How to change the Windows Logon screen saver in Windows XP

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q314493
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
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.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  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 screensaver starts. The default setting is 600 seconds (10 minutes).

To change the length of time before the logon screen saver starts, follow these steps.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  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 have us turn off the logon screen saver for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me



To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix itbutton or link. Click Runin the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.



Notes
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Then, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.



Let me fix it myself

To turn off the logon screen saver, follow these steps.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  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.


Did this fix the problem?

  • Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me" blog or send us an email.
References
For more information about how to change logon window and shutdown preferences, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
291559 How to change the logon window and the shutdown preferences in Windows XP
fixit fix it fixme
Properties

Article ID: 314493 - Last Review: 12/07/2015 08:22:41 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowtomaster kbhowto kbenv kbui kbfixme kbmsifixme KB314493
Feedback