how do I remove a screen saver?

Posted on 1998-10-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
when I right click a .SCR file, I can "install" it. How then can I uninstall it? It doesn't appear in the add/remove program (shouldn't it). Do I just remove the .scr file and the control panel will stop listing it (and everything is in order)?
Question by:Irene012397
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Expert Comment

ID: 1758656

IF it is a "good" screen saver, it will have an uninstall program associated with it (such as unwise.exe in the same directory as the screen saver) so any registry keys can be removed.

If it doesn't use the registry (or is a "bad" screen saver), you can safely just remove the SCR file and any other files (such as DLL's) associated with the screen saver.

Expert Comment

ID: 1758657
Right-click on the desktop and select properties.
Click the screen saver tab and select the one (or "none") that you want to use.

Author Comment

ID: 1758658
rmarotta: That is besides the point. I don't just wish to disable the screen saver, I wish to get rid of it from my hard disk.

martyn: so does "install" copy anything? I placed the .scr and other files in a directory I created, right click and "install", then it is available. I have searched the disk and haven't found a duplicate. Can't find it in the registry neither. Seems all the "install" does is to notify the control panel applet that the .scr is there. But I can't even find out where this information is stored.

Besides, can a .scr have a uninstal program at all? INFs can specify what to do when you unstalls, and of course setup.exe can do it. Yet haven't heard that SCR can do the same.
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Expert Comment

ID: 1758659
It is windows which recognizes the .scr extension and "installs" it.  Besides a lot of screen savers only consist of one file (they are not "bad screen savers").  However although installing a screen saver may not impact the registry, making it active sure does.  Also if you change settings on the screen saver they get in the registry

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\desktop has the SCRNSAVE.EXE key which points to the .scr file (plus active or not and time to wait).

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel normally has a key for each scrnsaver you install (sometimes only after you change settings).  For instance the 3D text saver has a key here named Screen Saver.3D Text which holds values for text, font, speed, etc...

Savers like that don't need to be uninstalled, simply remove the .scr file from the disk and if you insist clean up the registry (manually or with regclean)

Author Comment

ID: 1758660
I hope I can accept ghinstek's comment but the HTML doesn't allow it.

BTW, some SCRs have many files including DLLs. Seems they can be placed anywhere so I created a new directory for their SCR and DLL. And the Windows "install" just does some bookkeeping (but where??) without actually copying the SCR around.

But yes I have seen "good" SCRs with full fledge install programs. But that is rare I believe.

Accepted Solution

Koen earned 150 total points
ID: 1758661
I'll post as an answer now...

Like I mentioned the 'bookkeeping' should be in the registry... (I must admit I am more familiar with NT than W95, but I thought that on this issue they operate in the same way).

There are many different savers: some are scr and some are exe files (I think it depends on what they are doing).  My idea is that any saver which moves around an image, text or something of the kind, depends on standard windows (VB coding) comes in a scr file (and they get kind of complex sometimes).

Other savers that do more(?) or were written for older versions (read W 3.x) have the code in them and are run as executables.

On many occasions the install program only copies some files and sets the registry.

Expert Comment

ID: 1758662

At its simplest, a screen saver can be just an executable (with a .SCR extension rather than a .EXE) It needn't store any information  in the registry to run and need not have any .DLL's. If you rename it to have a .EXE extension and double click it it "should" run correctly. However, it won't get invoked after a set period of idleness unless it is "installed" as the active screensaver. This process can be done manually by using control panel or the screen saver  may come with a program to alter the registry.

More sophisticated screen savers can save information (settings etc) to the registry/.INI files. This is the information that "good" screensavers will remove with the Uninstall routines. None of the executable files _have_ to reside in any particular directory, but are commonly copied into the windows directory so they will be automatically picked up when the saver runs and (more importantly) the display properties control panel applet will find them there.


/\/\artyn :-)}>-===

Author Comment

ID: 1758663
The curious thing is that the SCR and the related DLL, BMP, WAV files are in the directory I created, outside Windows. I have no idea how the windows screen saver can keep track of the SCR. I haven't found any place where an INI or registry entry says where all the SCRs are, but it shows my SCR despite it isn't under windows...

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