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What to Do if You Fall in Love With More Than One Screensaver

If you don't know where one screensaver goes when you install another one then this article is for you. Learn about the standard way of switching between installed screensavers and get prepared to a much more convenient one.

It was a great surprise for me to get dozens of emails complaining about what I myself would have never thought of. Many people installed my Rainy Screensaver and found it quite entertaining. But then they got upset because their previous screensaver was very fun too and now it wouldn't come up anymore.

What has happened to their old screensaver after the installation of another one? Today we will deal with this question.

Probably, many of you will find this information rather obvious. I am really sorry for not being very helpful to this part of my readers this time. But I receive too many emails of described nature. This leaves me with the hope that some people will learn something new in their quests for becoming Screensaver Gurus.

Here we go. The root of the problem is that screensaver installation hides many steps happening behind the scene. This is very convenient but it's what makes the answer to our question not so obvious for many people.

I hope you were following my articles. In Windows Screensavers Explained I told you about the place where screensavers live in your system. But don't worry if you missed that article. Here's the information you need.

Your operating system (and we are talking about Microsoft Windows here) expects to find available screensavers in two folders on your hard drive. These folders are C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System if you use Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me. If you have Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP then these folders are C:\WINNT and C:\WINNT\System32. Note that I suppose you system is installed on your hard drive C. If your system is on drive D, you should look into D:\Windows. The same goes for other drives.

When you install a screensaver it gets into one of these folders. The screensaver simply copies itself over there. Some screensavers have more than one file. Usually they copy other files into a separate folder under your Program Files. But it makes no difference for the purpose of our discussion.

The main idea behind all this is that your previous screensaver doesn't disappear. A new screensaver copies itself into one of the mentioned folders. But copying is not removing. The previous screensaver is not removed unless you uninstall it manually. That is, if you install two or more screensavers, you can still enjoy all of them.

What exactly should you do to admire all screensavers installed on your system? The answer is simple and you could easily find it yourself by an accident. Try the following. Right click anywhere on the empty desktop and choose Properties. You will see Display Properties dialog. This dialog has many pages but you need the one named Screen Saver. Activate it by clicking on its title. You should see a preview window with the last installed screensaver. Now look below that window. There's a drop down list with the name of that screensaver. This drop down list is the answer to our question. You can select any screensaver installed on your system by clicking on the list. After that Windows will launch only the screensaver you have selected.

The described solution is perfect if you have two or three favorite screensavers and would like to change between them once in a week. But what if you have five or ten favorite screensavers and want to see them on a day-by-day basis? We will beat this problem next time by introducing a few quite useful tools. They can make switching between screensavers a lot easier and more entertaining. Stay tuned...


About the author. Roman Kramar is a software developer who enjoys writing screensavers as his time permits. Visit his site at www.elasticsystems.com to find out more about screensavers and his work.
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