How to Create a Screensaver Keyboard Shortcut for Windows

This is an instructable detailing how to create a keyboard shortcut so that you can quickly switch to screensaver at any time.

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Step 1: Creating the Shortcut on the Desktop

Go to the folder C:\Windows\System32 and sort by filetype. Look for the screensaver file type (.scr). Find the file scrnsave.scr(you can choose any of the screensavers, this is the black screen one).

Right click and select send to>desktop (create shortcut).

Step 2: Assigning the Keyboard Shortcut

Right click on the shortcut on the desktop and select properties. Select the shortcut tab and there should be a field named "shortcut key". I chose to use the shortcut "CTRL + ALT + S" but any that isn't already used by windows should be fine.

Step 3: Making the Shortcut Invisible

Now we have a functioning screensaver keyboard shortcut, test it out. However it looks ugly on the desktop, you might be fine with that, but I wasn't so here's how you make it "invisible" (the cheat way).

Right click anywhere on the desktop and select the "view" menu. Un-check the option "Align to Grid" (if it's un-checked, leave it). Drag the icon to any of the edges of your screen until you can't see any of the text/image. Mine's in the top right so I won't accidentally click it.

You're done! Use it wisely, it can be a powerful tool!

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    9 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    If you want to get the current screensaver, put the following into a batch file, then create your shortcut.

    @echo off
    for /f "tokens=3" %%a in ('reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop" /v SCRNSAVE.EXE') do set scrnsave.exe=%%a
    start %scrnsave.exe% /s

    It should work, anyhow. That is what I do.

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    This Instructable is great and this batch file idea is fabulous and works beautifully. Thanks for sharing.


    2 years ago

    On my last computer when the screensaver came on whatever I was playing(Movie) or whatever was on the screen (Excel sheets) went into minimize mode and it showed the desktop whenever a mouse click or keyboard stroke was made. I dont know if this was a fluke or not but can anyone tell me how I can get my computer to do this again? Here is what would happen. If I was watching a movie and it paused the screensaver would come on but still would show whatever was on the screen.. Then when I hit a keyboard stroke it would go straight to desktop. Now when I hit a keystroke, the screensaver disappears. I would rather it goto the desktop. THX


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Good article. I love this feature. It makes me think about adding hotkey shortcuts for lots of my often used programs.

    Here's an alternate method for hiding the icon.

    I you have your Folder Options set to "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives," you can also change the Shortcut properties so that under General -> Attributes, the "Hidden" box is checked. For me, this is preferable because if I want to find it again, I can just change my Folder Options to "Show hidden files." The shortcut still works the same while it's hidden.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    i agree, i'm not very much help in batch as i only know very little, though can somebody please help? i will try my best to find out how for now

    Marius de Jess

    6 years ago on Step 3

    Thanks a lot, it is working.

    Now, I like to install a password which must be entered in order to undo the screen saver, for I have noticed that pressing any key will undo the screen saver; and my idea is to prevent anyone approaching me from seeing what's on my monitor screen by pressing any key or clicking with the mouse.