HOWTO: How to Set a Screen Saver Through a System Policy

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The options that are available to system policies can be enhanced through incorporating user-defined .adm files. The following .adm file will add the ability to configure screen saver options through a system policy.


This policy enables three options in the user-based portion of a policy:

  • The choice of screen saver.
  • Enabling the screen saver.
  • Enabling the password for the screen saver.
The screen saver will use the Default Wait time of 15 minutes. To use this policy, perform the following steps:

  1. Enter the text below that is between the rows of hyphens (-) into a text file and save it as Scrsave.adm in the Winnt\Inf folder.
  2. Open System Policy Editor and click Options and then click Policy Template.
  3. Add Scrsave.adm to the listed template files.
  4. The additional options will show under any user or group in the policy, with a label of "Screen Saver Policies."
Scrsave.adm <start>

   CATEGORY  !!Screen_Saver_Policy
           POLICY !!Screen_Saver
           KEYNAME "Control Panel\Desktop"
                   PART !!Screen_Saver_Location EDITTEXT
                   DEFAULT !!DEF_SCREEN_SAVER
                   VALUENAME SCRNSAVE.EXE
                   END PART
           END POLICY
           KEYNAME "Control Panel\Desktop"
                   VALUENAME ScreenSaveActive
                   VALUEON "1" VALUEOFF "0"
           END POLICY
           POLICY !!ENABLE_Password
           KEYNAME "Control Panel\Desktop"
                   VALUENAME ScreenSaverIsSecure
                   VALUEON "1" VALUEOFF "0"
           END POLICY

   Screen_Saver_Policy="Screen Saver Policies"
   Screen_Saver="Screen Saver"
   ENABLE_SCREEN_SAVER="Enable Screen Saver"
   Screen_Saver_Location="Enter the location of the Screen Saver"
   ENABLE_Password=Enable Password
Scrsave.adm <end>

For setting the amount of system idle time after which the screen saver will start:

In the CATEGORY !!Screen_Saver_Policy section add:
KEYNAME "Control Panel\Desktop"
VALUENAME ScreenSaveTimeout
In the [strings] section add:
SCREEN_SAVER_IDLE_TIMEOUT="Screen Saver Activation Timeout"


For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

161334 Guide To Windows NT 4.0 Profiles and Policies (Part 1 of 6)

185589 Guide To Windows NT 4.0 Profiles and Policies (Part 4 of 6)
For additional information, please also see the Windows 95 Resource Kit, pages 518-524.


Article ID: 195655 - Last Review: October 31, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
kbhowto KB195655

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