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Why do computers no longer use screen savers? Is it because new monitors have the ability to turn themselves off and in the past they were not able?

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closed as not constructive by CharlieRB, KronoS, Diago, Kyle, Tog Jan 25 '13 at 21:11

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What computers are you talking about? My (not so terribly old) computer uses a screen saver, so do most others I've seen. –  slhck Jan 25 '13 at 20:38
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On all Windows 7 installs I've seen the monitor sooner goes to sleep than displays a screen saver. –  Celeritas Jan 25 '13 at 21:22

2 Answers 2

Because the original reasons for using screen savers no longer apply.

The Wikipedia page on screensavers explains it, but older CRT screens were vulnerable to phosphor burn-in. In cases of prolonged static images on old screens, "ghost" images would remain even when new content appeared on screen.

LCDs and most other modern monitors are not susceptible to this phenomenon (though plasma screens and the current state of the art in OLEDs are), and thus screensavers are not necessary. Of course, they still survive because "it's always been that way", and once (if) OLEDs take over, screensavers will enjoy renewed relevance.

Nowadays, though, since we're more conscious of energy usage, it makes more sense to simply power down the monitor when it's not in use.

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In fact, OLED displays are susceptible to burn-in... This is why the time display in "night clock" mode on smartphones moves around (kind of a screensaver). If/when we'll have big OLEDs for computer use, screen savers will be relevant again. –  haimg Jan 25 '13 at 20:40
    
I’ve seen an LCD screen develop burn-in once. It was made by IBM and everything looked fuzzy on it. –  kinokijuf Jan 25 '13 at 20:45
    
@haimg, you're correct. I've updated the answer. –  Jonathan Garber Jan 25 '13 at 20:46

Partly because of power saving features, though those have existed for quite some time now. It's more due to the fact that LCD monitors aren't as prone to the "burn-in" that old CRT monitors had to worry about. If you left your old CRT on the same program for an extended amount of time(or used it every day), it would begin to burn after images onto the screen that could not be removed. Screen savers prevented this from happening as frequently by constantly altering the pixel arrangement.

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