In the not so distant past, Windows users had all sorts of customization options. Users who weren’t on a corporate network could add their own background to the Desktop and change the sound that their device makes when it first starts up. Adding a screen saver was one of the biggest ways users customized their device too. Here’s how to add a screen saver to Windows 8.1 and make your Windows 8.1 device that much more unique.
Why It’s Gone
Before you go adding a screen saver to your Windows 8.1 device it’s important to understand why it’s somewhat hidden. Screen savers were a popular customization option when most devices weren’t portable. That is to say, everyone used screen savers when most Windows PCs were desktops that always had a power connection.
They had a dual purpose. They were something that you could use to show off a message or pictures of the entire family on, while keeping their device at the ready without a restart. The idea was that by keeping a device with a screen saver on you’re able to conserve some power, not burn out your display and still have everything ready to go the moment you needed it.
Since the heyday of the screen saver, a lot has changed about PCs. The overwhelming majority of Windows 8 PCs are portable. There are laptops with touchscreens or laptops without touchscreens. There tablets with no keyboards or tablets with attachable keyboards. As some point they’re all expected to run off of a battery.
Turning on a screen saver could accidentally drain power when you need it the most. So before you turn it on, always remember to hit the power button on your device if you have a Windows 8 tablet or laptop that isn’t current plugged into a power source. Users of Windows 8.1 on a desktop or all-in-one PC have nothing to worry about beyond more power usage.
How to Get It Back
Go to the Start Screen by pressing the Windows Key on your keyboard or the Windows button on your tablet or Windows 8.1 2-in-1.
Now look for the Desktop tile. In our example you’ll find that the Desktop is represented by the rectangular tile on the left side of our screen. You may not see the Desktop tile on your device. If you don’t click on the arrow in the bottom-left corner of your screen to reveal a list of installed apps. Touch users should place their finger anywhere on the start screen and slide upward to reveal the same list of pre-installed apps.
Tap or click on Desktop from the list of installed apps.
Now inside the Desktop, mouse and keyboard users should right-click anywhere on their screen to bring up a settings menu. Touch users, place your finger anywhere on the Desktop background and hold it there until you see a rectangle.
Tap or click on Personalize.
Tap or click on Screen Saver. It’s in the bottom-right corner of the Personalization window.
Welcome to the Screen Saver Settings window. From here you’ll be able to choose the right screen saver for you and more. Start by clicking or tapping on the drop down menu and selecting one of the pre-installed screen savers.
There are just six to choose from by default. 3D Text will allow you to enter a custom message that floats around a black background. Blank is just a blank screen with nothing on it. Bubbles puts 3D soap bubbles floating around your screen. Mystify sort of looks like an aurora. Ribbons puts colored lines all over your display.
Finally, Photos will automatically showcase any pictures you’ve loaded into the Pictures folder on your PC.
Select any of these and click on Settings to see more options. For example, only in the settings can you change the folder that the Photos screen saver looks for pictures to display. Use the Preview button to get a taste of what the screen saver will look like.
If you’re a security conscious user – and really everyone should be – than you’ll want to check the box next to On Resume display logon screen. This option will force your Window s8 device to ask for a password before it lets anyone past the screen saver. If you’re going to share the device with the entire family enabling this might not be a big deal. If you’re the only user and you’re going to be carrying it around in public than you need to enable this. Keep your movies, pictures and documents safe.
Now click or tap on the arrows to change how long it takes your device to display the screen saver. By default it’s set to just a minute, but you can change this to whatever is more comfortable for you. The higher this number is the longer until your device shows a screen saver and locks.
Click or tap Ok.
You’ve successfully added a screen saver to your Windows 8.1 PC. Remember to keep a close eye on those settings so they don’t affect your device’s battery life. Have fun customizing.