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How to remove a home-grown screensaver on Windows 10

I run a screensaver which shows all my photos in random order, without repeating until all have been shown. I made this ages ago, using Visual Basic, and installed it by extracting the .exe file, renaming this to .scr and then using the Install option in the context menu in File Explorer. To troubleshoot a recent problem, I made alternate versions of it which play a sound as each photo is shown, naming these Hello, Goodbye and so on. With the problem now solved, I need to delete these trial screen savers, but File Explorer cannot find them by their file names anywhere on C drive, even though I am showing hidden files and system files. My screen savers don't show up in Control Pnael or Apps & Features either. They are still in there somewhere, because they show up in the Screen Savers control window, along with all the built-in Microsoft screen savers. How do I find and delete my trial screen savers, other than by reinstalling Windows?

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Allan Stead7 years agoWindows 10 x64, Firefox

5 replies

  • Hello Allan, thanks for posting your question to the message board.

    Have you tried manually browsing to the Windows folder on your hard drive, as well as the system32 and/or SysWOW64 sub-folders, using the File Explorer? If you sort the files in those folders by Type, you should be able to find all the screensavers fairly easily. If Windows still lists the temporary screensavers in the Screen Saver Settings panel, they will most likely be located in one of those three folders.

    Rob (Screensavers Planet)7 years ago

  • Hi Rob, thanks for your reply.

    System32 was the first place I looked, sorting on file type to group the screensaver files, but all I could see was the half a dozen or so Microsoft screensavers. Later, I tried SysWOW64 with the same result, and only some time after that did I use Search to go through all of C drive.

    Allan Stead7 years ago

  • Did you also look in the main Windows folder, down below all the sub-folders?

    I'm asking again because the Screen Saver Settings panel checks those three folders when it launches, and will add all screensaver files it finds to the screensaver list automatically, no installation required.

    Outside of those folders, screensavers are not automatically recognized, and you need to right-click the screensaver file and select "Install", like you did.

    Installed this way, however, the screensaver will only be listed so long as it is the active screensaver. As soon as you activate a different screensaver, the other will disappear from the list and will need to be re-installed, because Windows cannot find it in any of the three default folders.

    So if Windows still shows your trial screensavers in the Screen Saver Settings panel, even though they're not the active screensaver, the only (logical) explanation would be that the screensaver files reside in either the main Windows folder, or the system32 or SysWOW64 sub-folders.

    Rob (Screensavers Planet)7 years ago

  • Having having looked at the scr files grouped by file type in System32 and SysWOW64 I then used File Explorer Search to look for *.scr in all of C drive, which should have included the Windows folder. I also searched for Hello.* in all of C drive, in case the filetype had become something other than scr.

    It always seemed that all you had to do to install a screen saver was to copy the scr file into System32. I recall this becoming more awakward in recent times, requiring privileges etc, but found that this could be overcome by using Install in the FileExplorer context menu, and I thougt all that did was to do the copy for you.

    Since I last installed my screen saver several months ago, the Anniversary Update has come upon us, and I wonder if an effect of this has been to 'hide' any user-created screensaver files under another completely different name, so that the only place they can now be seen is in the Screen Saver Control Panel. If that is not the case, then I agree with your logical explanation, and can't think why my searches failed to find the files.

    Keen to get past this problem, I tried undoing the Anniversary Update, thinking that would take me back several weeks and thus get rid of the trial screen savers, but they were still showing in the list. I then tried a Windows Reset, which I've never done before, which apparently clears any non-original files out of C drive (I keep all my own files on D drive so they weren't affected) which finally cleared the trial screen savers. Having re-installed all my application programs, my problem is now solved, but it would be interesting to know if others who have the Anniversary Update can see screen savers of their own making in System32 or SysWOW64.

    Thanks again Rob, for all your help,with this.

    Allan Stead7 years ago

  • I don't think the Anniversary Update will have had much of an effect on your files, but the search box in File Explorer tends to be unreliable, at least in my experience, so I usually just browse the folders manually and sort by file type.

    Glad you got it sorted in the end! Let me know if you have any further questions.

    Rob (Screensavers Planet)7 years ago

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