & when using gnome-screenshot itself, gnome-screenshot --interactive, where the last save directory is used

What does seem to always default to Pictures is from the keyboard bindings (bug or intended?

Earlier in 12.04 the screens from the keyboard bindings used auto-save, people complained & it was returned to interactive

Both settings for gnome-screenshot are in gsettings & dconf-editor

enter image description here

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Oh right. It does use that last save directory setting when using interactive, but introduces an additional dialog for what you want to grab - I guess this is the best I'll get. Thanks :-) – trent Mar 20 '12 at 22:13
How do you set the called argument ` --interactive` when pressing CTRL Print? – rubo77 Jan 4 at 22:37

In 12.04 (haven't looked in previous versions of Ubuntu because I never faced this problem) you have to set the auto-save-directory-setting to the desired location where you want your screenshots to be stored. By doing so every time you take screenshot it will automatically land there. I also prefer to use ~/Desktop and you are also not prompted to specify a destination like before. The only thing that indicates that you have taken a screenshot is a short flash of the screen. However I would love to know how to get the prompt back because I sometimes like to store screenshots in other folders than the default one and it would be overkill to either change the settings or move the image every time.

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Where are you setting the auto-save-directory ? – fabricator4 Dec 12 '12 at 19:49
Look at @doug's comment above my answer. In the picture of the configuration editor in the section of gnome-screenshot the first setting is auto-save-directory. Just write there the location of the desired folder (Desktop for example) and you're ready to go. :) In his example it is set to "Documents". – rbaleksandar Dec 14 '12 at 16:50

In Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander)

Install dconf-editor

Open it and go to: org > gnome > gnome-screenshot

At "auto-save-directory" type the desired directory in the following format: /home/user/Desktop/

ps. Do not put in this format "file:///..."

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Why is the "file:///..." format unacceptable? Just curious, I prefer the /home/user version better anyway. – Stratus3D Apr 23 at 19:18

You can set the default save directory of screenshots in CompizConfig Settings Manager.
Launch it, choose Screenshot under the Extras category. You can then choose the default directory you wish to use.

enter image description here

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Yeah, thanks - I do use this when wanting to grab a specific screen area. More interested about being able to set the path for gnome-screenshot. – trent Mar 21 '12 at 0:04
For a specific area you can press SHIFT and PrtSc. – Michael Tanner Sep 21 '12 at 7:51
Strangely, this option did not work for me. – Gabriel Sep 22 '12 at 0:39

The problem for me was:

I had the default folder set to ~/screenshots and it was working fine for a long time.

Today I noticed that it was redirecting to a folder within that folder and couldn't be reset. It was actually an empty subfolder in this case. I deleted the subfolder and since then it has worked fine.

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For those who can't install dconf-editor and are terminal users, I would suggest to edit the .bashrc file in your home directory. Put anywhere in the file the line "mv ~/Pictures/Screenshot* ---put-here-desired-path---". The only problem with this method is that, in case you have a file starting with the string "Screenshot", it will be moved to the desired path you've put above.

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What a dreadful idea. – Ken Sharp Feb 27 at 13:30

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