How Screensavers Work

By: Jeff Tyson

Your Own Screensaver

In Windows 95/98, you can configure a screensaver easily:

  1. Click Start, then click Settings and go to Control Panel.
  2. When the Control Panel window opens, double-click on the Display icon. This brings up the Display Properties window.
  3. Select the Screensaver tab, and select the screensaver you want to use from the drop-down menu.
  4. Determine how many minutes you want the system to be idle before Windows launches the screensaver, and enter that amount of time in the box provided.
  5. You can click on Preview to see what it will look like in full-screen use. If you want to change the settings, click Settings. Depending on the screensaver, this window can have one or more options that you can modify.
  6. Once you have finished changing the settings, click OK. You can also use the screensaver for security by checking the "Password protected" box. Click OK again and your screensaver is set to go!

There are several ways to get a screensaver:


  • Use one of the standard screensavers that comes with Windows
  • Buy a screensaver collection
  • Download one of the thousands of free screensavers on the Internet
  • Use a program that allows you to design your own screensavers
  • Create a screensaver from scratch by writing the actual code

Commercial screensaver collections were very popular several years ago, but the growth of the Internet has resulted in the availability of such a variety of free screensavers that few people are willing to pay for them anymore. Programs like Screen Saver Builder allow you to combine images, animations and sounds to create your own custom screensavers. If you are a programmer, there are numerous online resources that supply you with technical information, and even source code, so that you can write your own screensavers. And when you have created that incredible new screensaver that everyone is going to want, there are several sites that you can upload it to in order to share it with the world!

For more information on screensavers, including screensaver download sites, check out the links below.

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