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How to change the screen saver on Mac

Mac screen saver example

If you want to add some personal graphical flair to your Mac—or to prevent burn-in on an OLED, plasma, or CRT display—MacOS lets you choose from several attractive screen savers. Here’s how to set it up.

How do screen savers work?

Some types of monitors and TV sets you might hook up to your Mac suffer from burn-in, which means that certain areas of the screen will degrade in picture quality over time if they continuously display the same static image. The theory behind screen savers is that they continuously display a fluid, moving image that causes the image to change so that no area is burned out.

Even if you’re not worried about burn-in (like the LCD panels on most modern monitors), screen savers are also a fun way to customize your Mac. You can use them for fun things like displaying a custom message, showing album artwork, or playing slideshows of your favorite photos when you’re not using your machine.

It’s worth noting that if you’re not going to use your Mac for a while, you can set macOS to automatically turn off your display or put the Mac to sleep, which can help you save energy over time.

Related: How to Control When Your Mac Automatically Goes to Sleep

How to Configure Screen Savers on Mac

To configure screen savers on a Mac, you need to visit the built-in System Preferences app. Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple logo in the menu bar, then selecting “System Preferences” from the menu that appears.

When System Preferences opens, select “Desktop and Screen Saver”.

In Desktop and Screen Saver preferences, you’ll see Desktop Wallpaper options by default. Click the “Screen Saver” tab at the top of the window to see the screen saver options instead.

On the Screen Saver tab, you’ll see a list of available screensavers with thumbnails in the column on the left side of the window. Scroll through them and select the one you want to use by clicking on it. You’ll see an animated preview appear on the right side of the window.

In Mac System Preferences, select Screen Saver Time on the left side of the window.

After selecting the screensaver you want to use, you can make the screen saver appear automatically after a certain amount of time by checking the box next to “Show screen saver after” and selecting a time in the dropdown (eg “5 minutes”). – Menu below.

Check the box next to it "Then show the screen saver" and select a time in the drop-down menu.

On the same screen, you can also check the boxes to choose a random screen saver every time or show the clock with the screen saver. Or you can click “Hot Corners” to trigger a screen saver when your mouse cursor is placed in a specific corner of the screen.

When you’re done, close System Preferences and your changes will be automatically saved. If you ever want to disable the screensaver, visit System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver again and uncheck the box labeled “Show screen saver later.” Be good!

Related: How to Create Time-Saving “Hot Corner” Shortcuts on Your Mac

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