Why Doesn't My Screen Saver Work?

By Candice Coleman

If a screen saver does not work, it may have been disabled.
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A screen saver that never appears could be disabled, or it may not be set to appear until after many hours of inactivity. You can change these settings to make your screen saver appear in Windows.

Enable the Screen Saver

If a screen saver is not selected, it will never appear. Click the "Start" button at the bottom left of the screen and click on "Control Panel." In the search box, enter "screen saver." Select "Turn screen saver on or off." The "Screen Saver Settings" dialog appears. If the "Screen saver" drop-down menu is set to "None," you must pick a screen saver to activate it. Click on the "Screen saver" drop-down menu and select the desired screen saver. Click "OK."

Change the "Wait" Setting

Open the "Screen Saver Settings" dialog as you did in Section 1. Check the "Wait" setting listed here. Enter the number of minutes necessary for the screen saver to appear. Enter "1" in the "Wait" setting and click "OK." Leave the computer for a few minutes and see if the screen saver appears. If it does, enter the "Screen Saver Settings" dialog again and enter the desired number of minutes before the screen saver appears. Click "OK."

Test Other Screen Savers

Select another screen saver from the "screen saver" drop-down menu in the "Screen Saver Settings" dialog, and click "OK." If the screen saver appears, the problem is with the original screen saver. Make sure that you can trust sources that offer screen saver downloads, as they may sometimes contain spyware or slow down your computer.