When you open the Windows Live Photo Gallery Screensaver settings dialog, theme controls may be missing and the message "This computer’s video card can’t play themes" is displayed. You might be knowing that the themes in Windows Photo Gallery slideshow as well as in Windows Live Photo Gallery screensaver won’t be enabled if the Graphics card score (Windows Experience Index) is less than 3.0.

Interestingly some users reported that this message was displayed in their systems although the Graphics card score was above 5.0. I worked on this issue for an hour or so, and thought I’d write my observations, solution & a workaround here. The problem seems to occur if Windows Live Photo Gallery is unable to query the Graphics card score for some reason.

First step is to update your Windows Experience Index rating.

Update your Windows Experience Index Score

Login as Administrator (or equivalent.)

Open Control Panel, click System and Maintenance, and then click Performance Information and Tools.

Click Update my score. The assessment will run for few minutes.

After assessment is complete, open Windows Live Photo Gallery Screensaver settings page to see if themes are enabled. If not, try the following step:

Registering the WinSATAPI.dll file

Open an elevated Command Prompt. To open an elevated Command Prompt, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

Register the WinSATAPI.dll file by typing the following command and pressing {ENTER}:

regsvr32 winsatapi.dll

You should see the following message:

The module "winsatapi.dll" was loaded but the call to DllRegisterServer failed with error code 0x80070716.

Never mind about the error code 0x80070716. Restart Windows, and then open Windows Live Photo Gallery Screensaver settings page to see if themes are enabled.

Workaround

If none of the above steps work, you may use the following workaround. Setting the Windows Experience Index manually fixes the problem in most cases. It’s the same old WinSATScore registry value which comes to the rescue. But wait! You’ll have to implement the registry value in a different registry branch.

Creating the "WinSATScore" Registry Value

Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press {ENTER}

Navigate to the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows Live \ Photo Gallery \ Slideshow

Right-click on the key, and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value, and name it as WinSATScore

Double-click WinSATScore, select Decimal, and set the value data to 300 (or higher.)

Exit the Registry Editor.

The Windows Live Photo Gallery Screensaver settings page should now show the theme controls.

Here you see all the themes in the dropdown.

If the WinSATScore registry value exists, the Windows Live Photo Gallery screensaver won’t take the strain to query the Graphics card score using Windows Experience Index API.

Good luck, and enjoy the Screensaver themes!


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39 Comments

  1. said this on Tuesday, June 24th 2014 10:56 am

    @Godfred, Pls mention the OS you use.

  2. Godfred Nyarko
    said this on Monday, June 23rd 2014 10:38 pm

    I followed your instructions. Themes dropdown appeared but when I preview it tell me there are no photos in my photo location. Please help.

  3. Steve
    said this on Thursday, November 28th 2013 5:22 am

    Tried the first part. No change.

    Added the WinSATScore value to the registry and my themes came back.

    Thanks a bunch!!

  4. Christian
    said this on Wednesday, October 16th 2013 12:22 am

    Thanks. The WinSATScore registry step worked perfectly in my Windows 8.

  5. Rick
    said this on Tuesday, October 15th 2013 9:21 am

    The last step worked. Thank you very much for your efforts!!

  6. Candice Howren
    said this on Sunday, October 13th 2013 4:36 am

    I LOVE YOU!!!! It worked! I am computer self taught old lady who loves her slideshow and I was super upset to find the pan and zoom gone this am for no reason. Only thing I think might have caused it is I ran that score assessment yesterday for the first time ever. The score went from a 5.2 to a 5.4 but then today I no longer had the themes. Now I do, thanks to you. I was so afraid to try it but these directions were wonderful and easy to follow and I did it. So I have bookmarked this page and now I am going to subscribe for your tips. Thank you very much.

  7. UTAS
    said this on Wednesday, September 4th 2013 6:56 am

    The work-around works!!! However, I must say that MS has dropped the ball again. If the users have to go through these hoops in 2013 (which happen to be the same hoops I went trough nearly 25 years ago), my question is WHY?!

    But thank you Ramesh Srinivasan. In this regard, you are Rain Man.

  8. Steve O
    said this on Tuesday, September 3rd 2013 11:16 am

    Thank you!!!!! After, I had reloaded my OS I did not click on rate my computer performance. After doing that i now have the “Pan and Zoom” back after loading Windows Photo Gallery back.

  9. Tony
    said this on Thursday, February 21st 2013 7:49 pm

    workaround works,
    Thanks

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