Mac OS X Lion doesn't come with a "black screen" screensaver. Where can I get a screensaver that works with Lion and blanks the screen?

  • my bad. I can't unvote it (unless you change the answer), but I would. I was under the impression that you just asked this question with some no googling; but your question before the edit shows otherwise. Sorry. :(
    – Roke
    Dec 15, 2015 at 20:36

3 Answers 3


I uploaded this for you, you can download the screen saver file here.

If you want to do it manually, do it like this:

  • Open Quartz Composer.app. This is no longer ships with Xcode by default. You need to install Xcode first and then download the Graphics Tools for Xcode. Be sure to download the appropriate version. I copied the application files to /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Applications/ so they are listed under Xcode->Open Developer Tool.

  • Create a new blank file with the Screensaver template. Delete everything except for the "Clear" panel. You can also start with a totally empty window and drag "Clear" from the Patch Library to the work area.

    enter image description here

  • Save it under /Users/your-user/Library/Screen Savers to make it available for you only, or /Library/Screen Savers to make it available for all other users. Doing the latter, you'll have to enter an admin password.

  • Then, select it in System Preferences under "Other".

enter image description here

And there you go, a simple black screensaver.

Alternatively, you could of course just put the monitor to sleep, or let it display a folder of pictures, which only has one black picture inside.

  • Thanks, that worked, but I had to save 'blank_screen.qtz' it to my home directory then 'sudo cp ~/blank_screen.qtz /Libraray/Screen\ Savers/blank_screen.qtz' .. could you update your post plz.
    – lexu
    Aug 27, 2011 at 9:40
  • You only have to do this if you want to make it available system-wide (notice the difference between ~/Library, which is in your home folder, and /Library, which is for all users. The former should work — but I'll adapt it to clarify.
    – slhck
    Aug 27, 2011 at 9:45
  • @lexu Interestingly, this one showed "Quartz Composer" after a while. I fixed it and hope this now works perfectly.
    – slhck
    Aug 27, 2011 at 13:19
  • 4
    I'm curious why you wouldn't just put the monitor to sleep...why incur the extra wear and tear on your backlight, trivial though it may be?
    – peelman
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:19
  • @peelman I don't know — OP asked for it, I suggested to put the monitor to sleep anyway. Could be a problem with external display though (some take a while to get back from a display sleep or even switch to another input source).
    – slhck
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:27

Simple is best for me.

Black Image

Place this flat black image in a folder and set that folder as your screensaver source for the Classic screensaver style.

Classic → Choose Folder

  • I did the same, and while this is indeed simple, I found that my system gets ridiculously hot while the screen is locked, with the fan spinning at max speed. Mar 9, 2015 at 14:16
  • Odd - you might need to look into activity monitor or ssh into the Mac to see why the CPU/GPU is pegged. Or you could just turn off the screen entirely - why waste cycles drawing a black background?
    – bmike
    Mar 9, 2015 at 14:52
  • When the screen is off, the load goes away. But I cannot control how long it takes for the monitor to turn off; my system settings are somewhat locked down by corporate policy. I've decided to go with the accepted answer and "programmed" a blank screensaver. Mar 10, 2015 at 8:59

Just get this one, it worked fine for me on 10.6 and now on 10.7:

There it is, THE REAL screensaver. Since this screen saver will only display a black blank screen it should actually save your screen. Of course, if you REALLY want to save your screen use the "Energy saving" settings in your system's preferences. Now featuring transparency! It's Freeware, so don't hesitate to Media:Blankscreensaverfolder120.zip download the 1.2.0 version (for Snow Leopard).

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