Screen savers are a type of utility program that periodically changes the screen display. What it changes it to isn’t important – the image could be anything from an aquarium to wavy lines or a logo floating across the screen. This only happens while the user is either away or inactive for an elongated period of time. While this is now a purely decorative function, it used to serve a very important purpose.
Technipages Explains Screen Saver
Screen savers, in older monitors, prevented something known as ‘burn-in’ – because of the way phosphor-based screens were built, images that were viewed frequently or for a very long time could burn themselves into the monitor and leave behind a permanent mark – like a ‘ghost’. This would then be visible on top of whatever else was actually on the screen and would mean that the monitor was difficult if not impossible to use. Still images would burn themselves into the screen, while moving ones would not – thus, moving screen savers helped keep monitors in working condition.
Today’s screens are no longer susceptible to burn-in, so screen savers aren’t necessary anymore. Many users still enjoy them though or are used to using them before. There is no downside to setting one up, and ones that are combined with security features like passwords or other log-in restrictions, they can still serve a purpose. Several decades ago, they were a must-have in home-use computers and were part of system maintenance. Technically speaking they still are, for monitors created in the 90s and 80s – not modern flatscreens.
Common Uses of Screen Saver
- Screen savers are factually obsolete but still popular and relatively commonly used.
- The use of screen savers has no downsides, really – if anything, ones that lock the screen and require a password to unlock can actually still be beneficial.
- Screen savers are often bundled in an OS – Windows allows users to natively set one up.
Common Misuses of Screen Saver
- Screen savers are a type of protective foil that can be placed on monitors.