How to Stop a Screen Saver From Freezing

By Nina Nixon

A frozen screen saver makes computing a little less fun.
i border image by Dave from

Screen savers can freeze up for different reasons, although commonly more fun and complex animated files may use more memory than ones with less graphical elements. So, when activated, the CPU may spike. The screen saver's settings may need an adjustment to fool it into removing any noticeable glitches. If you downloaded your screen saver from a non-trustworthy source, it could be corrupted. A few straightforward tips will warm up your screen saver and get it out of the deep freeze.

Change Your Screen Saver Wait Time

Click the "Start" button and then click "Control Panel."

Type "screen saver" in the search box and then click "Turn screen saver on or off."

Click the down or up arrow next to "Wait" to lower or raise the minutes of computer inactivity before the screen saver appears and then click "OK." If your screen saver still freezes up, continue. (Note: Making a minor adjustment here to alter the screen saver's timing somewhat is worth a try.)

Repeat Steps 1 through 3 and then choose a different screen saver from the Screen Saver list. If your screen saver still freezes up, continue to the next section.

Terminate Unnecessary, Currently Running Processes

Close out of any currently running software programs that you are not using. If your screen saver still freezes up, continue.

Right-click the taskbar and then click "Start Task Manager."

Click the "Processes" tab and then click "Show processes from all users." (Note: Type in your administrator password or provide confirmation, if prompted.)

Click those processes with high CPU usage that can be ended safely and then click "End Process." Right-click a process and then click "Go to Service(s)" to see its associated services, which are shown on the Services tab. If your screen saver still freezes up, visit the computer manufacturer's website to see if there are any available updates for your computer.