8 Ways to Fix Screensaver Not Working on Windows

By | April 1, 2022

Is your screensaver not working on Windows? Here’s how you can check the settings and solve this problem.

Windows comes with many personalization options, one of which is a simple screensaver. You can set any design, image or text to add fun to your screen at rest. However, sometimes the screensaver stops working, leaving you with a blank and boring screen.

If your computer doesn’t display a screensaver no matter how long you wait, our guide will help you fix it. Also, we’ll show you what to do when the screensaver freezes or when you can’t get out of screensaver mode.

Turn on Screensaver Via Settings

By default, the Windows screen saver is disabled. So, if you don’t remember configuring the settings, there’s a good chance you’ll need to enable them from Windows settings to get started.

Follow these steps to enable the screensaver and personalize it:

  • open Settings by pressing the button Windows + I keyboard shortcut.
  • open Personalization.
  • From the left pane, select Lock screen.
  • Click Screen saver settings.
  • Use the drop-down menu Screen saver to select a screensaver. You can check the screensaver display by clicking Preview.
  • Use the field next to Wait to set how many minutes of screen inactivity the screensaver starts.
  • Click Apply > OK to save your new screensaver settings.

If you want to lock your computer after the screensaver starts, check the option On resume, logon screen display. Also, set the wait time to a minute or two when you first activate the screensaver so you can test if it’s working properly.

Notes: If you have not activated Windows, you cannot adjust the screensaver settings.

Disconnect External Devices You No Longer Need

If you set up a screensaver and it’s off, try wiping some devices that you no longer use. External devices such as joysticks, cameras, or headphones can stop your system from triggering the screensaver.

If you disconnect all unnecessary devices and the screensaver still doesn’t start, you should try other solutions from our list.

Change Sleep Time on Your Computer

If your computer takes less time to enter sleep mode than it takes to trigger the screensaver, you will never see the screensaver. This is because your computer was already in sleep mode before the screensaver had to be triggered.

To fix this, you need to adjust the sleep time or screensaver wait time. Follow the steps presented above to change the screensaver wait time. If you want to adjust your sleep time, follow these steps:

  • open Settings.
  • open System > Power & sleep.
  • Under sleep, use the drop-down menu to set a new time.

Notes: You must set a new time for On battery power, PC goes to sleep after and When plugged in, PC goes to sleep after option.

Check Presentation Settings

Windows has many tricks that you may not know about and presentation mode could be one of them. While it’s great for a business environment because it doesn’t interrupt your speech, it turns off the screensaver.

To turn off presentation mode, right click Start and head to Mobility Center. Then, click the button Turn Off under Presenting. If you want to check other settings, click the icon Projector.

Run the Power Troubleshooter

If you can’t find anything wrong with the screensaver settings, it’s time to turn to Windows troubleshooting tools.

Running the Power troubleshooter can fix the screensaver issue.

  • Click Start and open Settings > Update & Security.
  • From the left pane, select Troubleshooter.
  • Click Additional troubleshooters.
  • open Find and fix other problems.
  • Click Power > Run the troubleshooter.

The troubleshooter will fix any problems it detects on its own. After that, check if the screensaver is working.

Run SFC Scan

If there are corrupt system files or is corrupted which is stopping the screensaver from working properly, System File Checker should fix the problem. Launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges and use the command sfc /scannow to start the scanning process.

The process may take a while, so make sure you or someone else doesn’t close the Command Prompt window. If it finds a corrupted or corrupted file, SFC will replace it automatically.

Reset Power Plan Settings

Since the screensaver is a power feature, some distorted power settings can stop the screensaver from triggering.

In this case, returning the power plan settings to default will fix the problem. Here is how you can do it:

  • open Control Panel.
  • From the menu View by, choose Large icons or Small icons.
  • open Power options.
  • Click Change plan settings > Restore default settings for this plan.

Update Display Driver

If your computer screensaver is working, but the screensaver is stuck, you should update the display driver. Although graphics card drivers are usually updated through Windows Update, it is possible that you are using a driver that is not included in Windows Update.

In this situation, you can update the display driver manually through Device Manager. Here is how you can do it:

  • Type device manager in the menu search bar Start and choose the most suitable.
  • Expand Adapter list Display.
  • Right click the graphics driver and select Update drivers.
  • In the pop-up window, select Search automatically for drivers.

You can also look for available updates on the manufacturer’s website as long as you make sure that you install an update that is compatible with your system.

Is Your Computer Stuck In Screensaver Mode

There are also cases when the screensaver works so well that you want to get back to work and can’t get out of it. If you try to use the mouse and nothing happens, maybe your mouse is wrong.

Try disconnecting and reconnecting or checking the battery if you are using a Bluetooth mouse. Also, clean your desk or mouse pad so that no dust prevents your mouse from working properly.

If there’s nothing wrong with your mouse and you still can’t get out of screensaver mode, press Ctrl + Alt + Del then Esc. Apart from that, pressing the Windows key will help you.

Personalize Your Computer

Screen savers were developed to keep old monitors from getting burned. On a CRT monitor, if the image is displayed for a long time, it will burn.

While modern monitors don’t have this problem, you can still use a screensaver to bring back some nostalgia for the old system or personalize your screen when it’s idle.