HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop

Data type Range Default value
REG_SZ File name (None)


Specifies the name of the screen saver executable file.

Change Method

To change the value of this entry, in Control Panel double-click Display, click the Screen Saver tab, and then select a screen saver from the Screen saver list.

You can also change this entry with the application programming interface (API) function InstallScreenSaver, which is exported by Desk.cpl. You can access this function with the command line rundll32.exe desk.cpl,InstallScreenSaver %1, where %1 is the name of a screen saver executable file.

Activation Method

Changes made to this entry become effective the next time the system starts a screen saver. Changes made to this entry while a screen saver is running have no effect on the running screen saver.


  • Windows operating systems add this entry to the registry when you use Display in Control Panel to select a screen saver. If you disable all screen savers by choosing (None) from the Screen Saver list, then the operating system deletes this entry from the registry and calls the SystemParametersInfo function with uiAction equal to SPI_SETSCREENSAVEACTIVE and uiParam equal to FALSE.
  • On a computer that is running the Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP operating systems, this entry can be superseded by a Group Policy setting. While the Screen saver executable name Group Policy setting is enabled, the system ignores this entry. The configuration of the Screen saver executable name Group Policy setting is stored in the SCRNSAVE.EXE entry, which is in the Policies subkey.