Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Screen Saver Savvy

Monday, November 22nd, 2004 by | Filed Under: Desktop Enhancement, Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks

Screen Saver Savvy

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to get your screen saver to run on *your* command and not after a certain amount of time has elapsed? Well, you guessed it, there is. You simply place a shortcut on your desktop for the screen saver(s) of your choice.

Now, before we start plopping little screen saver shortcuts all over your desktop, keep in mind that if you have a screen saver that normally comes on after a certain amount of time, you may need to disable it.

It’s not a problem if the screen saver you make a shortcut to is the one you normally run. It becomes a problem when you have a shortcut to a screen saver other than the default one. What happens is Windows ends up running two screen savers simultaneously. Just because you manually start a screen saver doesn’t mean that Windows won’t start your default saver after the specified amount of time elapses.

The solution, if you wish to manually run screen savers other than the default saver, is to go to your screen saver control panel and select “none” for your screen saver. Again, if the shortcut you make is for your default saver, you have no problem.

OK, enough of that. To make a screen saver shortcut, do the following:

1. Right-click the Windows Desktop and select New, Shortcut from the little menu that pops up.


2. A screen will pop up asking you for a command line. Click the Browse button.

3. A box will pop up that allows you to hunt for the file you need the shortcut for. By default, it filters results only for program file extensions (.exe). Your screen savers end with the extension .scr , so you’ll need to select All Files from the File of type drop down box. Win 2000 users will have a slightly different screen, but it works in a similar way (no drop box – “all files” are automatically selected).


4. Next, navigate to your Windows directory (or WINNT directory for Win 2000/NT). Your screen savers will be there, either under the Windows directory itself or under the System (system32 folder in Win 2000/NT) folder. In fact, you’ll probably find that most are in the system folder. The screen saver will have the same name as it does on your screen saver control panel.


5. Once you locate the screen saver of your choice, just double-click it . That will take you back to the shortcut setup screen. Click Next then give the screen saver an appropriate name and click Finish .


That’s it. You should now have a screen saver icon on your desktop. Just double-click it to launch your screen saver. You could create shortcuts for all your favorite screen savers following the procedure above.


Now for an extra trick.

If you need to keep your computer secure from prying eyes, you can set up a screen saver password (just like you normally would on the screen saver settings screen). Just click the shortcut to your screen saver when you step away from your desk. Instant protection.

Last trick.

As I mentioned above, if you place shortcuts on your desktop for screen savers other than the one Windows normally launches, you should go to your screen saver panel and select “none” for your screen saver, otherwise you’ll get two running at the same time.

If you do this, you can still use the little password protection trick above. Before you select “none,” make sure you password protect your current screen saver. When you select “none,” it will disable the “password” button on your screen saver control panel. However, as long as you have previously set a password, Windows will still ask for it if you manually run any screen saver. Cool, huh?

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive