How To Change the Windows Logon Screen Saver in Windows XP

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs.

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.


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

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.

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

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.

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

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.

APPLIES TO
? Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition
? Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
? Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition