I figure there's an .exe file somewhere in C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 but I'm unable to locate it. Basically, I'm hoping I can right-click it and Run As Administrator in order to get around the fact that a very poorly designed security policy for my PC prevents me from changing the idle time for when the screensaver starts up (I want to change it from 15m idle to 1m idle, for increased security).

To be clear, I am a computer administrator, but there are different levels of administration; apparently "screensaver idle settings" are beyond my pay grade... And the dialog as launched from the Control Panel seems to presume I am a regular user. If I could perhaps locate the .exe and run it elevated, perhaps I'd be able to make the changes I desire.

Or perhaps there is another way?


It's not an exe but a cpl, try running this from an elevated command prompt:

control desk.cpl,screensaver,@screensaver

Note that if you run something as administrator under UAC, you may be setting another user's screen saver setting.

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    Screensaver dialog opens, but doesn't give me anymore access. :\ – AllenP Oct 7 '11 at 20:47

First thing: Ask your superiors to adjust that for you. Otherwise you may be asking for trouble trying to circumvent established company security policies (for better or worse).

Second thing: If it's being applied by group policy, then even if you manage to change it (say by directly editing the registry; I believe it's HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut), it will be reset back to the Group Policy Object setting the next time the GP is updated (usually once an hour).

If you REALLY want to circumvent it, and you have local Admin access, then you need to capture the registry activity during a GP update to determine the registry path(s) for the GP you wish to stop (the Screen Saver Idle Time, for example). Once you have that, then you should be able to go into RegEdit and remove/deny access to that key (or it's parent) for everyone but you, which should disallow the server from updating it.

For related info see here ("Circumventing Group Policy Settings").


I created a shortcut on my desktop with the following target:

C:\Windows\System32\desk.cpl screensaver,@screensaver

Run it as administrator if you have privileges and don't want items grayed-out.

I did this on Windows 10, I am not sure about others.


In my experience, regedit tweaking always helps, but be sure to first give permissions while in Elevated rights to the actual user that needs it disabled. and then open regedit as the end-user

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