How to Download a Screensaver

by Lita McLeary

A screensaver is a small application of an animated image that automatically appears when the computer has not been used for a particular period of time. Screensavers were originally developed to prevent the permanent "etching" of an image in the computer screen. Today, screensavers are primarily used to liven up a screen or password-protect a user's screen from unauthorized access.

Open a Web browser and search for a website that has downloadable screensavers. Note that many screensavers can be downloaded for free, while other websites would require you to pay a certain fee to download the available screensavers. Some websites, however, allow you to download a trial version but still requires you to pay for a fee when the trial version expires.

Navigate to the download page of the website and browse through the available screensavers. If the website has a search option, type the keywords of the type of screensaver that you want to download and click "Search," "Find" or something similar.

Download the screensaver that you like and save it to your desktop for easier access. The file will be downloaded as an "EXE" or executable file. Navigate to the location of the downloaded file and double click on it. Wait until it is successfully installed to your computer. Upon installation, the screensaver shall automatically belong to the list of screensavers in "Display Properties."

Navigate to your desktop and right click on an open space. If you are using Windows XP, click "Properties" to open the "Display Properties" dialog box. Select the "Screen Saver" tab and click on the drop down arrow under "Screen Saver." If you are using Windows Vista, right click on the desktop and click "Personalize. From the list of options, select "Screen Saver."

Click on the drop down menu under "Screen Saver" and select the name of your newly downloaded file. Set the time delay you want the screensaver to appear (applies to both XP and Vista). If you want to password-protect your computer to avoid unauthorized access upon ending the screensaver, click the check box for "On resume, password protect" (Windows XP), or "On resume, display logon screen" (Windows Vista). Click on "Apply," and then "Ok."

To change the settings or add a custom text to the screensaver, click on "Settings" and then customize it according to your preferences. Click "Ok" when you are done.

About the Author

Lita McLeary started writing professionally for the "Philippine Inquirer" in 1989, a daily national newspaper. She has written for private online clients for over seven years. At present, she writes full-time for various websites. McLeary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts from the University of the Philippines.