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Setting the Screen Saver

A screen saver is a utility that causes a monitor to blank out or display images after a specified time passes without keyboard or mouse activity. (Pressing a key or moving the mouse deactivates the screen saver.) Screen savers were developed to prevent hardware damage to your monitor, but today's monitors don't need that protection, so modern screen savers provide decoration or entertainment instead. A screen saver also can password-protect your computer and hide your screen when it takes effect.

To set a screen saver:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Screen Saver (Figure 4.11).

    Figure 4.11

    Figure 4.11 Set your screen saver's wait time carefully so your boss won't realize how long it's been since you did anything.


    Right-click an empty area of the desktop and choose Personalize > Screen Saver.

  2. Choose a screen saver from the drop-down list.

    (To turn off the screen saver, choose None from the list, click OK, and then skip the remaining steps.)

  3. Specify how long your computer must be idle before the screen saver activates. Try 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Click Settings to see any options for the selected screen saver—to change color or animation style, for example.
  5. (Optional) Check On Resume, Display Logon Screen to display a logon window when you begin using your computer after screen-saver activation.
  6. Click Preview to see a full-screen preview of the screen saver.

    Press a key or move your mouse to end the test.

  7. Click OK (or Apply).

To use personal pictures as a screen saver:

  1. Make sure you have two or more pictures in a folder on your computer (usually, your Pictures folder).
  2. In the Screen Saver Settings dialog box (refer to Figure 4.11), choose Photos from the drop-down list.
  3. Click Settings to pick the folder containing your pictures and set other options (Figure 4.12).
    Figure 4.12

    Figure 4.12 The Photos screen saver scrolls through all the pictures and videos in the selected folder.

  4. Click OK or Save in each open dialog box.
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