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Change screen saver timeout in the registry

Last response: in Windows XP
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June 2, 2005 10:39:16 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

My system is under a group policy as per which the screen saver timeout has
been set to 15 minutes. Since I cannot change it directly, from within the
properties window, I would like to know how I can change it from within the
registry.

Thanks
June 2, 2005 1:53:47 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop
modify the ScreenSaveTimeOut value in seconds (for 10min, value would be
600; 20min, value 1200 etc.)

"Harry" <Harry@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:FD0E61CF-B1D3-4579-85CD-A401CA8E12BE@microsoft.com...
> My system is under a group policy as per which the screen saver timeout
> has
> been set to 15 minutes. Since I cannot change it directly, from within the
> properties window, I would like to know how I can change it from within
> the
> registry.
>
> Thanks
October 9, 2012 2:03:51 AM

It wasn't there in my Windows 7 machine, but found it elsewhere.

I went to the Start menu and searched for regedit.exe. Once found, I right-clicked on resedit.exe and chose "Run as administrator." Clicked away the warning about allowing this program to make changes to the computer.

Once in regedit with elevated privleges, I looked under the Edit menu to use the Find... command, looking for:

ScreenSaveTimeOut

Find gave me results that, when edited, didn't change things, but doing "Find Next" a couple more times, I found the copy that I could edit and change the timeout to a more comfortable 2.5 hours (changing 900 to 9000). Editing the earlier 2 occurences didn't seem to do anything one way or the other, so I re-edited them back to their original values of 900.

My change did not take effect until after I logged out and back in.

It seems it would be trivial to make the timeout as long as you like, or to alter other nearby flags to turn off enforced login or the screen saver function altogether, but I have not tested those changes.

I am no longer under the corporate tyranny of a 15min, Group-Policy-enforced timeout! Dilbert would be proud!

Thanks for the necessary pointers! Hope this helps others!
Related resources
Anonymous
November 19, 2012 2:42:35 PM

BIG UP Jack Kinnerly! :) 

Found (and changed) the first ScreenSaveTimeOut value (to 20min) with the help of youtube etc a few months back...but my work laptop was STILL screen-locking after only 5 minutes, which was incredibly annoying!

Thought I'd have to live with it forever, but it wasn't until I just saw your post that I F3'd and found the REAL culprit lurking further down the registry. It never occurred to me that there could be a second (or even third?) value for this?!?

Jack, you are my hero!

Grant W
May 1, 2013 4:07:49 PM

The key to change is:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
set a value in seconds, e.g. 600 - will give 10 minutes

But Group Policy may override this setting (depending on how you've configured Group Policy)

!