Windows help: How to change your screensaver


How do I change my Windows screen saver?

To change your screensaver in Microsoft Windows follow these steps:

Screen saver settings
  • On and empty area of your desktop click with your right mouse button
  • On the small menu that pops up, select Properties. The Display Properties window will appear
  • Select the Screen Saver tab to view the screensaver settings

From the screen saver settings page you can select a different screen saver, adjust the settings of the current screensaver and set the time required before your screensaver will activate. You also have the option of requiring a password to be entered before you can use the computer after the screensaver has been activated.

You can also adjust your computer screen power settings by pressing the Power button.

After choosing a screensaver, and pressing the settings button to make adjustments to the screensaver you can preview how it will look by pressing the Screensaver Preview button.

When you are happy with the screen saver settings you've selected, press OK to save your settings.

Don't confuse your screensaver with your wallpaper

The screensaver is what comes on when your computer is idle for a predetermined amount of time. Screen savers were originally designed to prevent 'burn in' on old style computer screens by having the same image showing for hours at a time. Today, a whole industry has grown around screensavers, even though with today's modern LCD screens, they aren't even necessary!

Windows Wallpaper

The Windows Wallpaper is the image that is displayed in the background, on your desktop. If you have a new computer, the Windows wallpaper may show the manufacturers logo, or it may simply be the default Windows wallpaper.

Wallpaper setting

How to change your Windows XP Wallpaper

  • On an unused area of your screen, click with the right mouse button
  • On the small menu that pops up, click Properties
  • On the Display Properties window, click the Desktop tab

From the Desktop Properties window, scroll through the Background list until you find a image you like, and press OK.

How to set your Windows desktop wallpaper background to a picture on the internet

Follow these steps to set your Windows background wallpaper to an image from the internet.

  • When you find the image you want as your Windows wallpaper on the internet while using Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox, click on the image with your right mouse button.
  • From the small menu that pops up, select Set as desktop background

Warning about free screensavers

So-called Free screensavers you find on the internet very often have spyware or adware hidden within them. You should never download or install any free screensavers or free cursors from the internet unless you are absolutly certain that they are spyware and virus free. Because it is usually impossible to determine if free Windows screen savers or free cursors contain spyware or adware until after you install them on your PC, you should never install them. If you want screensavers that are safe to install on your PC, you may have to spend a few dollars.
For more information on how to preventing spyware and adware see our how to prevent spyware page.

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Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver
My screen saver is not centered correctly.How do I adjust the picture ?
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver
I am trying to make a screensaver with pictures. Instructions say to right click on desktop and select "properties". Then select My Pictures Slideshow etc. etc. My 'puter does not show the properties here so that I can continue to pull up the screensaver. Hope you can help me out. Thanks. arb from Ks.
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Hubby
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Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

Right-click with your mouse on an empty area of your desktop (with all programs minimized)
Do you see "Display Properties" on the little menu that pops up ? If you are using Windows, you should.
If not, go into your control panel and find the "display icon" to get to the same properties and then Screen Saver options.

Baljinder singh (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change wallpaper
HI, On My PC screen genuine microsoft windows image is coming on at the corner and may be because of this whatever wallpaper i set it comes back to none after 2 or 3 minutes.....Please tell me what to do ?
Kelly_V (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver
I want to make my business card my screensaver. Maybe even have it moving on the screen. I have the card set as my desktop currently. How do I get it on my screensaver?
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Hubby
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I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

In some versions of Windows you can select a screen saver that lets you specify an image and it will move it on the screen, etc. On my old work XP computer, there was a "my pictures" screensaver that you could point at folder of pictures (or, single picture). if your particular version does not have that particular screen saver, you can purchase a third-party screen save to do it.
Mac's have a great built-in screensaver that you can set to specific events or photos from iPhoto..

"Bandit" (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver
Okay,I'm using the 3D text set to spin as a screensaver. What I have been trying to figure out is if I can change the background on it. The background is just a plain black...nothing else,and I'd like to put something behind the spinning text, even a plain color would be better than nothing....Anyone got any ideas? I would really like to put the spinning 3D text over an animated background like flames.
tristran (not verified)
Screen saver change
I have changed my screen save to test and put personal text and ive been told this can cause a virus is this rubbish or true?
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Hubby
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I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Screen saver change

as long is it is the built-in Windows text screensaver, then no, there is no way it can "cause" a virus. If, however, you download a new text screensaver, there is a good chance that it can contain a virus. Never download anything unless you know that the source is safe and trusted.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Screen saver change
No - the "text screensaver" does not cause viruses.
Bonzo Guido (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

The "Display Properties" window on my computer does not have "Themes" "Desktop" "Screensaver" "Appearance" or "Settings" tabs. The only change I can make is to "Themes". Where/how do I find them? I'm using a Lenovo T60 running WinXP SP3. Thanks for your help.

photo of member named
Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

Is this your personal computer or a company computer? It sounds like there might be a system 'policy' that has removed those tabs..

Bonzo Guido (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

This has been a personal computer from the day I bought it new @ Micro Center three years ago.
BG

animestrinity
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Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

Did a little googling... try this:

Go to Start and select Run

Type: gpedit.msc

Go to: User Configuration > Control Panel > Display > Hide Screen Saver Tab

And change the setting... see if that will give you a screensaver tab in the display properties...

Bonzo Guido (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

ok. I went to User Configuration / Administrative Templates / Control Panel / Display /.
All Tabs were in a "not configured" state.

I selected the "Hide Desktop Tab" and chose "Enable" / Apply.
I right clicked on a blank screen area / Properties.
I observed no change to the Display Properties window.
I reselected the "Hide Desktop Tab" and chose "Disable" / Apply.
I right clicked on a blank screen area / Properties.
I observed no change to the Display Properties window.

I repeated this process with the "Hide Apperaence and Themes Tab", "Hide Settings Tab" and "Hide Screen Saver Tab" and observed no change to the Display Properties window each time.

For the sake of completeness I set all tabs to "Enable" / Apply followed by all tabs to "Disable" / Apply.
No change to the Display Properties window in either case.

Is there anything else that could be covering the tabs?
BG

animestrinity
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Member for 7 years 45 weeks
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Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

K... try this then... carefully.

Start > Run

Type : regedit

on the left sidebar, expand the following: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System

Once you've selected the System entry, the main window should have values.... Check for something along the lines of: NoDispScrSavPage

If it has a value of 1, double click the name, and change the value to 0

........Also, we never asked, but have you had any seemingly random errors lately? And have you scanned your computer for spyware/virus/malware??

Bonzo Guido (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

Hi,

I ran Regedit as suggested and clicked down through HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Policies
Under "Policies" I have "ComDig32", "Explorer" and "NonEnum". BUT... I don't have "System"

There have been no random errors. And the computer is scanned irregularly (weekly/monthly) with Adaware and Spybot.

I was poking around on the Display Properties window about 1/8" below the "s" in "Display" and succeeded in changing from "Theme" to "Wallpaper". Is there some way that the tabs could be camouflaged?
BG

animestrinity
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Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

Anything is possible with computers, but I've not personally heard of camouflaged display properties tabs...

I'm going to take a moment and go to a clean drawing board for a sec...

1) You said that you bought the computer... does anyone else use it? Are you using the administrator account? Double check to make sure that hasn't been changed for any reason...

2) You said that you run Adaware and Spybot...

     a) Have they found anything recently? (I ask because if it found anything bad, it could have changed settings/messed things up before you fixed it)

     b) Did you have the tabs in the display properties before (if you can remember)?

If you used to have the option, but no longer do... then chances are that 1) someone's been messing with settings and accidentally/purposely changed something.. and/or 2) at some point a virus/malware/rootkit/evil file has changed the settings in order to cause you problems...

Bonzo Guido (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

1) You said that you bought the computer... does anyone else use it? Are you using the administrator account? Double check to make sure that hasn't been changed for any reason...

I've been exclusive user of this laptop since day one.
Under "Documents and Settings" the following are listed:
Administrator - 5/4/2007 00:18
All Users - 5/29/2010 15:01
Default User* - 5/4/2001 00:59
Evan - 6/23/2010 17:43
LocalService* - 11/29/2009 20:59
NetworkService* - 11/29/2009 21:00
ReleaseEngineer.MACROVISION** - 2/8/2009 01:04

* = Greyed out
** = This is "new". I don't remember this one.

2) You said that you run Adaware and Spybot...

a) Have they found anything recently? (I ask because if it found anything bad, it could have changed settings/messed things up before you fixed it)

As near as I recall they didn't find anything other than the usual tracking cookies and the rare "Trojan"

b) Did you have the tabs in the display properties before (if you can remember)?

The tabs, as I recall, were always hard to see. Often I had to change themes or wallpaper to get the tabs to show at full height

If you used to have the option, but no longer do... then chances are that 1) someone's been messing with settings and accidentally/purposely changed something.. and/or 2) at some point a virus/malware/rootkit/evil file has changed the settings in order to cause you problems...

Again, this machine has never been out of my control. The fingerprint reader is programmed to me alone. My wife has her own laptop and all the kids are out on their own.
BG

animestrinity
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Member for 7 years 45 weeks
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Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

I'm guessing you use Evan ?? To make sure it has the administrator settings, you would check by going ot Control Panel > Users and then selecting the account (Such as Evan) and checking the settings...

The macrovision one appears to be something that any programs by macrovision sets up... such as a software manager or Azureus (now Vuze)...

A trojan can do more than you may realize... but *I'm* not partuculary convinced that's your problem... since you mentioned previous weirdness with the tabs...

You have Themes, have you changed it lately?? If you change the theme and apply it, do you get your tabs back?? (If you're using themes, try changing it to the original windows xp one)

If that doesn't help anything,

Try checking your display properties in Safe Mode... If you don't know how to do that, just restart your computer, and before it boots up continuously tap the f8 key (there's a chance it's either f10 or f2 but f8 is usually it) until you should get a screen where you can select what mode to start in... using the arrow keys, select safe mode (you can select safemode with networking if you need to connect to the internet from safe mode)... hit enter... let it boot up...

I'm going to say select the Evan account for this particular issue, things will look funny, but it will only run processes that are absolutely necessary... hit OK for the message that pops up... go to your display properties (I can't remember if safemode will let you go via shortcut, so you may have to go to the control panel and select display from there... Why do all this? Well, if you have tabs in safemode but not in regular mode, that means that likely something is running (either actively or hidden [file/process/program]) that has changed the way your tabs show, as opposed to a permanent (albeit changeable) setting.

 

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

I'm wanting to make my screen saver to be a moving GIF image, how would I do that?

photo of member named
Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

You would probably have to find a screen saver program that allows you do do that. You can't do that with the build in Windows screensaver.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Windows help: How to change your screensaver

can you make screen saver to change photos in less than 6 sec , that's the shortest time allowed on window xp currently.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Screensaver won't start

I have done everything that you suggested to activate my screen saver. It will not activate and everytime I go back to the display properties window the dropdown box is back on "none" for a screensaver. I can click apply and ok. I can click just ok. It doesnt matter, it always goes back to "none". Strangely enough the screensaver will preview, and it runs on the little miniature screen in the display properties box. I dont know what else to do. Do you have any suggestions.

photo of member named
Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Screensaver won't start

This seems to be a pretty common issue, with no single or easy way to fix (other than a full reformat/re-install). Do the obvious things first: scan for viruses and spyware, and uninstall any unnecessary software. Then check these two posts and try what they recommend:

 

 

Harry (not verified)
background changed when you have no right click, using firerox

Hi im a student wanting to change my background. Though do not have right click or control pannel and want to chanege the wallpaper using firefox.Can you please help me ?????

Anonymous (not verified)
change Windows background

Firefox will not help you at all to change your Windows background.

if your admins have locked-out changes to the background and control panel using Windows network Group Policies, there isn't much you can do other than learn to live with the background you already have.. Dont forget, it's not YOUR computer..

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