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How To Change the Windows Logon Screen Saver in Windows XP

Published: November 23, 2004
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When you start Windows, you may be presented with the Windows XP welcome screen, which prompts you click your user name to begin, or you may be presented with a Welcome to Windows dialog box that prompts you to press CTRL+ALT+DEL to log on. By default, if you do not press a key for 10 minutes, the Windows logon screen saver (Logon.scr). To change the logon screen saver, follow these steps.

  • Click Start, Run and type REGEDIT and press Enter
  • Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

  • In the right pane, double-click SCRNSAVE.EXE

  • In the Edit String dialog box, type the name of the screen saver that you want in the Value data box, and then click OK. For example, if you want to use the Mystify screen saver as your logon screen saver, type ssmyst.scr.

IMPORTANT:  Make sure that you correctly specify the path to the screen saver. If the screen saver is located in %SystemRoot%\System32, the explicit path is not required.

  • If you need to alter the time-out value, set the ScreenSaveTimeOut value in Seconds

  • Quit Registry Editor

Simpler method using Tweak UI PowerToy for XP

Automate the above task using Tweak UI for Windows XP. See this page for more information on how to copy / apply the Wallpaper, Background, Screensaver and other settings to the logon screen using Tweak UI Powertoy from Microsoft.