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You have seen pipes, the Windows logo and even slideshows of photos as computer screensavers. How about the prospect of using your family videos (or anything else for that matter) as a screensaver on your Windows desktop?

Well there is a tool from Microsoft that allows you to use videos as a screensaver. Its called Microsoft Video Screensaver.

The download requires you to verify the genuineness of your copy of Windows. Once that is done, the installation is simple and a breeze. You can then access “Video Screensaver” from the “Display Properties” box and then hopping over to the “Screen Saver” tab.

use video as screensaver

Select “Video Screensaver” from the drop down list and click on “Settings” to choose the video you would like to play. You can choose to play the included default video giving you a view of countries all over the world (kind of lame to be frank) or you can choose your own videos.

video screensaver

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Just put all the videos you would like to play in a separate folder if you don’t already have one and point the settings dialog to it. That’s it. You now have a video screensaver waiting for your computer to get idle! I tried the tool with wmv and avi files and it seemed to work flawlessly with both of them.

With that out of the way, now what if you want to get Windows Vista Dreamscene functionality (animated or video wallpapers) ? For similar functionality you can try DreamsceneXP. Dreamscene XP gives you 7 dreamscenes in a variety of resolutions. Follow the following steps to get it running :

  1. Download the dreamscene of your choice.
  2. Extract to any location, Open up display properties and browse to the extracted location and click on index.htm.
  3. Click “apply” and presto you have an animated background!

While Dreamscene limits you to 7 choices, you can use another option (actually more of a hack) to play any of your videos as the desktop background. You can use [NO LONGER WORKS] VLC media player to play a video file in the background as wallpaper.

  1. Choose the video you want to play as background, or optionally create a playlist if you want to play more than one.
  2. Once up and running, right click within the player and check wallpaper.
  3. If you don’t get the wallpaper option go to Settings > Preferences > Video > Output Modules > Direct X and check “Enable Wallpaper Mode”
  4. Also you might want to enable repeating playlist by default so that the background doesn’t turn black after the video finishes running. For this go to Settings > Preferences > Playlist and check “Repeat All”.
  5. use video as wallpaper

There you have it – a video as your desktop background. If the taskbar button bothers you and you want to get rid of it, try something like Trayconizer. Since VLC supports a multitude of formats you can use virtually any file as the background.

Whn it comes to using videos as wallpapers, you may try the previously mentioned methods 5 Desktop Enhancements you Should Definitely Try 5 Desktop Enhancements you Should Definitely Try Read More of using any of your screensavers as the desktop background.

Do you know of any other application that offers a similar functionality? Or have you used the desktop background or screensavers creatively in other ways? Let us know in comments

  1. Ivan Desktop
    October 16, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Thanks, I will share this info on our ( free 3d screensavers website

  2. Victoria
    June 28, 2009 at 12:26 am

    check out this site too they have new stuff!


  3. raghu
    December 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    okay i commented before saying KMplayer does the same as vlc.. its an awesome player.. you could try it not talking about kmplayer for linux.. KMplayer is different and has a million awesome features..
    anyway microsoft video screesaver dint work for me.. it validated my windows n said twas genuine but dint install :(
    is it cos im runnin vista?

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2008 at 8:02 pm

      Yeah, I think it's because you're on Vista. I might have had a simlar probler a while ago.

  4. raghu
    December 10, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    it is because im running vista?

  5. raghu
    December 10, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    you this player called KMplayer does it too.. too bad for me the Microsoft video screensaver dint install.. it validates n says that im have genuine windows but it simply says that it wont install.
    did you try it out?

  6. raghu
    December 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm

  7. T.J. Mininday
    December 9, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I'd like to know what kind of resources this eats up?

    • Varun Kashyap
      December 10, 2008 at 5:06 am

      The same it would use to watch the video as it is.

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