• ARTICLES
SEARCH

How-To Geek

Customize the Default Screensavers in Windows 7 and Vista

Windows 7 and Vista include a nice set of backgrounds, but unfortunately most of them aren’t configurable by default.  Thanks to a free app and some registry changes, however, you can make the default screensavers uniquely yours!

Customize the default screensavers

If you’ve ever pressed the Customize button on most of the default screensavers in Windows 7 and Vista, you were probably greeted with this message:

sshot-14

A little digging in the registry shows that this isn’t fully correct.  The default screensavers in Vista and 7 do have options you can set, but they’re not obvious.  With the help of an app or some registry tips, you can easily customize the screensavers to be uniquely yours.  Here’s how you can do it with an app or in the registry.

Customize Windows Screensavers with System Screensavers Tweaker

Download the System Screensavers Tweaker (link below), and unzip the folder.  Run nt6srccfg.exe in the folder to tweak your screensavers.  This application lets you tweak the screensavers’ registry settings graphically, and it works great in all editions of Windows Vista and 7, including x64 versions.

Change any of the settings you want in the screensaver tweaker, and click Apply.

sshot-16

To preview the changes to your screensaver, open the Screen Saver settings window as normal by right-clicking on the desktop, and selecting Personalize.

image

Click on the Screensaver button on the bottom right.

image

Now, select your modified screensaver, and click Preview to see your changes.

image

You can change a wide variety of settings for the Bubbles, Ribbons, and Mystify screensavers in Windows 7 and Vista, as well as the Aurora screensaver in Windows Vista.  The tweaks to the Bubbles screensaver are especially nice.  Here’s how the Bubbles look without transparency.

sshot-18

And, by tweaking a little more, you get a screensaver that looks more like a screen full of marbles.

sshot-19

Ribbons and Mystify each have less settings, but still can produce some unique effects.

 sshot-22

How’s that for a brilliant screensaver?

sshot-24

And, if you want to return your screensavers to their default settings, simply run the System Screensavers Tweaker and select Reset to defaults on any screensaver you wish to reset.

sshot-20

Customize Windows Screensavers in the Registry

If you prefer to roll up your sleeves and tweak Windows under-the-hood, then here’s how you can customize the screensavers yourself in the Registry.  Type regedit into the search box in the Start menu, browse to the key for each screensaver, and add or modify the DWORD values listed for that screensaver using the Decimal base.

regedit_Start

Please Note: Tweaking the Registry can be difficult, so if you’re unsure, just use the tweaking application above. Also, you’ll probably want to create a System Restore Point.

 image

Bubbles

To edit the Bubbles screensaver, browse to the following in regedit:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Screensavers\Bubbles

Now, add or modify the following DWORD values to tweak the screensaver:

  • MaterialGlass – enter 0 for solid or 1 for transparent bubbles
  • Radius – enter a number between 1090000000 and 1130000000; the larger the number, the larger the bubbles’ radius
  • ShowBubbles – enter 0 to show a black background or 1 to show the current desktop behind the bubbles
  • ShowShadows – enter 0 for no shadow or 1 for shadows behind the bubbles
  • SphereDensity – enter a number from 1000000000 to 2100000000; the higher the number, the more bubbles on the screen.
  • TurbulenceNumOctaves – enter a number from 1 to 255; the higher the number, the faster the bubble colors will change.

Ribbons

To edit the Ribbons screensaver, browse to the following in regedit:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Screensavers\Ribbons

Now, add or modify the following DWORD values to tweak the screensaver:

  • Blur – enter 0 to prevent ribbons from fading, or 1 to have them fade away after a few moments.
  • Numribbons – enter a number from 1 to 100; the higher the number, the more ribbons on the screen.
  • RibbonWidth – enter a number from 1000000000 to 1080000000; the higher the number, the thicker the ribbons.

Mystify

To edit the Mystify screensaver, browse to the following in regedit:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Screensavers\Mystify

Now, add or modify the following DWORD values to tweak the screensaver:

  • Blur – enter 0 to prevent lines from fading, or 1 to have them fade away after a few moments.
  • LineWidth – enter a number from 1000000000 to 1080000000; the higher the number, the wider the lines.
  • NumLines – enter a number from 1 to 100; the higher the value, the more lines on the screen.

Aurora – Windows Vista only

To edit the Aurora screensaver in Windows Vista, browse to the following in regedit:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Screensavers\Aurora

Now, add or modify the following DWORD values to tweak the screensaver:

  • Amplitude – enter a value from 500000000 to 2000000000; the higher the value, the slower the motion.
  • Brightness – enter a value from 1000000000 to 1050000000; the higher the value, the brighter the affect.
  • NumLayers – enter a value from 1 to 15; the higher the value, the more aurora layers displayed.
  • Speed – enter a value from 1000000000 to 2100000000; the higher the value, the faster the cycling.

Conclusion

Although the default screensavers are nice, they can be boring after awhile with their default settings.  But with these tweaks, you can create a variety of vibrant screensavers that should keep your desktop fresh and interesting.

Link

Download the System Screensavers Tweaker

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 04/19/10

Comments (2)

  1. Richard

    Nice tool…but I noticed that the ‘Reset to Defaults’ doesn’t work for the Bubbles screensaver. After selecting ‘Reset to Defaults’, the settings do not get reset. I also closed the app and then re-opened it – the settings were still not set to the default settings.

  2. Boris Park

    nice app and tutorial, but
    one HUGE typo
    “…\Current Version\…” is one word (without a space)
    in the tutorial, and maybe the app
    easy to correct if following tutorial, but the app doesn’t work (works for bubbles)
    at least for me

    :)

Get Free Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 134,000 newsletter readers

Email:

Go check your email!