Screensavers: What are they Used for Today?


There is no doubt that screensavers present a visual treat and if you search for them, you can find tons of options over the internet. But, are they really necessary nowadays? Put simply, screensavers are computer programs that fill the screen with abstract patterns or images. They are activated when the computer is not in use for a specific time period. Animated and colorful screensavers not only look good, but also fill people with enthusiasm and give a feeling of freshness. In the 90s and 2000s, you could find screensavers in abundance and the animated ones were all the rage.

During that time, it was also necessary to use screensavers because CRT monitors were used. With these CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors, it became essential to have an object constantly moving on the screen. A gun was used in these monitors for focusing rays to various phosphorus pixel centers on the back of the screen and hitting them. When the phosphorus points were hit, they became heated and produced light. A number of his on the back of the CRT screen would produce heat that was converted into light for showing the images on the screen.
In the case of a still image, the same phosphorus points would be hit repeatedly by the cathode ray gun for retaining the image. In those circumstances, it was heat producing the light so there was a high possibility of creating a permanent burn. Thus, screensavers were introduced. As long as the screensavers continued moving, the gun would hit different points. However, technology has advanced significantly since then and now LCD monitors are more common. There is no phosphorus involved with LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors, which means screensavers are not required. Yet, they are still in use today. Why? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons:

  • Entertainment: The top reason screensavers are used nowadays is due to their entertainment value. You can find some hilarious animated screensavers that are fun to watch and can give you a nice diversion for a couple of minutes.
  • Security: You can set up a screensaver with a password as a layer of security. When you walk away from your PC or laptop, you can rest assured that no one will be able to open it for looking at any sensitive information.
  • Atmosphere: These days, HD screensavers are often used in the dentist’s office or hospital waiting rooms, showing peaceful and soothing sceneries. The purpose is to create a relaxed and calm atmosphere.
  • Uniformity: A number of companies require all their employees to use a specific screensaver. This can be good for creating an aesthetic and uniform environment and ensures that no inappropriate screensavers are used.
  • Advertisement: Several companies, particularly retail businesses, use screensavers for promoting their business or offerings.
  • Information: Last, but not the least, screensavers can also come in handy for providing real-time or static information. Some screensavers can pull data from a website and stream it onto the screen.


Hassan is a Blogger, Author, Entrepreneur and the Administrator of He heads Burgeoning Technologies, a Web and IT Company and manages several other blogs and websites. He can be followed on , Twitter and Facebook.