How to Disable Screensaver Policies in the Registry

Updated April 17, 2017

Screensavers can help to prevent screen burn while also adding a custom look to your computer. By default, Windows users can change their screensaver settings to anything they want. In some business or other settings, system administrators may want to disable screensaver settings for users to ensure that all computers have the same screensaver policies in effect. Administrators can disable screensaver settings by editing the Windows registry.

Click "Start" and then "Run" if using Windows XP or an earlier version of Windows. Click the Windows orb and then in the "Search" dialogue box if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7. Enter the command "regedit" with no quotes to open the Registry Editor.

Browse to the user key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop" in the left side of the window.

Right-click in the right side of the window. Point to "New" and choose "DWORD Value." Name the new DWORD value "ScreenSaveActive."

Double-click on "ScreenSaveActive." Set the value to 0 to disable all screensavers as well as the screensaver settings page in the Windows Display options.

Close the Registry Editor to automatically save changes.


You can also create a new string value named "SCRNSAVE.EXE" and set its value to a screensaver (*.SCR) file to enable a screensaver which users can't change.


Be careful when modifying the registry. Improper changes may permanently corrupt your Windows installation.

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About the Author

David Somerset has been a writer intermittently for 11 years. He attended New Mexico Tech and earned a Bachelor of Science in technical communication in 2007. From being published in the "Bucksworth Community News" to writing how-to articles for eHow, his experience is quite diverse.