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How do I use screensavers that are .exe files?

I've read the page on the file format for Windows screensavers, however it didn't help me figure how to actually run .exe files as screensavers. I've already moved them to System32 and don't know how to continue. Any help is appreciated

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Henri1 month agoWindows 10 x64, Google Chrome


7 replies

  • Hello Henri,

    An .exe file is not itself a screensaver but an installation program for a screensaver. It contains the screensaver, as it were. If you locate the file in your Downloads folder, simply double-click it to start the program and follow the instructions.

    The installer will take care of placing the screensaver file into the appropriate folder so that you can find and activate it in the Screen Saver Settings panel.

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you need any further assistance.

    Rob (Screensavers Planet)1 month ago

  • First of all, thanks for the reply.
    Alright, but if that doesn't happen and instead it just runs the program like it's some kind of game. How can I set it as a screensaver then?

    Henri 1 month ago

  • Ah, I see. I'm assuming it's not a program you downloaded from this website.

    You have two options. One is to change the extension of the file from .exe to .scr, and then place the file into your Windows or system32 folder. Changing the extension can be difficult to do using the File Explorer, however.

    The other option is to use a separate screensaver, called Screen Launcher, that can launch any program of your choice to be used as your screensaver. This is a strategy that we also use in the tutorial for getting the Johnny Castaway screensaver running on 64-bit versions of Windows.

    You can follow steps 5.1 and 5.2, skip 5.3, then follow the proceeding steps but use the location of the program you'd like to start instead of the DOSbox program.

    Essentially, the Screen Launcher "screensaver" will appear in the Screen Saver Settings panel, and you can set any program you like to be launched by it.

    Let me know how you get on with that. I'm happy to provide more detailed instructions.

    Rob (Screensavers Planet)1 month ago

  • Well, this is frustrating and at this point I think I'm just wasting everyone's time here. Anyway, I tried following step 5.1 of that tutorial, however I was told I don't have the Admin rights to do it, even thought I am the Admininstrator. Other stuff I can do just fine, like moving files into System32, but here my PC stops me.

    Henri1 month ago

  • Perhaps downloading directly into the Windows folder is not allowed. You could try downloading "Screen Launcher.scr" to a different folder at first, then manually copying or moving the file into the system32 folder via the File Explorer.

    Failing that, you could also right-click the .scr file after downloading it to any folder and select "Install" to temporarily install the screensaver. The downside is that it will only remain installed so long as it is your active screensaver. As soon as you select a different one, Screen Launcher will disappear from the list. If you manage to copy it into the Windows or system32 folder, that's more permanent.

    I didn't realize downloading directly into the Windows folder is not always allowed, but that's good to know and I may have to update the tutorial to reflect that. Your web browser is probably not running with administrative privileges.

    Rob (Screensavers Planet)1 month ago

  • It worked! The screen launcher seems really useful. Thanks a bunch for your time!

    Henri 1 month ago

  • Great! Glad you got it working, and thanks for reporting back.

    Rob (Screensavers Planet)1 month ago

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