There is still some confusion about the use of screensavers and I would like to explain it to those who do not know if it makes more sense to use a screensaver or to turn off the monitor. Screensavers were invented in a time to prevent phosphor burn-ins from images that were displayed for a long time on the monitor. They made sure that the image on the screen changed frequently to eliminate the chance of a burn-in.
Today's monitors however are not prone to those burn-ins which makes screensavers for that purpose obsolete. If you want to save energy you should therefor turn off the monitor. I have set the Energy Saving options to turn off the monitor after fifteen minutes of inactivity but you can do it manually as well if you prefer that or change the interval to a longer or smaller time frame instead.
Moving the mouse turns the monitor on again and work can resume afterwards. Screensavers these days serve mainly two purposes. The first is entertainment. A wide variety of possibilities exist including video screensavers, virtual tours or graphic demos that look pretty when they are playing on the monitor, and if you like that, you may stick to screensavers for that purpose. There are certain locations, a computer shop for instance, where using screensavers may make sense as it is better than a line of black monitor screens that do not reveal any information about the monitor.
The second is a basic protection of the computer which can be configured to ask for the user password before work can commence. While it does not protect the PC overly well, it may keep some users from accessing your PC while you are away.
How is your computer configured to handle inactivity?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.