The quest to find good screensavers seems to be quite daunting these days because either you cannot find something you like or the things you find are full of malware. So, let us show you a different direction, in which we will help you create a great screensaver with your own photos. Not long ago, we showed you how easy it is to use Windows Photo Gallery to create a slideshow as a screensaver. But, in Windows, it is also possible to create a personalized screensaver with the help of a free image viewer application named IrfanView. The added bonus of this application is the fact that you can save the slideshow as a standalone screensaver that will work on other computers. Keep on reading and learn how to create your very own screensaver.
How To Get Started With Irfanview
The downloaded 1.8 MB executable file features a fairly simple installation that is entirely customizable. Luckily for us, it seems that this version does not come bundled with any other software, like some of the older ones. Still, you should pay attention to all the installation steps so that you can check all the features you want and uncheck those that are useless for you.
How To Create A Slideshow With IrfanView
To create a screensaver in IrfanView you need to build a slideshow. Of course, you have to open the image viewer application you have just installed.
In order to create a slideshow, the next step involves choosing the images that it will contain. In IrfanView, you will be able to access the images from your folders by using the thumbnail browser. This function can be accessed either by following this path File - > Thumbnails or, simply, by pressing the letter T on your keyboard.
A dialog box will open and in the left hand pane a directory tree is displayed. From here you will be able to easily navigate to the folder that contains the photos you want to include in your new screensaver. The right hand pane will fill with thumbnails that represent the images in the selected folder.
When you have decided which pictures you want to include in the slideshow, press Ctrl on your keyboard and then click or tap on each image you want selected or simply use Ctrl + A to select all the images in a particular folder.
After you are done selecting the pictures, in the thumbnail browser, go to File and then click or tap on Save selected files as current slideshow.
This is all you need to do in order to create the slideshow necessary for your personalized screensaver. If you want to make sure that the slideshow meets your requirements you can preview it by going to the File tab in the same thumbnail browser and then select Start slideshow with selected files.
How To Fine Tune The Slideshow In IrfanView And Export It As A Screensaver
Before creating your own screensaver, you can do some fine tuning for the configuration parameters of the newly saved slideshow. To access the configuration area of the slideshow, go back to the main IrfanView window and click or tap on the Slideshow button (the second button on the top left corner).
It is also possible to access the Slideshow configuration menu by using this path File - > Slideshow in the main IrfanView window or by simply pressing the letter W on your keyboard.
The newly opened window contains a lot of options that will allow you to fine tune all the characteristics of your slideshow. Before you start configuring, know that you can track all the changes you make with the help of the Play Slideshow button. This button will offer a preview of what the slideshow looks like at any given time.
Coming back to the slideshow options window, on the top left area you will be able to choose how quickly the images change and the order in which they appear within the slideshow (automatically or randomized).
The next area, Slideshow options, offers a series of checkboxes that help you customize the inner workings of the slideshow itself. An important change for your future screensaver is to leave the cursor visible, so you should untick the Hide mouse cursor checkbox. Also, you should untick the Show text box. This action will help you hide any information that comes with the images: name, exif data, location and so on.
A really interesting feature is that you can add mp3 audio files to your slideshow and create background music for your screensaver. Even though this function is a great extra, be very careful in choosing the music to be played. Loud and annoying songs placed in an eternal loop will surely get on your nerves at some point.
The righthand side of the Slideshow window offers browsing options that help you add or remove pictures and mp3s from your customized slideshow. On the lower part of this area you will see a list of the images you are currently using.
Also, in the browsing area you can search for mp3 files and add them to the screensaver. To do this you have to change the selection of Common Graphic Files to All files (*.*) in the drop down menu of Files of type. The mp3 files will not appear in the Slideshow files list, but be sure that they are added to the slideshow.
Carefully customize and fine tune the slideshow so that it will feature all the characteristics you want for the screensaver. You can play around with all the available settings till you like what you see and check if everything works with the help of the Play Slideshow button. Once you are done, be careful not to close the Slideshow window.
After tweaking the slideshow to your liking, go to the lower left corner of the Slideshow window and press the Save Slideshow as EXE/SCR button.
In the newly opened window you will be able to choose the file type: executable (.EXE) or screensaver (.SCR). Since we are trying to create a screensaver, we recommend that you tick the Create SCR file (Screensaver,.scr). Then, select the folder where you want to save the screensaver and, of course, name it. Finally, press the Create button and allow IrfanView to build you new screensaver.
The time needed to create your screensaver depends on the number of files you have placed inside it. After the process is completed and the file is saved, you will receive a confirmation message. Just press the OK button and your screensaver is ready.
To use the newly created screensaver, go to the folder you have saved it in. Here, you can retest it or install it with the help of the right click menu. If you choose Install, it will become the default screensaver for your current theme.
More information about how you can use and configure screensavers in Windows can be found in this tutorial: How to Set & Customize Screensavers in Windows 7 & Windows 8.1.
NOTE: Be careful if you change your current theme, as the screensaver you have just installed will no longer be in use. This is a situation that is connected to the fact that each Windows theme has its own backgrounds, sound schemes and, of course, screensavers. If you plan to change a theme and still want to use the newly created screensaver, you have to select it again and set it as default. Here is a tutorial that will help you learn how to do this: How to Customize Desktop Themes in Windows 7 & Windows 8.1.
IrfanView is a great image viewer application that is easy to install and use. As we have seen above, it also offers a neat way of creating your own slideshow screensavers. Moreover, IrfanView's ability to save slideshows as screensaver files (.SCR), that can be copied to other computers, allows you to share your creations with family and friends.
So, if you want to create your own customized screensaver for free and use all those beautiful pictures that just occupy your hard drive's space, IrfanView is perfect for you. So why don't you give it a try and see what it can help you create.