Windows 8 - How to automatically save screenshots to Dropbox

I have always been frustrated by sharing screenshots taken on my PC. Back to the old days, I had to follow the “Press the Prt Scr, open the image editor, press Ctrl+V, Ctrl+S, choose the save destination, open that directory, drag-n-drop the file to messenger/Word/whatever”. Sharing was painful.

Then there were tons of advanced screenshot capturing applications that I just couldn’t get used to. Most of them were the typical shareware trying to install all sorts of toolbars and extensions. If you were a good boy who didn’t want to bloat his system, you would probably keep away from such a piece of software. (Not trying to insult anyone here – I am pretty sure there were decent apps).

Years later, Windows 7 introduced the ‘Snipping tool’ that I instantly felt in love with. It was integrated, fast and much easier to use than anything I’ve tried before. The only thing still itching me was sharing the screenshots. I’ve been actively using Dropbox, and its sharing features, especially ‘Public folder’ allowed me to quickly save a screenshot, grab a link and send it to someone. Not bad, but not perfect yet. Recently I’ve found out that Windows 8 gives you even better screen capture facilities. Pressing Win+PrtScr automatically takes a screenshot (you will see the screen dim for a second) and saves it to Screenshots inside your personal Pictures directory. What if I could save it directly to public Dropbox folder? That would be super-awesome! Hit a keystroke, locate the file in the folder (you don’t even have to open Explorer manually – just right-click the Dropbox icon in system tray, and open the ‘Recently changed files’ menu), right-click it and copy the public link.

Unfortunatelly, you won’t find an option to change the default screenshots folder. But registry editor is your life saver when it comes to tweaking Windows. So open up the regedit.exe and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions{b7bede81-df94-4682-a7d8-57a52620b86f}. If you see the Name key with Screenshots value then you are on the right track. Delete the ParentFolder key, and change the value of the RelativePath entry to the directory path where you want to store your screenshots (mine is “d:dropboxpublicscreenshots” without quotes).

Now you just have to restart your machine and ensure that new screenshots are automatically saved into your public Dropbox folder.