Disable screensaver using registry settings

by admin on December 1, 2010

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

Read the post  Change screen saver from windows command line using registry key

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

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

John Clark March 21, 2014 at 4:38 pm

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

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Daniel January 14, 2015 at 11:57 am

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

admin January 14, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Corrected now.

Harold March 26, 2015 at 2:46 pm

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

Reply

Chihuahua April 24, 2015 at 11:26 am

Hi,

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..)

Reply

admin April 24, 2015 at 5:31 pm

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.

Chihuahua April 29, 2015 at 7:31 am

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?

David Taber June 5, 2015 at 1:54 am

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).

Reply

admin April 29, 2015 at 7:22 pm

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.windowstipspage.com/disable-password-prompt-hibernate/ (this article is about XP, but the steps are similar in Win7)

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