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Microsoft KB Archive/104749

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Knowledge Base

How to Activate a Screen Saver from an Icon in Windows NT

Article ID: 104749

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q104749


It is possible to set up an icon and a shortcut key to activate a screen saver in Windows NT, similar to Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups.

NOTE: If you set up a Windows NT screen saver to activate from an icon or a shortcut key, the password protection option will not be active if the screen saver is activated in this manner even though the password option may be enabled in the Desktop dialog box of Control Panel.

In Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups, it is possible to have password protection regardless of the way a screen saver is activated. However, because of the Windows NT security model, password protection for a screen saver will only be active when the screen saver is started because the timeout period has expired.


To activate a screen saver from an icon or shortcut key, use the following procedure:

  1. Open the Registry Editor (REGEDT32.EXE) from the Administrative Tools group.

    WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.
  2. Use the following path:

          HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
  3. Select the Programs value and then choose String from the Edit menu.
  4. Add the 'scr' extension to the string as follows:

          Programs: REG_SZ: exe com bat pif cmd scr
  5. Choose OK, close the Registry editor, and log off from Windows NT.
  6. Log back on to Windows NT, and from the Program Manager window, choose New from the File menu and then select Program Item.
  7. Use any Description and on the Command Line, add the path and filename for a Screen Saver (SCR) file.

          Example:  C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\SSBEZIER.SCR /S

    The /S switch forces the screen saver to start immediately. Remove the /S to display a setup screen.

  8. If desired, add a shortcut key to start the screen saver from a keystroke combination.

    NOTE: Program Manager must be active for the shortcut keys to work.
  9. Choose OK and you will now be able to activate a screen saver with the icon or a shortcut key.

Additional query words: wfw wfwg prodnt

Keywords: kbusage KB104749