How do I install a screen saver

Screensaver: Sources, Setup, and Notes


Screen savers have not been used to protect the screen for a long time since the death of the CRT monitor. However, these are still suitable for personalizing your own computer. How do you explain where to find free screensavers, how to set them up and what else you have to pay attention to.

Aquariums with bubbling fish and a meditative effect, endlessly continuing colorful pipelines or 3D animations - these variants of the screen saver have a real nostalgic value, but are old shoes for many. In the following lines you can find out where you can get new screensavers for more variety and how to set them up.

Originally, a screen saver was supposed to prevent a constant image from being burned into the screen of a CRT monitor. Today, however, most CRT monitors have been displaced by LCD or OLED screens. Still, both Windows and macOS still offer a small selection of screen savers.

Free choice

In addition to the existing screen savers, additional screen savers can also be installed. The Internet offers an inexhaustible source for replenishment as freeware or partly also paid software. When making a selection, personal preferences clearly count and the overall rule is: There is nothing that does not exist. From the waterfall to the classic aquarium to the screensaver with characters from your favorite series.

Beware of viruses!

Screen savers are a particularly popular hiding place for malware and adware. Under no circumstances open zip or exe files that your virus scanner warns you about. Even if your virus scanner does not warn you, it is a good idea to check the file manually. You can usually initiate a manual check by right-clicking on the relevant file. Alternatively, you can upload the file to be checked to Virustotal and have it checked.

You can find a large selection of free screensavers on the following pages, for example:

This is how you install the new screensavers

Most screensavers for Windows and Mac can be used directly after the setup of the downloaded .exe or .dmg file; for a few, a restart is necessary so that the newcomer appears in the list of selectable screensavers.

Select screen saver

Under Windows you can reach the screen saver settings in two ways. You can either right-click on the desktop and select "Customize" in the context menu and then "Screen saver" (Windows 7) or "Lock screen" and then "Customize screen saver" (Windows 10). Alternatively, you can enter "screen saver" in the Windows search and call up the corresponding entry.

How to select a different screen saver under macOS is explained step by step in a separate instruction.

The correct system setting

So that the screen saver also starts - i.e. the screen does not switch off beforehand - you should take a look at the energy settings of your system. In Windows you enter "energy options" in the search, select the item "change energy saving settings" and set a corresponding time for the screen to switch off.

Under macOS you open the system settings via the apple menu or the Spotlight search and select the item "Save energy". Use the slider next to "Idle state for the monitor" to set a suitable time.

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