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Win7/W2k8 R2 Group POlicy Screensaver setting is not working

A Group Policy is configured to enable Screensaver

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization\
Enable screen saver

but there is no setting defining a ScreenSaverTimeout configured in

Screen saver timeout

The Screensaver won't start in such a configuration by default.

The default ScreenSaver Timeout is configured in the regsitry at this location

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Reg_SZ ScreenSaveTimeOut

since Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 this key does not exist by default.

Without configuring a default timeout via Group Policy, the system does not have a timeout and therefore does not start the screensaver.

There are 2 workarounds to solve this issue

1) Configure a Default ScreenSaver Timeout using Group Policy

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization\

Screen saver timeout

2) Use Group Policy Preferences to configure a new default value for

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop


in a Group Policy applying to users.

User Configuration => Preferences => Windows Settings => Registry

New => Regsitry Item

Action: Create


Key Path: Control Panel\Desktop

Value Name: ScreenSaveTimeOut

Value Type: REG_SZ

Value Data: 600

Using Item Level Targeting (Common Tab of setting) the appliance of this setting can be restricted to systems runnign Windows 7 or WIndows Server 2008 R2

More information
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Article ID: 2616727 - Last Review: 01/24/2013 07:41:00 - Revision: 1.0

  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • KB2616727