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How to change the Windows Logon screen saver in Windows XP Page 1 of 3

How to change the Windows Logon screen saver in Windows XP


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This article was previously published under Q314493


Article ID : 314493
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Last Review : December 1, 2007
SUMMARY Revision : 1.8
Change the Logon Screen Saver
Change the Logon Screen Saver Timeout Time
Turn Off the Logon Screen Saver
REFERENCES

SUMMARY
This step-by-step article describes how to change the default logon screen saver in Microsoft Windows XP. Specifically,
the article discusses how to change the type of screen saver that starts, the timeout before the screen saver starts,
and whether a screen saver is turned on before the logon process.

When you start Windows, you may be presented with the Windows XP welcome screen, which prompts you click your
user name to begin, or you may be presented with a Welcome to Windows dialog box that prompts you to press
CTRL+ALT+DEL to log on. By default, if you do not press a key for 10 minutes, the Windows logon screen saver
(Logon.scr) starts.

Change the Logon Screen Saver


To change the logon screen saver, follow these steps.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious
problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps
carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a
problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article
number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

1. Click Start, and then click Run.


2. In the Open box, type regedt32, and then click OK.
3. In the Registry Editor window, locate the following registry key:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

4. In the right pane, double-click SCRNSAVE.EXE.


5. In the Edit String dialog box, type the name of the screen saver that you want in the Value data box, and
then click OK. For example, if you want to use the Mystify screen saver as your logon screen saver, type
ssmyst.scr.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you correctly specify the path to the screen saver. If the screen saver is located
in %SystemRoot%\System32, the explicit path is not required.
6. Click Exit on the File menu to quit Registry Editor.

The logon screen saver changes to the screen saver that you specified.

Change the Logon Screen Saver Timeout Time


You can also change the time that elapses before the logon screen saver starts. The default setting is 600 seconds (10
minutes).

To change the length of time before the logon screen saver starts, follow these steps.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious
problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps
carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314493 11/4/2008
How to change the Windows Logon screen saver in Windows XP Page 2 of 3

problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article
number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

1. Click Start, and then click Run.


2. In the Open box, type regedt32, and then click OK.
3. In the Registry Editor window, locate the following registry key:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

4. In the right pane, double-click ScreenSaveTimeOut.


5. In the Edit String dialog box that appears, type the number of seconds after which you want the screen saver
to start in the Value data box, and then click OK. For example, if you want the screen saver to start after 5
minutes, type 300.
6. Click Exit on the File menu to quit Registry Editor.

The length of time that elapses before the logon screen saver starts is changed to the value that you specified.

Turn Off the Logon Screen Saver


To turn off the logon screen saver, follow these steps.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious
problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps
carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a
problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article
number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

1. Click Start, and then click Run.


2. In the Open box, type regedt32, and then click OK.
3. In the Registry Editor window, locate the following registry key:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

4. In the right pane, double-click ScreenSaveActive.


5. In the Edit String dialog box, type 0 in the Value data box, and then click OK.
6. Click Exit on the File menu to quit Registry Editor.

The logon screen saver is turned off.

REFERENCES
For more information about how to change logon window and shutdown preferences, click the following article number
to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

291559 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291559/) How to change the logon window and the shutdown preferences
in Windows XP

APPLIES TO
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional
• Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

Keywords: kbhowtomaster kbhowto kbenv kbui KB314493

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314493 11/4/2008
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http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314493 11/4/2008