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Screensaver via registry functioning oddly

I am trying to push a custom made screensaver file *.scr to several machines in my network via registry keys.  After doing research on which keys to add and where I settled on these:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop  ScreenSaveTimeOut=300

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop  ScreenSaverIsSecure=1

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop  ScreenSaveActive=1

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop SCRNSAVE.EXE =maint.scr

I have tried other locations like "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop" with same results.

The .scr file is in the system32 and/or sysWOW64 (either place causes same issue)

Now for the issue.  The above edits apply via policy just like they are suppose to but when I or any user log in and wait the 300 seconds for the screensaver to turn on nothing happens.  I go look at the "Screen Saver Settings" and the maint.scr is chosen with 5 minutes on the wait time.  If I change the wait time to anything lower or higher in time and the screen saver will work, I also changed it back to 5 minutes and it works then as well. Although when a new user logs on the settings are overridden by the policies and I have to go through the changing of the wait time to get it to work again.

Oh, this is happening on Windows 10 Pro machines up-to-date on all drivers, window updates, and software updates.

Any ideas?
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Distinguished Expert 2019

How do you push these reg keys? It might depend on that.
You could use the GPO instead, it has never failed me.
See https://4sysops.com/archives/set-the-default-forced-screen-saver-in-group-policy-logon-scr-in-windows-7/
(same for win10)
SeanSystems Analyst


I have tried pushing them via GPO(reg keys), KACE Desktop Authority, and making them manually on the test machines.  All produce the same results.  I have used the GPO to set the same settings in the past with varying success, would prefer not to use the GPOs this time around.
Distinguished Expert 2019

What does the GPO do? It sets the keys below HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop, for example ScreenSaverIsSecure
So it does the same! However, when the GPO is applied, the explorer process is restarted automatically, making it active immediately, which is why you should use the GPO.
Systems Analyst
Thanks for you help, but it looks like the issue was how the .scr file was created. I used Irfanview to create the .scr file and windows didn't like that via registry or GPO.  I went about setting the photo screensaver via registry and copying the files directly to the machines and it works just fine now.