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How to prevent windows users from changing the screen saver

Can someone assist me in how to apply the same screen saver to multiple users on a single PC but not through a group policy? Or let me know if this is even possible?

Thanks for any assistance

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Brandon if just wanted it done on one PC what would be the setting to do to the local machine for multiple users to have the same screen saver?

On the machine you could go into the registry and

  1. navigate to CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  2. In the left pane right click on Windows, and click on New and Key name it control panel (unless it exists)
  3. In the left pane right click Control Panel and click on New and Key name it Desktop
  4. In the right pane of Desktop, right click on a empty space and click on New and String Value value of SCRNSAVE.EXE
  5. Modify and point it to your scr file.

8 Replies

CCRLS is an IT service provider.

Theres an option in the GPO for it

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Display then its screensaver executable name and Screensaver

You could manually go around and set it on each computer. or +1 for Marciab if you decide to use GPO.

One way or another, to do what you want to do, you will probably have to adjust the Group Policy. That means either at the AD level or at the Local level. So here are some directions I have found. I’m not sure if this works or not.

1. Locate the screen saver you would like to use. The default Microsoft screen savers end in the file extension “.scr” and are located in the “%SYSTEMROOT%\System32” directory on the computer. You can also obtain a custom “.scr” screen saver and save it to a location of your choosing.

2. Press the “R” key and the “Windows” key at the same time to open the Run menu. Type “gpedit.msc” into the box, then click “Open.”

3. Expand “User Configuration,” then “Administrative Templates,” then “Control Panel,” then “Personalization.”

4. Locate “Force specific screen saver” in the right panel of the Group Policy Editor. Double-click it.

For corporate environments or control freaks

All users of Windows 7/8/10 have the ability to change the look and feel of their computing experience. This includes cosmetic changes such as the screen saver and lock screen in Windows 10. However, many administrators deny users access to some customization features to create a uniform environment in a work setting. Learn how to prevent users from changing the screen saver in Windows 7/8/10.

Why Prevent Users from Changing the Screen Saver?

Years ago when everyone was using large TV-type CRT monitors, screen burn-in was a real problem that cost companies billions in replacement and repair fees. Today’s LCD and LED monitors are less affected by screen burn-in. Even so, many companies require that users of their PCs maintain a screen saver to save money and prevent replacement costs.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to police all users when it comes to PC settings like screen savers. Administrators correct this issue by setting up screen savers on the many PCs for which they are responsible; using a group policy, they prevent users from changing the screen saver.

Note that preventing users from changing the screen saver does not turn off or prevent the screen saver from running. It simply locks the current screen saver settings so they cannot be changed unless a user with administrative privileges changes it back.

Preventing Users from Changing Screen Saver Settings

Log in to Windows using an account that has administrative privileges. Click on Start>Run to open the Run dialogue box. If you don’t have the Run command on your Start menu, hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the R key. In the Run dialogue box, type in gpedit.msc and click the OK button.

You just opened the Local Group Policy Editor. Notice that in the left hand pane there are expandable folders. Open the folder at

The right hand pane now displays the local group policies located in the Personalization folder. Locate and double click on a policy titled Prevent Changing Screen Saver.

You should now be looking at the Prevent Changing Screen Saver window. If you or no one else has ever changed this setting before, it should still be set to Not Configured by default. Click on the Enabled option, click the OK button, and you are done.

Although not as important as it was years ago, many administrators prefer to set up screen savers on PCs in a work environment to prevent screen burn-in and then prevent users from changing them. Some companies require that all users use a specific screen saver to present a more professional appearance in front of clients.

By denying users the ability to change the screen saver, there is no need to worry about clients seeing a sea of personal photographs and other images displayed on the screens of the computers in an office setting.

It also ensures that screen burn-in doesn’t occur if a user displays just one picture on the screen as a screen saver. The cost savings with this setting can be significant in offices that deploy hundreds if not thousands of computers.

If you are running Windows 10 in your environment and are no longer using screen savers, but rely on the Lock Screen, then you can change some of the options under the following location in Group Policy:

Here you can force the user to use a specific image for the lock screen and logon image, prevent users from changing the lock screen, etc. Enjoy!

Founder of Help Desk Geek and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio

A Screensaver is a computer software program that blanks the screen with moving images or patterns when the computer is not in use. The original purpose of screensavers was to prevent phosphor burn-in on CRT. Though modern monitors are not susceptible to this issue, Screensavers are still used for other decorative/entertainment purposes. In this guide, I will be showing you how to prevent Windows users from changing the screen saver of a windows computer. This sometimes is very necessary for some corporate environments where employees are restricted from setting some inappropriate images as their screen savers. No matter the windows edition you are using just have it at the back of your mind that the process of preventing screen saver is very easy and not a herculean task. By default, Windows comes with six built-in screen savers that you can select from.

In this guide, I will be using windows 10 to demonstrate the best way to achieve this.

After logging on with the appropriate account, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC.

In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key if you want to disable screen saver settings for the currently logged in user:

But note that the following locations is perform the same action and the steps are the same except that HKEY_CURRENT_USER apply only to the currently logged in user, while HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE apply to all users.

It is very possible that you might not see a key named “System” under the Policies key, all you need to do is to create one.

Right-click the Policies key and select New > Key and give it the name “System”. But if the System is already there then skip to the next step.

Next, let’s create a new value inside the System key. Right-click the System key and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. You can name the new value “NoDispScrSavPage” and then double-click the new value to open its properties window. In the Value data box change the value to 1 and click ok.

After configuring all this when you try to open the screen saver setting you should get the below message.

Kindly refer to the YouTube video on how to prevent users from changing the screensaver through the Windows Registry Settings.

I hope you found this blog post on How to Prevent Windows Users from Changing the Screen Saver interesting and helpful. In case you have any questions do not hesitate to ask in the comment section.

A screen saver offers a layer of privacy when you walk away from your screen without locking it. Many people also use images as scene savers to add a personal element to their workspace. However, screensavers can be an irritant when you need to inactively stare at the screen and the screen saver pops out of nowhere. With modern LCD screens, users have a lesser chance of facing screen burn-in than they did with CRT screens. So, the point of having a screen saver has become moot.

Screen savers may interfere with software and programs that you have running. Having the screen on even after not needing the device to be active is a waste of electricity as well. Thus, more and more people are phasing out the use of screen savers on their devices. If you are a Windows 10 users then there are a few ways in which you can easily disable screen savers.

  • Method #1: Disable screen saver through windows settings
    • Option 1 in Windows Settings
    • Option 2 in Windows Settings
  • Method #2: Disable Slideshow in Power Options
  • Method #3: Disable screen saver through Registry Editor
  • Method #4: Disable screen saver using Group Policy

Method #1: Disable screen saver through windows settings

The simplest way to disable your screen saver is by going through the settings. You can choose to turn off the screen saver as well as change the screen out time.

There are two ways in which you can find the settings options from where you can make the relevant changes.

Option 1 in Windows Settings

Go to the start button at the bottom left of the screen.

You will see the settings symbol on the left column once you click on start.

Clicking on settings will take you to the settings home page. You can also press the Windows key+i to open the settings home page.

Select Personalization in settings.

From the left sidebar, select the lock screen option. Scroll down and click on screen saver settings.

Now click on the drop-down menu for ‘Screensaver’ and select ‘None‘.

Click on ‘Apply‘ and the screensaver should now be disabled on your system.

Option 2 in Windows Settings

Right-click your mouse on any empty space of the desktop and select Personalize.

This will directly take you to the Personalization settings. From here you again have to select the lock screen option in the left sidebar.

As mentioned above you can scroll down to find the screen saver settings.

When you click on screen saver settings you will see the screen saver dialog box.

Here you can select the kind of screen saver you want as well as disable the screen saver that you no longer want. From the drop-down menu under screen saver, you need to select none if you want to disable the screen saver.

You simply have to now press apply for the change. You do not need to restart your device. With this, your screen saver is disabled.

Method #2: Disable Slideshow in Power Options

If you are a laptop user looking to save power by disabling screensaver in Windows then you might want to disable slideshow on battery as well. This will prevent Windows from displaying a photo slideshow on battery even if you have a screensaver enabled on your system. Let’s take a look at the procedure.

Right-click on the ‘Battery Icon‘ in your taskbar and select ‘Power Options‘.

Now click on ‘Change plan settings‘ beside your current power plan.

Click and select ‘Change advanced power settings‘.

A new dialog box will now open up. Click on the ‘+‘ beside ‘Desktop Background Settings‘ to see all available settings.

Similarly, click on the ‘+‘ beside ‘Slide show‘.

Now click on ‘Available‘ beside ‘On battery‘.

A drop-down menu should now appear. Click on it and select ‘Paused‘.

Finally, click on ‘Apply‘ in the bottom right corner.

And that’s it! Slideshow will now be disabled for your laptop whenever the charger is disconnected. You can use the same method to disable slideshow when your laptop is powered externally as well.

Method #3: Disable screen saver through Registry Editor

If you want to prevent anyone from enabling the screen saver again you can simply disable it from the Registry Editor.

To open the registry editor you need to press the Windows key+R.

A dialog box will open where you can either type regedt32 or regedit.exe. You can also use the ‘Start‘ menu to search for the same.

UAC will now ask for administrative access in order to help you access the Registry editor. Click on ‘Yes‘ to proceed.

On the left side of the screen, you will see multiple folders under. Start by expanding the HKEY_CURRENT_USER folder.

Now expand the Control Panel to get more keys.

Under the control panel click on Desktop.

Note: Make sure you select the Desktop key instead of expanding it like earlier.

Once you click on the desktop key, on the right side of the screen you will see multiple string values. Scroll and find ScreenSaverActive.

Double-click on this string and under Value Data you will see ‘1‘ if the screen saver is enabled.

Now change the value to ‘0‘ and press OK.

Finally, restart your device and the screensaver should be disabled for you.

Method #4: Disable screen saver using Group Policy

Those who have Enterprise, Education, or Windows 10 Pro versions can disable the screen saver for all users on the same device by editing the Group Policy.

Press Windows key+R to open the Run dialog box. Enter gpedit.msc and then press the Enter key.

This will open the Local Group Policy Editor. Go to User Configuration > Administrative Template > Control Panel > Personalization. Now, click on the ‘Screen saver timeout’ option in the right side.

When you click on the setting a dialog box will open. Here you will find three options:

  • Not Configured
  • Enabled
  • Disabled

For both not configured and enabled, the screen saver will remain on. So, you have to click on Disabled. Once you have disabled the screen saver apply the change.

Group policy editor not available?

Note: If this option is unavailable on your device you will get a prompt that the file name is incorrect. This is likely the case if you are using the Home edition of Microsoft Windows.

Using these methods, you can disable the screen saver on your Windows 10 device no matter the issue. If you have any more questions, use the comments section below to reach out to us.

What I have done in the domain group policy:

User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Temp > Desktop >

After applying this and gpupdate /force my machine the above is not applied to what I need.

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10 Replies

Or am I to believe that such settings are not supported on Windows 10 Pro machines any longer? Only on Enterprise ?

What does GPRESULT /R come back with? Is your GPO being applied?

Or am I to believe that such settings are not supported on Windows 10 Pro machines any longer? Only on Enterprise ?

These settings do work on Windows 10 Pro. I have done it in multiple environments.

Do you have the updated ADMX templates for your level of Windows 10 (1903, 1909, etc.)?

Your policy contains User and Computer configurations. Is the policy linked to a location where it will apply both to your computer object and to your user object in AD?

I am seeing this in your post:

– Enable screen saver (disabled)

That tells me that the screensaver you are trying to force to run is not going to run.

Force a specific desktop background and then Enable Active Desktop needs to be set to (Enabled)

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop > Desktop

Locate “Disable Active Desktop” set to (Enabled)

I thought that would be disabling it for those who already set a screen saver in meantime.
The goal is to disable any screen savers, not be able to change or set one . including the disabling of background image etc.

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  • RichardH-708

These settings do work on Windows 10 Pro. I have done it in multiple environments.

Do you have the updated ADMX templates for your level of Windows 10 (1903, 1909, etc.)?

Your policy contains User and Computer configurations. Is the policy linked to a location where it will apply both to your computer object and to your user object in AD?

Not sure what the ADMX is :/ sorry.
As per the computer being in the object > yes.
Are the users in the object > hmmm thought you only add a computer to the relevant OU or do I also need to add users to it?

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  • Evan7191

Thanks to Evan7191 , I figured that I did not apply the rule to the OU > USERS as well.
Since the policy also contains user configuration.

Silly of me lol

Question: is it possible to apply the Windows Spotlight on Lock screen for all Windows 10 Pro?
If so, what is the option I need to enable or set to.

Seems like the Windows Spotlight is limited:

I thought that would be disabling it for those who already set a screen saver in meantime.
The goal is to disable any screen savers, not be able to change or set one . including the disabling of background image etc.

When you disable the screen saver, no screensaver will run – theirs *or* yours. Enable the screen saver and set which one you want to run, that will override anything the individual users may have set with whatever you set in GPO. And setting it in GPO should not allow the users to change it.

This topic has been locked by an administrator and is no longer open for commenting.

To continue this discussion, please ask a new question.

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If you have a number of computers on your network, you may not want users to have the ability to change the screen savers on their systems.

Frequently, in enterprise situations screen savers are used to provide valuable information to the computer user. For example, in hospital situations the screen saver frequently reminds users of important patient safety information. In government environments they often are used to remind people how to protect data. Additionally, public viewable computers should have the screen saver locked down to make the system appear professional and to eliminate potential security holes.

Through the group policy editor, screen saver restrictions are easy to enforce.

1. First, bring up the Group Policy Editor. This can be done by searching and opening the gpedit.msc file.

2. Now, under Local Group Policy Editor navigate to Personalization. This can be done by following this path:
User Configuration -> Control Panel -> Personalization

3. Under Personalization select the Prevent changing screen saver option.

4. Select Enabled and leave a comment. Click OK to save the settings.

Once this is selected, the user will no longer be able to change the set screen saver.

Writer, author, wordsmith — this tech enthusiast enjoys Starbucks, good reads, and golden retrievers.

We can change screen saver on a computer by changing the settings in display properties. We also have a registry hack to change screen saver settings. These screen saver settings are stored under the following registry key.HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Registry values that control screen saver behavior:

  • ScreenSaveActive
  • SCRNSAVE.EXE
  • ScreenSaveTimeOut
  • ScreenSaverIsSecure

To disable or enable screen saver using registry key

Set the value of the registry value ScreenSaveActive to 0. From command line you can run the below command for doing this.

Reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v ScreenSaveActive /t REG_SZ /d 0 /f

To enable screen saver:

Reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v ScreenSaveActive /t REG_SZ /d 1 /f

To change timeout for activating the screen saver

Set the data in the registry value ScreenSaveTimeOut to the timeout limit in seconds. For example if you want to set the time out to 20 minutes you need to change the value of this registry key to 1200.
From command line you can run the below command to change screen saver timeout limit.

Reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v ScreenSaveTimeOut /t REG_SZ /d 0 /f

To enable or disable password protection when the session is resumed

You can password protection by setting the data in ScreenSaverIsSecure to 1. If you set this to 0, you will not be asked to provide password when you interrupt the screen saver to resume the user session.

From windows command line you can run the below command to enable password for the screen saver.

Reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v ScreenSaverIsSecure /t REG_SZ /d 1 /f

To disable password protection:

Reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v ScreenSaverIsSecure /t REG_SZ /d 0 /f

To change screen saver using registry key

The above registry keys apply to Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista and Windows 7.

The commands for disabling screensaver and for changing timeout appear identical. Is this correct? Thanks in advance!

No, the correct value is ScreenSaveTimeOut to change timeout.
Regards

hi I like to have these hacks for screen saver made into an register file can you email these hacks for turning off screen saver for windows 8 also the time turn off and files to turn them on again that is 4 files I need with register files to double click.
Our upload to website I can download.
Thanks for help.
Yours,
Harold

wondering if you can set the timeout to ‘never’?

Would a value of 0 do that?
(worried it will flip on me and make the screen go permanently off if I try that, so haven’t tried it yet..)

So you meant never activate the screensaver, right? You can refer the section ‘To disable or enable screen saver using registry key’ in this post.

I have managed to disable the screensaver, but the screen still locks itself after a few minutes so I have to ctrl+alt+del and type in my password again. (I have set the ‘ScreenSaveIsSecure’ to 0 already)

Would that be a power setting and a different article?

This is not a screen saver then. The display becomes blank after some time which is controlled by powersettings.
Open powercfg.cpl. Here you can increase the timeout period or set it to never. If you go further to ‘Advanced’ you can disable password prompt after hibernate/standby. Something similar to http://www.technlg.net/windows/disable-password-prompt-hibernate/ (this article is about XP, but the steps are similar in Win7)

Actually, the information above is not correct (or at least not complete) for Win7 Pro.
Yes, deactivating the screensaver from the registry makes it so the screensaver doesn’t start, but the system still locks the screen without a screensaver.
But that behavior is not controlled by the powerconfig control panel.
Interestingly, setting the timeout value for the screensaver to a large number doesn’t change the actual behavior of the screensaver (or the reading on its control panel).

Is it possible to run the screen saver for a limited amount of time then returns to desktop automatically?

There is no REG command.
Why do so many things not work when mentioned in this article?

Sure there is. Did you try it from a command prompt?

What may be throwing some people is if a policy has been set on the system regarding the screensaver. Those settings are in a different location in the registry.
HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop
Here, the same settings you mentioned in your article can be applied.

Is there a way to lock these settings down so users can’t change them? I am looking for a screensaversetting window that has the options grayed out.

From command line you can run the below command to change screen saver timeout limit.

Reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v ScreenSaveTimeOut /t REG_SZ /d 0 /f

TRUE:
Reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v ScreenSaveTimeOut /t REG_SZ /d 1200 /f

Both of those are correct. The one with 1200 sets the screen saver to activate at 20 minutes (1200 seconds). The one with zero means to never activate the screen saver.

I changed both keys, no one works …
but are you sure that they work?

“Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop”
“Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop”

i have Windows 10 PRO 64bit

Hi i dont understand how i change the permission so my screen doesnt lock after 10 minutes. My organization manages this and i cant change it. HELP PLIS!

You can restrict or prevent Users from changing the Screensaver in Windows 11/10/8/7 by editing the Registry or changing Group Policy Editor settings. If you do not like the idea of allowing anyone to change the screensaver of your Desktop, a simple setting will help you prevent the Screen Saver dialog from opening in the Personalization or Display Control Panel.

If you are running the Pro or Business editions of Windows, you can use the Group Policy Editor. But if you are using a Home edition of Windows, you will have to do is edit the Registry. Let us see how to do it.

Prevent Users from changing the Screensaver

Using Windows Registry

Open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “Regedit.” Now, in the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following registry key for disabling screen saver settings for the currently logged in user:

If you would like to disable screen saver settings for all users of the same PC at once, navigate to this key:

Apart from the hive, everything about those two locations is the same. The basic difference between the two is while items in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE apply to all users, items in HKEY_CURRENT_USER apply only to the currently logged-in user.

Once there, look for “System” entry under the Policies key. If you do not find, you’ll need to create one. To do so, simply right-click the Policies key and choose New > Key. Name the new key “System.”

Create a new value inside the System key by right-clicking in the right side and choosing New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value as “NoDispScrSavPage”.

Thereafter, double-click the new value to open its properties window and change the value from 0 to 1 in the “Value data” box.

Click “OK” and close the Registry Editor.

Using Group Policy Editor

Run gpedit.msc to open the Local Group Policy Editor and navigate to the following setting:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization.

On the right side, double-click the Prevent changing screen saver setting to open its Properties window.

Select Enabled, click Apply and exit.

It prevents the Screen Saver dialog from opening in the Personalization or Display Control Panel.
This setting prevents users from using Control Panel to add, configure, or change the screen saver on the computer. It does not prevent a screen saver from running.

That’s it! The changes made by you can also be reversed. Try this and let us know if the method works for you.

TIP: Points 4 & 5 of this post will show you how to prevent changing your Desktop background wallpaper.

– Last updated on October 14, 2008 by VG

If you run a company, you might want to set your company logo or any particular wallpaper on all of your users’ desktops. On the other hand, if you use a single system you might still want to have your desired wallpaper on Desktop and it really annoys when someone changes the wallpaper.

So if you are tired from people changing the wallpaper and want to prevent users from changing it everyday, then this tutorial will help you.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn a way to set your desired wallpaper on Desktop and no one will be able to change it neither from Desktop Properties nor by right-clicking on an image and select “Set as Desktop Background“.

So here we start our tutorial:

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box or Start Menu Search box and press Enter. It’ll open registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:

3. Under “Policies” key, create a new key “System“. It might already exist in some systems.

4. Now select “System” key and in right-side pane, create a new STRING value Wallpaper and set its value to the exact path of your desired wallpaper. You can use .JPG and .BMP files in this method.

e.g. if your wallpaper exists in “E:\Wallpapers\Wall1.JPG”, then set the same path as value of “Wallpaper”.

5. You can also set the wallpaper style e.g. Centered, Tiled or Stretched. Create a new STRING value WallpaperStyle and set its value to as following:

  • 0 (Centered)
  • 1 (Tiled)
  • 2 (Stretched)

6. That’s it. Now restart or log off your system and no one will be able to change the wallpaper.

NOTE:

Also check out another method to restrict changing Desktop background in following tutorial:

PS: If you also want to disable the “Desktop” tab in Desktop Properties, then you can visit following tutorial:

And if you want to prevent Registry Editor so that no one can delete those new STRING values, then visit following tutorial:

You are here: Home » Troubleshooting Guides » How to Restrict Users from Changing Desktop Wallpaper in Windows?

About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award. He holds Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA). He has written several tech articles for popular newspapers and magazines and has also appeared in tech shows on various TV channels.

Comments

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It does not work for me. Can right click desktop and change background to whatever I want after a system restart.

Thanks Guys, anyone got any other suggestions for preventing users from making their PC a more user-friendly experience?

As an administrator I can’t use my user name to change applications and or change the background even if I’m in the Administrator group, and if I login as an Administrator I have permission to do every thing…I’m stumped….

If you mean preventing users saving wallpaper saying “**** “, then, er, yes!

@BOFH
Spot on my friend. What a ridiculous thing for a business to do.

Under policies if system is not available then what will do

^^ Its mentioned in point 3. If the key is not present, you’ll need to create it manually.

Thank you for you valued input on this subject.

For a long time, I have had many people think it is cute to change my computer background to the blank screen background — which is nothing but a blue screen, which looks pointless!! The idea of a desktop background is to show the beautiful picture which in relation goes with the four seasons: “spring, summer, fall and winter”.

Also the screensaver gets changed without consent, and that is irrating.

But thanks to your advice, I can now lock out people from changing it, unless asked about it first.

How do I undo the same in future, If I want to change the setting.

Do I directly need to delete the key?

Kindly let me know.

^^ Yes. Just delete the 2 Strings created in the tutorial.

I only want to restrict one user logon. Our systems have 3 each (one is the admin). Its the general one I need to restrict. Do I logon at the user I want to restrict and make the registry changes? I don’t want the forced background of the general user to affect the “normal” background of the other 2 users.

^^ Yes. Log into that user account and apply the tweak.

it works when i try to change my wallpaper from pictures i have saved on my computer, but when i change it from a photo off google it still changes the photo, any clue why ??

Hi today i am wondering how to disable user’s from accessing or changing the windows desktop background from where only an admin can change them and i need to know how to put this code into my application so when a user clicks a button they automatically change the privileges to admin so that guests on the computer cant change the desktop background or personalize it without putting in the admins user name and password.

For those who failed to fix the issue, they can try searching for the key “NoChangingWallPaper” and set the value to 1

The full path is “HKEY_USERS\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Policies\ActiveDesktop”

Very useful. I’d lke to know if there is a way of applying this to any/all accounts, rather than one in particular. Would that be under local machine? or is it only for individual accounts?

Windows settings come with a lot of features that users can personalize according to their needs. The lock screen and logon image can also be changed in the Windows settings easily. However, these settings can also be disabled through Local Group Policy. It is a great idea for enterprises or admins to keep these settings protected from public users. This will prevent users from changing the background image that is shown when the system is locked or on the logon screen.

We have also included a registry method through which you can modify these settings because the Group Policy is not available on Windows 10 Home Editions.

Restricting Lock Screen settings

Prevent Changing Lock Screen and Logon Image

Changing the lock screen or logon image settings is enabled by default in Windows. This is one of the common settings that should not be disabled unless needed. Users can disable the lock screen and logon image settings and enable it anytime through the below methods. If you disable this setting, the user will not be able to change their lock screen and logon image, and they will instead see the default image. Both of the below methods work the same; however, the user can choose whichever tools they have and are familiar with.

Method 1: Preventing Customization of Lock Screen through Local Group Policy

In this method, we will be using the Local Group Policy Editor to disable the lock screen settings. The Local Group Policy Editor can be used to configure and manage the Windows operating system. Most of the policies already exist in Local Group Policy, so users just need to configure it.

Note: The Local Group Policy Editor is only available on Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Education editions. If you have a different Windows 10 version, then directly jump to method 2.

If the Local Group Policy Editor is available on your system, then follow the below steps to prevent users from changing the lock screen and logon image:

  1. Hold the Windows key and press R to open the Run dialog. Now, type “gpedit.msc” and press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor. Choose Yes to agree to the UAC (User Account Control) prompt. Opening Local Group Policy Editor
  2. Use the left pane in the Local Group Policy Editor to navigate to the following location: Opening the policy
  3. Double-click on the Prevent changing lock screen and logon image policy in the right pane. This will open a new window for the specific policy, now modify the toggle from Not Configured to Enable. Then, click on the Apply/Ok button to save the changes. Enabling the policy
  4. Now the settings for lock screen and logon image in the Windows settings will be disabled and users will be prevented from changing it.

Method 2: Preventing Customization of Lock Screen through Registry Editor

Another way to prevent users from customizing the lock screen or logon image is by using Registry Editor. Unlike the Local Group Policy editor, this requires a bit extra steps from users. Some of the keys/values will be missing in Registry Editor, so users need to create it manually. Follow the below steps to prevent users from customizing the lock screen and logon image through Registry Editor:

Is there a recommended way to prevent the Windows screensaver from starting? The closest thing I’ve found is this article, but what I would really like to do is just tell Windows that the computer isn’t idle rather than fooling with the currently set screensaver values.

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For testing, I set the screensaver to 1 minute and required a password.

I tried capturing SC_SCREENSAVE and returning -1 in VB .Net. As commented, it works when there is no screensaver password but fails if the screensaver password is active. (I tried it in Windows XP). I also put this into a Timer’s tick event, every 1000 milliseconds:

It doesn’t work. The cursor jiggles back and forth and after 1 minute the screensaver flashes on for a short instance and then turns off. The screensaver turns on for only a moment, not long enough to require a password. But still, the flash is ugly.

Then I tried using user32.dll’s SetCursorPos and GetCursorPos. You can look them up at pinvoke. Same result as above.

Then I peeked at the code of “JiggleMouse” mentioned elsewhere in this question. JiggleMouse uses SendInput. SendInput works! No flash of the screensaver. I put a call to SendInput inside of a Timer that triggers every 50 seconds (just less than the minimum screensaver timeout of 60 seconds). It’s sufficient to move the mouse by a delta of 0,0, no real movement. That does work. The code to put in the Tick event:

This comes from pinvoke.com:

Subtle. The official way to tell Windows that the system is not idle is SetThreadExecutionState. This resets the idle timer, (or turns it off, if you pass ES_CONTINUOUS ). However, even though SetThreadExecutionState resets the idle timer, it does not stop the screensaver!

Specifically, the SPI_SETSCREENSAVEACTIVE parameter.

Does this not work? I was surprised that I did not see it here. Note that SetThreadExecutionState will not affect the screen saver at all, just the sleeping of the display.

I use Mouse Jiggler to reset the idle state. This gets around a Group Policy that tends to start my screensaver (and lock the machine) at inopportune times: when I’m reading a long document, studying a complex chunk of code, or talking/listening/not-constantly-typing during a meeting.

As it can be slightly annoying to have the mouse jump 1px diagonally every second, I intend to use AutoHotKey to write a script that does basically the same thing, but only after a configured keyboard/mouse idle timeout, and maybe use the Shift key (or Scroll Lock) instead of a mouse move.

Windows does not start the screen saver if any of the following conditions exist:

  • The active application is not a Windows-based application.
  • A CBT window is present.
  • The active application receives the WM_SYSCOMMAND message with the wParam parameter set to the SC_SCREENSAVE value, but it does not pass the message to the DefWindowProc function.

There’s a caveat though:

Windows Vista and later: If password protection is enabled by policy, the screen saver is started regardless of what an application does with the SC_SCREENSAVE notification.

That seems to apply even if you use the SetThreadExecutionState with ES_CONTINUOUS.

So, if it weren’t for the caveat, your choices would be:

  1. SetThreadExecutionState with ES_CONTINUOUS (as described in other answers).
  2. Put up a computer-based training window (which requires hooks).
  3. Don’t let the WM_SYSCOMMAND with SC_SCREENSAVE be passed onto DefWindowProc. (Assuming you care only when your application is the active application.)
  4. Install a dongle that simulates mouse jiggle.

The last option is nice in that it works even with the password protection policy.

In Windows 7+, use the Power Management API’s PowerSetRequest() with PowerRequestDisplayRequired

In previous versions of windows, intercept the WM_SYSCOMMAND – SC_SCREENSAVE message as detailed in Eddie Parker’s answer.

This blog post details what you need to do in C++.

The actual code snippet from the website:

Can’t believe no one has pointed out the easy and obvious solution:

As Adrian McCarthy mentioned from MSDN that :

If password protection is enabled by policy, the screen saver is started regardless of what an application does with the SC_SCREENSAVE notification.

So catch the event from WM_SYSCOMMAND using UINT SC_SCREENSAVE and discarded it by returning 0 or by creating a fake mouse move (“mouse_event(MOUSEEVENTF_MOVE, 0, 1, 0, 0)”) will not work properly if the user enabled password-protected screen saver option.

Use SetThreadExecutionState winAPI to tell the operating system that the thread is in use, even if the user is not interacting with the computer. These will prevent to appear screen saver and stop the machine from being suspended automatically.

There are series of flags to specify a new state for the current thread:

  • ES_AWAYMODE_REQUIRED (0x00000040) : Enables away mode.
  • ES_DISPLAY_REQUIRED (0x00000002) : Forces the display to be on by resetting the display idle timer.
  • ES_SYSTEM_REQUIRED (0x00000001) : Forces the system to be in the working state by resetting the system idle timer.
  • ES_CONTINUOUS (0x80000000) : Informs the system that the state being set should remain in effect until the next call that uses ES_CONTINUOUS and one of the other state flags are cleared.

As it’s a winAPI, you can call this directly in win32 or mfc application

If someone wants to use this in C#, must have to PInvoke this :

User-Defined Types:

Here below is the calling procedure:

According to MSDN this API is safe also to use.

The system maintains a count of applications that have called SetThreadExecutionState. The system tracks each thread that calls SetThreadExecutionState and adjusts the counter accordingly. If this counter reaches zero and there has not been any user input, the system enters sleep.

If the Application crashed before resetting flag, the System will adjust and will reset automatically.

Screen saver, also often written as screensaver, is disabled by default in Windows 11. The feature still exists in Windows 11 but you have to manually turn it on if you want to use it. This guide will show you how to turn on/off, change and configure the screensaver settings in Windows 11.

Screen saver or screensaver is a computer feature that display an animation or image when the computer has been idle for a certain period of time. In Windows, the screen saver can also be set as a still picture or blank screen instead of an animated one. Screen saver is also often used as an extra layer of security by displaying the logon screen on resume, requiring user to re-enter password to re-access to the device, if the device is left alone for too long.

The screen saver settings is an old control panel settings that is not in the Windows 11 Settings app. To open screen saver settings, you have to search for it via Start menu or Search app using the keyword “screen saver” or “screensaver“.

  1. Search for Screen Saver Settings window via the Start menu, Search or Settings.
  2. In the search result, open either “Change screen saver” or “Turn screen saver on or off“. Both open the same screen saver settings window.

Tips:Before clicking OK or Apply, you can click on the Preview button to preview how the screen saver you have selected would look like when it’s active.The available screen saver options for Windows 11 are None, 3D Text, Blank, Bubbles, Mystify, Photos and Ribbons. There are many third party apps and programs that provide more awesome and customizable screen savers for Windows. You can look for and install these apps if you are bored with the default Windows screen savers.

How to change screensaver settings

By default, the Blank, Bubbles, Mystify and Ribbons screen savers do not have further options that you can set. It will prompt a warning message that tells you “No options – This screen saver has no options that you can set” when you click on the Settings button.

3D Text screensaver:

For 3D Text screensaver, click on Settings to customize the 3D text and how it should appear on the screen. Enter a custom text you want to show as the 3D text in the “Custom Text” field. If you prefer to show current time instead of custom text, select “Time“. To choose a specific font for the 3D text, click on “Choose Font”

Photos screensaver:

If you select Photos as your screen saver, click on Settings and then click on Browse to browse to the folder where the pictures you want to show as the screen saver are stored. Windows will use the pictures from this folder as a slide show in the screen saver.

How to turn off screen saver in Windows 11

To turn off screen saver feature entirely, follow the steps above to open Screen Saver Settings.

Then, under Screen saver, click on the drop-down menu and select “None“. Click Apply, then OK to save the changes.

Disable Windows screen saver

To disable the screen saver:

Windows 8 / 10

– To open Control Panel, on your keyboard press the Windows key + R, then on the Run dialog type control and press return.

In the ‘Search control panel’ box, type in screen saver and then select ‘Turn screen saver on or off’

– Change the ‘Screen saver’ drop down box to ‘(None)’ and then click on the ‘Apply’ button.


Disable the Windows power management monitor standby

Monitor standby is where Windows turns off your monitor as a power saving feature, which is useful for notebooks and netbook computers.

To disable monitor standby:

Windows 8 / 10

– To open Control Panel, on your keyboard press the Windows key + R, then on the Run dialog type control and press return.

In the ‘Search control panel’ box, type in screen saver and then select ‘Turn screen saver on or off’

– Click on the ‘Change power settings. ‘ button to open the ‘Power Options’ screen

– Look at the selected power ‘Plan’ and check on ‘Change plan settings’

– Change both ‘Turn off display’ drop down boxes to ‘Never’

– Change both ‘Put the computer to sleep’ drop down boxes to ‘Never’

– Also change the ‘Dim the display’ boxes to ‘Never’ as well

– Click on the ‘Save changes’ button

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While screen savers are not entirely necessary anymore, many users prefer them to keep a computer secure while they’re away, or allow them to view a slideshow of their favorite photos. This page shows you how to enable and disable the screen saver option in Microsoft Windows and macOS. To proceed, choose your operating system from the list below and follow the instructions.

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10
  • Windows XP
  • macOS

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10

  1. Press the Windows key , type Change screen saver, and then press Enter .
  2. Under the Screen saver section, click the down arrow on the right side of the selection box ( A ).
  3. To enable, select a screen saver from the list. To disable, select None.
  4. Once you’re done, click Apply ( B ) and then OK ( C ).

You may adjust the amount of time before the screen saver activates by changing the number of minutes in the box next to Wait.

Windows XP

  1. Press Ctrl + D to minimize all open programs.
  2. Right-click an empty space on the desktop.
  3. Select Properties from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Click the Screen Savertab at the top of the window.
  5. Under the Screen saver section, click the down arrow on the right side of the selection box.
  6. To enable, select a screen saver from the list. To disable, select None.
  7. Once you’re done, click Apply and then OK.

You may adjust the amount of time before the screen saver activates by changing the number of minutes in the box next to Wait.

macOS

To enable or disable screen savers on a MacBook or iMac, follow the steps below.

  1. In the menu bar, click the Apple icon to open the Apple menu, and select System Preferences.
  1. Click the Desktop & Screen Saver icon in the System Preferences window.
  1. In the next window, click the Screen Saver tab near the top. Then, click the box next to Start after.
  1. In the drop-down menu that appears, there are several options. If you choose a time, the screen saver is enabled, activating after the specified number. If you choose “Never,” the screen saver is disabled.