5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows)

Saikat Basu 13-03-2009

make your own screensaverIf you are reading this on your own “˜personal’ computer, you will agree that computers are indeed that – personal. Screensavers for many are maybe a thing of the past, once being needed to prevent phosphor “˜burn-ins’ on CRT and plasma monitors. Today we use it mostly for visual appeal.


And that takes us to the download pages of the many screensaver sites out there. The one problem? They aren’t too personal or one never knows which one could be a malware pushing host.

To have the best of both worlds, why not make some of our own? Here are some ways to make your own screensaver without all the coding mumbo jumbo.

The Easiest Way To Make A Screensaver

It’s right there in Win XP and Vista!

Win XP

how to make a screensaver windows xp

  1. Arrange your desired screensaver photos in a folder of your choice (or use the default My Pictures folder).
  2. Right click anywhere on the desktop to access the Display Properties applet. Select the Screen Saver tab and then drill down to Screen saver – My Pictures Slideshow – Settings.
  3. Configure the settings according to the options given and your first self made screen saver is ready to roll.


Vista makes it even easier to organize your photos through the Windows Photo Gallery feature. Within it are the tools to turn your pictures into a screensaver.

  1. Click on File – Screensaver – Settings.
  2. Choose Screen Saver list, and then select Photos.
  3. The Settings for the screensaver allows you to further customize the screensaver –
  • You can show only pictures with a particular tag : Type the tag in the With this tag box that is associated with the pictures.
  • Display only pictures with a particular rating : Click a star rating on the With this rating or higher list.
  • Apply a slide show theme to your screen saver : Select one from the Use this theme list.
  • Play your pictures and videos in random order : Check the Shuffle contents box.

The PowerPoint Way

We all get those high impact motivational PowerPoint attachments in our inbox sometime or the other. We can turn these into engaging screensavers quite easily with the help of PowerPoint 2007. I have one which shuffles around motivational quotes whenever my computer goes inactive.

    1. Open the presentation that will become your screensaver in PowerPoint 2007.
    2. Click on Office Button – Save As – Other Formats to open the Save As window.

      how to make a screensaver slideshow

    3. Through the Save As window, select an empty folder or create a new one to hold the PowerPoint images.
    4. Enter any file name you want. In the Save As Type dropdown scroll down to select any of the image formats (GIF, JPG, TIFF, PNG, BMP). Click Save.

screensaver powerpoint slideshow

  1. PowerPoint gives an option to save every slide or the current slide only as an image. Select one to click OK in the next dialog box to finish this part of the process.


  2. The screensaver can then be activated using the Display Properties – Screensaver tab as mentioned earlier.

Note: This method though fails to retain any animations, transitions and embedded rich media present in the original PowerPoint slide.

The Picasa Way

Picasa is one of the best free photo management apps out there and it has a nifty feature which allows you to set screensaver properties.

  1. Open Picasa and click on the Tools menu.
  2. Select Configure Screensaver. The system’s Display Properties applet appears with the Screen Saver tab active.

    5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows) 4 picasa menu

  3. The Settings button takes us into the configurable part of Google Photos Screensavers. Set the photo transition styles (collage, wipe, fade, pan and zoom etc.) from a dropdown, the photo duration (between 0 to 24 seconds) with the slider and photo captions with the checkbox.

    5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows) 5 picasa settings

  4. Google Photos Screensaver gives us many sources – Picasa collection, online Google Web album, public photo sites with photo feeds and specific folders to choose from. The Configure button for each source allow for individual settings.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

The Flickr Way

You can get photo feeds from Flickr using Google Photos Screensaver. Another option is to use an open source tool called Flickr.NET Screensaver. This small application gets photos from Flickr and displays them as a screensaver. It enables you to select a wide range of photos, including your own, your contacts, and your favorites or from a group or global tag.

You can also get photos that are locked as private through an authentication which checks your permission to view a private Flickr album. The download is small at 423 KB and all it requires is .Net Framework 2.0 to install and run.

  1. The application can be run from the Display Properties applet. Choose Flickr in the dropdown list of the applet and to configure the Settings.
  2. Choose from the three – Per User, Per Group or Everyone, to source your photos. A few sub-options help to narrow down your choices.

    5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows) 6 flickr

  3. The Options tab is where you can play around with most of the screensaver display and duration settings. For instance, the three Drawing Methods (Plain, Postcard, and Moving) control how the photos will be rendered on the screen.

    5 Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers (Windows) 7 flickr options

    With 3 Billion plus images to choose from, that’s a lot of stock for your screensaver.

    The Flash Way

    If you want rich and animated content for your screensaver then Flash is the way to go. And InstantStorm fits the job. This free Windows only software helps you to create Flash based screensavers as executable files.

    create your own video screensaver

    The user just has to choose the SWF file, configure the options and compile it into an executable file for installation as a screensaver. An integrated settings dialog designer allows you to customize the content of the screensaver’s settings dialog which is accessed through the Settings button in system display properties. Screensaver preview and settings dialog preview allows you to check out your work before you compile it into an executable.

    InstantStorm is compatible with Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista.

    Even though I am among those who believe that the best screensaver is to power off the monitor, I have never resented a self-created and personal screensaver for myself.

    If you’d rather leave all the work to someone else, why not download one of these awesome screensavers for Windows 10 Awesome Free Screensavers for Windows Cool screensavers can make your PC look awesome when it's not in use. Try these awesome free screensavers for Windows 10. Read More ?

Related topics: Microsoft PowerPoint, Screensaver.

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  1. Goabaone Gift Seolo
    June 17, 2017 at 10:39 am

    This is the best advise I have encountered on screen savers. Thank you.

    September 11, 2016 at 2:01 am


  3. natalie
    February 11, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I am 22 years old but i am u sing my moms email address

    • Gunna Natathanal
      July 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Better than using your Dad's.

  4. WNCmountaingirl
    November 1, 2009 at 2:36 am

    If you have kodak easy share simply copy pics (right click on pic and copy) then paste into another folder and label it screensavers (makes it easier to find)....then follow the directions in this article using windows (XP or vista)

  5. chris
    October 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I am creating a slide to unlock screen saver like the iphone but on computer..

    • michbex
      December 19, 2009 at 10:03 am

      Is this yours?

  6. Shannon
    August 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    all of my pictures are on Kodak Easy Share and i do not know how transfer them from kodak to my pictures

    • Saikat
      August 21, 2009 at 2:03 am

      Hi Shanon,

      I don't have a Kodak camera, so really can't tell you first hand. Why don't you google for the answer. Check this video. See if it helps. Let us know if it worked out.

    • WNCmountaingirl
      November 1, 2009 at 2:37 am

      If you have kodak easy share simply copy pics (right click on pic and copy) then paste into another folder and label it screensavers (makes it easier to find)….then follow the directions in this article using windows (XP or vista)

  7. Cyril
    June 5, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I create screensavers for my clients with Bytescout SWF to Screensaver Scout utility. It actually is a flash movie extractor which then turns flash into screensaver or exe installator. So, it is "The Flash way". Of course, the prog is not free, but for clients screensavers must be excellent.

  8. Karen Leslie
    May 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks for the article. I'm going to be creating a screensaver to help my clients remember the principles of successful personal finance (which basically is more mindset than money - with the correct mindset the money will follow).

    I'll try these ways first to see what it looks like and then decide whether I need to create it some other way.

    Karen Leslie

  9. sunny
    May 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Nice post, I also found another good article, it supplies 3 ways to create screensaver

    • Highland
      May 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm

      3 ways to create screensaver. I love the method which creates the screen savers from PowerPoint slideshow. It is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  10. neeraj
    March 17, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I an using screenswift for making screensavers out of flash files. Its very easy to use.

  11. Dreamparlour
    March 15, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Yes, you are right. I prefer the simpler screensavers, preferably self created, to the download ones. Thanks for this informative article.

  12. Jon Howard
    March 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    What about screensavers that do more? I'm a programmer - I want to do something more powerful than just display images! :)

    • Mark O'Neill
      March 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      What do you want the screensaver to do exactly?

    • Saikat
      March 15, 2009 at 1:03 am

      Hi Jon,
      I covered some of the simpler ways to make screensavers. Screensavers can be complex programs too depending on what you want it do (as Mark asks you). Here's what Wikipedia says...

      Screensavers are usually designed and coded using a variety of programming languages as well as graphics interfaces. Typically the authors of screensavers use the C or C++ programming languages, along with Graphics Device Interface (GDI), DirectX, or OpenGL, to craft their final products. Several Mac OS X screensavers are created and designed using the Quartz Extreme graphics layer. The screensaver interfaces indirectly with the operating system to cause the physical display screen to be overlaid with one or more graphic 'scenes'. The screensaver typically terminates after receiving a message from the operating system that the mouse has been moved or a key has been pressed.

      Here's a resources to help you out...

  13. Jersey Bob
    March 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    A couple of years ago, I used Flash to create a screen saver for a client, using a different swf-to-scr converter. One that I had to pay for!

    The screen saver had a purpose. My client was hosting a conference and had several PCs set up in a lobby for people to check their e-mail. The artwork I created was a large, animated logo and some text about how great their company was.

    • Saikat
      March 15, 2009 at 1:04 am

      That's one of the simpler (and professional) ways you can create and use screensavers...another part of company branding.

  14. cidman2001
    March 14, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Good source Electric Sheep is by far the coolest screensaver available.

  15. Arun shivaram
    March 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I'm using picasa screensaver now. Should try the flash alternative- instant storm.