Move the screenshots folder location in Windows

Microsoft wants you to use OneDrive for screenshots

Where do you save screenshots you take on your Windows computer? The Pictures folder? This is not a fixed location hard wired into Windows and you can store them elsewhere, like OneDrive.

I take so many screenshots I could not possibly count them all and I have hundreds and possibly thousands going back many years. There are screen shots for this website, screen shots for articles I write for work, and sometimes screen shots to remember web pages. (You might want to record what a web page looked like if it has something significant on it that might change.)

Do you take screen shots? They are easy to take and you can change the location they are saved to.

Easy screen shots

Since Windows 8 it has been very easy to take screen shots and all you need to do is to hold down the Windows key and press the Prt Sc key (short for Print Screen). The screen is saved as a .png file to the Screenshots folder in your Pictures folder (C:\Users\YourName\Pictures\Screenshots).

An alternative method is to press the Prt Sc on its own and this saves the screen to the clipboard, or press Alt+Prt Sc to capture only the currently selected window to the clipboard. You can then open your favourite image editor and paste it into a new image or an existing one.

Change the screenshot save location

There is more to taking screenshots though and you might want to change the default save location to a different one. How can you choose which folder to save screenshots to?

You might see a pop-up window like this when you take a screenshot and it asks if you want to save screenshots to OneDrive. It appeared one day when Windows+Prt Sc was pressed.

 Screenshot location

This might be useful if you need to access screenshots from more than one computer or device. OneDrive is shared across all the computers and devices you own and the files are kept in sync. OneDrive apps for iOS and Android enable you to access screenshots on mobile devices.

If you don’t want to decide right now, click the Ask me later link, or click No thanks if you don’t want to save screenshots to OneDrive and don't want to be bothered by this pop-up message again.

Suppose you click No thanks, but then decide afterwards that it might actually be a good idea. Can you change your mind? What if you never see this helpful suggestion? How do you set it to OneDrive, or some other location on the disk drive?

There are a couple of ways to change the save location of screenshots and one is through OneDrive. Click the up arrow at the right side of the taskbar to show the tray of icons. Right click OneDrive and select Settings on the menu.

 OneDrive settings

Select the Auto-save tab and tick the box Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive.

 OneDrive settings

Unfortunately, this has no effect at all on my Windows 10 PC, even after rebooting, but it is worth mentioning in case your computer is different. Set the option and press Windows+Prt Sc, then see if the screenshot is saved to C:\Users\YourName\Pictures\Screenshots or C:\Users\YourName\OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots.

Update: One day later, screenshots started saving to the OneDrive Folder. It is strange that it did not work straight away, but sometimes OneDrive can be slow to perform actions and update changes. Never seen it this slow though!

There is another way to change the location of screenshots and the default location is a special folder, like Documents, Pictures, Videos and Music.

Open Explorer and navigate to C:\Users\YourName\Pictures. Right click the Screenshots folder and select Properties from the menu that is displayed. Select the Location tab and the default location is shown.

 Screenshots folder location

Click the Move button and select another folder in another place on the disk drive. This could be a folder in C:\Users\YourName\OneDrive. (If you have an old PC that has been upgraded, your OneDrive folder might still have the old SkyDrive name – C:\Users\YourName\SkyDrive.)

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