How to set and customize screensavers in Windows

Do you want to set a screensaver on your Windows PC? Do you want to change the one already set? What about disabling the active screensaver entirely or changing the way your screensaver works? In this article, we show you all the steps that you need to go through to do these things, in all modern versions of Windows: Windows 10, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1. Let's begin:

NOTE: All the actions and settings you have to make are similar between Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. The only things different are a few minor visual details and how you access the screensaver settings. For simplicity, we are using screenshots taken mostly in Windows 10, and we are only adding screenshots from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 where things are different.

How to open the screensaver settings window in Windows 10

In Windows 10, the fastest and easiest way to open the "Screen Saver Settings" window is to use the search feature. In the search box on your taskbar, enter the word "screensaver" and then click or tap on "Turn screen saver on or off."

An alternative way to open the "Screen Saver Settings" window is to launch the Control Panel and use it to search for the term "screensaver." Then, in the search results list, click or tap on the "Change screen saver" shortcut from the Power Options section.

How to open the screensaver settings window in Windows 7

If you want to customize the screensaver, you must first open the "Screen Saver Settings" window. The fastest method to do it in Windows 7 is also to search for it. Open the Start Menu and, in its search box, enter the words "screen saver." Among the results displayed, you should see one saying "Change screen saver." Click on it.

Another way to open the "Screen Saver Settings" is to right-click on a blank space from your desktop and then click on Personalize, or open the Control Panel and go to "Appearance and Personalization -> Personalization."

In the Personalization window, below the list of themes, there are several buttons for each element included in a theme. The last is the screensaver. To edit the current screensaver or change it with a new one, click Screen Saver.

How to open the screensaver settings window in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, using search is the fastest way to open the "Screen Saver Settings" window. Switch to the Start screen and start writing the words "screen saver." Then, in the list of results, click or tap on "Change screen saver."

Another way is to right-click or long tap on a blank space from your desktop and then click or tap on Personalize.

Alternatively, open the Control Panel and go to "Appearance and Personalization -> Personalization." Then, in the Personalization window, click or tap on the "Screen Saver" button from the bottom-right corner of the window.

How to change the active screensaver in Windows

To select a different screensaver for your Windows PC or device, in the "Screen Saver Settings" window, click or tap on the Screen saver drop-down list. Then, select the new screensaver that you want to use.

If you do not want to use a screensaver, select (None). This is the equivalent of disabling the screensaver for the active Windows theme, and it is also the default option in Windows.

Before you click OK and apply the new screensaver, you can preview it in the mini computer screen from the Screen Saver Settings window. Also, if you want to see a full-screen preview, you can click or tap the Preview button.

If you chose to view a full-screen preview, the selected screensaver is now launched. Do not press any keys, do not move the mouse and do not touch the screen if your display uses a touchscreen. The screensaver runs only if Windows records no user input. When you are done viewing the screensaver, move the mouse or touch the screen and it goes away.

After you get back to the Screen Saver Settings window, you can configure different parameters for how the selected screensaver works.

How to configure the active screensaver

In the "Screen Saver Settings" window you can also see some customization options. For example, in the Wait box, you can set the number of minutes of inactivity after which the screensaver is started.

You can set whether to display the login screen when you resume using your Windows PC or device.

Press the Settings button to access additional settings that might be available for the selected screensaver. By default, in Windows, only two screensavers can be configured in detail: 3D Text and Photos.

The first one of them is the 3D Text screensaver. Here you can type your text, you can change the font, and you can also choose your favorite type of motion. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are many customizing options.

The other screensaver that can be configured in detail is the Photos screensaver. In its customization window, you can choose the folder where your pictures are stored, the slideshow speed and whether you want it to shuffle the photos or not when the screensaver is activated.

Click or tap Save to apply your settings.

If you press the Settings button for the other default screensavers in Windows, you only get a message stating that "This screen saver has no options that you can set."

How to save your new Windows theme and the screensaver assigned to it

Once you make changes to your screensaver, Windows automatically creates a new Windows theme, based on the previous theme that you were using. Its name is Custom if you are using Windows 10, or "Unsaved Theme" if you are using Windows 7 or 8.1. In either operating system, if you want to save your desktop theme, select it and click or tap on "Save theme."

Give it a name you like, and then press Save.

Even if you change your personalization settings, if later on, you want to come back to the ones you have set now, all you have to do is enable this theme. Also, if you would like to read more about desktop themes in Windows and how to configure them, check this guide: How to customize desktop themes in Windows.

Are you still using screensavers on your computer screens?

As you can see, setting the screensaver you want is relatively easy in all modern Windows operating systems. As long as you know where to look for the screensaver settings, any personalization can be done in a matter of seconds. Do you use a screensaver on your Windows PC or device, or do you feel like screensavers are a bit out of date? Share your opinions in the comments section.