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How to disable floating screenshot thumbnails on macOS

Screenshots on macOS are great; they’re a built-in feature that covers most basic screenshot needs, and the screenshots themselves are excellent in quality. If you have a retina display, the screenshots you take will not downgrade it. macOS also has the Preview app which can open most common file types. You can use it to annotate screenshots, among other things and users do tend to use it for just that purpose. In Mojave, Apple added a new feature whereby when you take screenshots, you get floating screenshot thumbnails in the lower right corner of your screen. If you click this thumbnail, it opens in editing mode. If you ignore it, it disappears after a few seconds and the screenshot is saved. iOS 12 has a similar feature but the difference is, on macOS, you can disable floating screenshot thumbnails.

Disable floating screenshots

Open Lauchpad by clicking the rocket icon in the Dock, or via the thumb+three finger pinch gesture on your trackpad. In Launchpad, look for the ‘Other’ folder and open it. Inside, you will find a utility called Screenshots. Click it.

Clicking the Screenshot utility will open the screenshot interface that you normally do not see when taking screenshots via keyboard shortcuts. You will see a bar at the bottom, just above the Dock. On this bar, click the Options button and uncheck the ‘Show Floating Thumbnail’ option. Tap Escape to exit the utility.

That’s all you need to do. When you next take a screenshot, it will be saved automatically to its default location.

Apple has changed its screenshot feature somewhat. It’s now easier to change where these screenshots are saved. Before, on older versions of macOS, changing where screenshots were saved required running a Terminal command. If you want to change which format a screenshot is saved in, you still need to use a Terminal command but PNG really is the best one to use for good quality screenshots.

The screenshot tool still only supports three basic screen capture modes but you can now enable/disable the mouse cursor capture and, more importantly, you can also use this same utility to record screencasts. Users had the option to use QuickTime to record screencasts but unlike Apple’s other stock apps, QuickTime isn’t anyone’s favorite app for anything.

You can still annotate screenshots after you’ve taken them even after you’ve disabled floating screenshot thumbnails. The edit mode was basically the editing options available in the Preview app so all you need to do is open a screenshot in Preview and edit it there.

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