How to use the screen saver in Windows 11

Windows 11 screen saver window

Screensavers are technically outdated in Windows 11 these days, but you still need them to automatically lock your computer after a certain period of time. It’s also a fun way to customize your PC, but Windows 11 hides it away by default. Here’s how to set one up.

First, click on the Start button on the taskbar and type “screen saver”. In the “best match” results below, click “Change screen saver”.

(You can also find a link to the screensaver settings window in the Settings app under Personalization > Lock screen > Screen saver.)

Open start, search "screen saver," then press "Change the screen saver."

The Screen Saver Settings window will open. In the drop-down list under “Screen saver”, select a screen saver from the list. The default options in Windows 11 go back to Windows Vista, so it hasn’t been significantly updated in a while. Here’s what everyone does:

  • 3D text: The text you choose is displayed in 3D and moved around the screen.
  • Empty: Blank black screen.
  • bubbles: Colorful bubbles bounce off the screen.
  • baffled: Angled and curved colored lines bounce around the screen.
  • Pictures: Show an image slideshow on your screen.
  • Strips: Multicolored ribbons rotate around your screen.

Select the screen saver in the drop-down menu.

Once you’ve made your selection, you can change the screensaver settings by clicking the Settings button. You can also preview what it will look like when clicking Preview is activated.

Next, use the box next to Wait to set the screensaver delay in minutes. If your computer remains idle for this length of time, the screensaver will automatically activate. And if you want to lock your computer (and display the login screen) when the screen saver exits, check the box next to “On resume, show login screen.”

Choose a time in "wait" Window.

Next, click OK, then close the screensaver settings window. The screen saver will activate after the time you specified as long as the computer has not received any keyboard or mouse input during that time. If you change your mind, you can revisit the Screensaver Settings window by searching for Screensaver in Start, the Settings app, or in the Control Panel. Good luck and God bless you!

Related: How to Lock Your Windows 11 PC

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