How To Modify Hidden Settings of Windows 7 Screen Savers

One of the things that users liked in Windows XP was the ability to modify configurations of screen savers that came with windows. However, Microsoft has removed the interface that allows users to alter their settings in Windows Vista and Windows 7. So when users click on ”Settings” in the “Screen Saver Settings” window for Bubbles, Mystify and Ribbons, they receive a message saying: “This screen saver has no options that you can set.”

The settings are still there, however they can’t be changed from the normal Windows interface. Hence, we have to use the Windows Registry to do so. :)
Here’s how:

Open the “Screen Saver Settings” window

  • Right-click anywhere the desktop
  • Select “Personalize”
  • Click on “Screen Saver” at the bottom right

Now leave this window open as we are going to need it to see the changes we make to the screen saver.

Open the Windows Registry

  • Click on the “Start”
  • Type in “regedit” in the search bar
  • Choose “Yes” if a “User Account Control” message appears

We are going to use the Windows Registry to alter the settings for the screen savers: Bubbles, Mystify and Ribbons.

Modifying the Settings

  • Go to the location: “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionScreensavers” by clicking on the arrow sign to expand each ‘key’.

You should see 4 other keys: Bubbles, Mystify, Ribbons and ssText3D. These are the names of the screen savers that we are going to modify their settings. You will then find same names in the “Screen Saver Settings” window, except for ssText3D. ssText3D refers to “3D Text” screen saver. We don’t need to change it since its settings can be easily changed through the “Screen Saver Settings” window.

The following tables show the information we are going to use for each screen saver. You may want to skip this until we need it.

We are going to create a DWORD value for the option we want to alter using the Name of DWORD Value column for its name and the Values to enter column for its value.

  • In the Windows Registry, click on the name of the screen saver you want to modify.

You should see “(Default)” on the right side.

To create a DWORD value

  • Right-click anywhere on the right side of the Windows Registry Editor
  • Choose “New” and then “DWORD (32-bit) Value”
  • Enter the name of the DWORD value using the tables above (e.g. “NumRibbons”)
  • If you would like to change the name of a DWORD value: Right-click it and choose “Rename”

Refer to the table of the screen saver you’d like to edit…

To edit the value of the DWORD value

    • Double click the DWORD value (or right-click on it and choose “Modify”)
    • Select “Decimal”
    • Enter the value you want using the tables above in the textbox under “Value data” (e.g. “30” for “RibbonWidth”)

Refer to the table of the screen saver you’d like to edit…

To test the screen save

  • Go to the “Screen Saver Settings” window
  • Select the screen saver’s name
  • Click “Preview” every time you want to see how it looks
  • After you’re done and satisfied, press “OK” to apply and exit

Additional Tips

If you’d like to save your screen saver settings to apply them another computer:

  • Go to the Windows Registry editor
  • Go to the location: “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionScreensavers” by clicking on the arrow sign to expand each ‘key’.
  • Right-click on the ‘key’ with the screen saver’s name
  • Choose “Export”
  • Browse for the location you want and press “Save” after giving it a filename

To install the screen saver settings on another computer:

  • Go to the location of the file you exported before
  • Open the file
  • Choose “Yes” if a “User Account Control” message appears
  • Choose “Yes” again to the warning message

If you face any difficulties, or there is something you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask in the “Comments”…

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7 Responses to How To Modify Hidden Settings of Windows 7 Screen Savers

  1. mona June 18, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    I used it to modify my screen saver ribbon and I like the way I modified it. Thank you

    • Best Registry Cleaner December 21, 2010 at 2:55 am #

      Windows XP there was an option to show the path/filename in the corner of each displayed picture.

  2. Robert June 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Why in the world would Microsoft want to remove the configuration options? (in the way you could in XP) It makes no sense…

    • Mustafa June 19, 2009 at 6:12 am #

      I don’t really know…

  3. Tapio Peltonen November 2, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    I deleted an unwanted screensaver in Windows 7, but it still shows as one of my screensavers. How can I delete that?

    • Robert B January 8, 2010 at 11:38 am #

      Please use the forum for any questions you may have

  4. Volodius April 19, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    There is also a screensaver showing pictures from any folder you may select. In Windows XP there was an option to show the path/filename in the corner of each displayed picture. I can’t see such option in Windows 7. Is it possible to enable this feature in Windows 7?

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