How To Change The Screensaver In Windows Vista

Years ago, people used screen savers to protect their monitors and to prevent what geeks call “burn in.”

Burn in, screen burn or phosphor burn in occurs when there is text or a static image that is displayed too long on a screen that’s not active, and a distortion results. Even when turned off, this distortion can be seen on the monitor.

You’d think that with improved CRT technology, screen savers would outlive their usefulness. Far from it. They’re very much around - one, they make your computer screen secure, and two, they’re fun and entertaining.

For example, if you work with confidential data and you can’t afford to let anyone see the information when you leave your desk, the password-sensitive screen saver kicks in and wards off prying eyes. As for their entertainment function, how many times have you passed work stations in your office and noticed the colorful splish-splash of screen savers darting to and fro?

Windows Vista screen savers are worth a look. Maybe they won’t make it to a historical museum but they’re a visual delight.

Follow these steps to choose your Windows Vista screen saver or to see what’s available:

• right click on your desk top.
• choose “personalize”.
• click on screen saver (third from the top).
• a dialog box “screen saver settings” pops up: there’s a picture of a monitor, and underneath this is a small box with a pull down arrow.
• click on that arrow to see a list of screen savers: 3D, Aurora, Blank, Bubbles, Mystify, Photos (our favorite), Ribbons, Windows Energy and Windows Logo.
• next to the pull down arrow is a box called “settings.” Not all screen savers can be set. Say you like Aurora. If you click on settings, Windows will say, “this screen saver has no options that you can set.” Only a few screen savers can be set like 3D text.
• if you choose 3D text and click on settings, another dialog box appears with a slew of options: resolution, size, rotation speed, rotation type (none, spin, sea saw, wobble, tumble). You also get to choose surface style (texture, reflection or custom).
• when you click on any of these options, Windows gives you the chance to preview it.

Note: If you downloaded a Vista screensaver from the internet then follow the installation instructions that come with the screensaver. You can also save the .scr file in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. Once you have saved the Vista screensaver to that directory it will be available from the standard list of screensavers.

Instead of Windows Vista Screen Savers, Can You Use Your Own?

Windows Vista was smart enough to know that not everyone will like the built-in Windows Vista screen savers. So Microsoft made it possible for users to create a screen saver with their own photos.

To use your own photo or picture as screen saver:

• go to desk top and right click.
• select “personalize” and then click on “screen saver”.
• dialog box “screen saver settings” appears.
• click on pull down arrow and select “photos”.
• if you saved your pictures in “My Pictures”, click on “settings” and there will be a section in the box where it says “browse”.
• when you’ve chosen the photo, click save, and then click OK.

Creating a Slide Show of Photos as Screen Saver

• go to Windows Photo Gallery.
• click the pictures you want to display in the slide show. If you have more than one picture, hold down the CRTL key and click on those photos you want to include.
• click the “slide show” button located at the bottom of the photo gallery.
• if you don’t choose any picture, Windows Vista will play all the photos filed in the picture gallery once you click on “slide show.”
• remember that you can control the speed of your slide show.

Tip # 1: people like to apply several themes to their Windows Vista screen savers so that pictures (and videos) can be displayed in a variety of ways. Some themes cover the entire screen with one picture at a time, while others will show several simultaneously.

Tip # 2: not all slide show themes work on all computers, says Microsoft. If the screen saver can’t run with a particular theme, your computer’s video card needs to be replaced with a more powerful one.

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