As of 2.1.0 WoW will default to saving your screenshots as .jpg, i.e. JPEG format. This will cut down file size but it will also destroy some detail due to JPG being a lossy format. People who want to change the format back to TARGA (TGA) will need to use the following command:

/console screenshotFormat tga 

You may also set the format to JPEG but change the quality (decreasing compression and increasing size) with the following commands:

/console screenshotFormat jpg 
/console screenshotQuality 10 

You can also look for and edit (or add) the 2 lines in

SET screenshotFormat "f"
SET screenshotQuality "q"

Where f is the format (jpg or tga) and q is the quality (1-10). Note the double quotes. The change will be reflected the next time you start the game.

Note that screenshotQuality only affects JPEG screenshots (TGA screenshots always use lossless quality). There are reports that an older version would compress the images to JPEG and then save them as TGA (causing a loss of quality) but this does not happen with the current patch. Also, note that anything other than "tga" in screenshotFormat sets it to the default (JPEG).

If you want to revert to the original settings you can use these commands:

/console screenshotFormat jpg 
/console screenshotQuality 3 

Optionally you can create an addon using the SetCVar or ConsoleExec API.

OS X / Mac limitations for screenshotFormat & screenshotQuality

As of 10th March 2012 (4.3.3)

  • .tga is not a supported format for screenshots on Macs. This is due to the removal of the QuickTime APIs that was used for this.
  • The screenshotQuality cvar is not supported on Mac.

Source :


Some example screenshots

JPG with screenshotQuality 3 (standard) - 0.4 MB

JPG with screenshotQuality 10 - 2.27 MB

TGA compressed using PNG - 2.41MB(PNG) / 4.66MB(TGA)

comparison between the 3 examples (with zoom)


The last screenshot you have taken is also stored (in lossless, uncompressed format) in the system clipboard, even if you have the file format set to JPEG. It can be pasted from there into most image editing applications.

Setting the screenshot quality to 10 or the screenshot format to TGA will also prevent the identification watermark from being embedded in the screenshot. This watermark allows Blizzard to identify your account or any third party to identify if multiple screenshots originate from the same account.[1]


See Also