3 Slideshow Screensavers Far Better Than The Windows 10 Default

3 Slideshow Screensavers Far Better Than The Windows 10 Default

Screensavers are an interesting tool in themodern computer age. As the name suggests, they were originally created toprotect CRT screens from permanent burn-in. These days the almost-universalscreen technology in use is LCD.

While LCDs can suffer a permanent image burn,that really only happens with commercial screens at places like airports wherethe image has static elements for hundreds and hundreds of hours. As a desktopcomputing issue, it just doesn’t matter any more.

Yet screensavers still have their uses. Theycan be used as a security measure if you forget to lock your computer whenwalking away from it. It’s also an attractive decoration when the PC isn’t inuse. Every iteration of Windows has come with quite a decent selection ofscreensavers, but Windows 10 seems to be a step back in one particular way.

In Windows 7 the built-in slideshow screensaver had a relative wealth of options. You could have interesting transitions, have images appear at random spots on the screen and generally spice things up when displaying your picture collection.

In Windows 10 you’re limited to a centered image and no transitions at all. So while Windows 10 Live Wallpapers are pretty cool, those of us who want to showcase their own collection of images are not too happy.

So we went on the hunt for some alternativesthat could bring back the charm of the old screensaver and boy did we find somegood ones!

gPhotoShow (Free and ProVersion 10.90 Euro)

gPhotoShow manages to be quite feature-rich, while still being pretty streamlined and easy to use. You can add multiple folders as image sources, but unfortunately you can’t show multiple images on the screen at the same time.

The first big advantage gPhotoShow has overthe Photos screensaver is the random placement of small pictures. WindowsPhotos only supports a centered view, which can make small image look goofy onbig, wide monitors.

The Pro version of gPhotoShow offers quite afew extra features, but none that the average user absolutely must have. Thefree edition is pretty much what you want from a decent slideshow screensaver.

Some Pro features that might be worth theasking price include pan & zoom animation, TIFF support, panoramic photosupport, video clip support and the ability to remember the last image in thesequence between plays.

For our money, the “scrapbook mode”, whichcombines several images to fill the screen, is the most worthwhile reason tobuy the Pro version. However, the next screensaver option offers an almostidentical function for free.

Endless Slideshow (Free andPro Version $19.95)

Endless Slideshow ’s main claim to fame is the fact that it can automatically download pictures within several sets of predefined themes. The upside of this is that you can be surprised with pictures you’ve never seen before. It’s also great if you aren’t the kind of person that enjoys curating your own picture collection.

Endless Slideshow is incredibly feature-rich,and you can tune it pretty much to your exact needs. Multiple pictures perscreen, custom background, plenty of sizing options and clearly labeledfunctions make it a doddle to use.

Unfortunately, setting the program to alsoinclude images it automatically downloads itself is also a bit of a gamble. Forone thing, you might see images that you really don’t like. In the worst case,there’s always the concern that some inappropriate pictures could sneak in byaccident. That never happened during testing, but honestly the “endless” partof the value proposition is actually the least interesting part of the package.

As a pure slideshow screensaver, EndlessSlideshow is brilliant, but there are some annoying limitations in the freeversion. Having fewer transitions and limiting the number of on-screen imagesto four per screen isn’t a huge deal. However, being able to manually advanceslideshows is a feature that should always be there.

Regretfully, the free version of EndlessSlideshow doesn’t let you do that. That might be a dealbreaker for some, sincethe default Photos screensaver does allow for this. Still, Endless is betteroverall and you can create some really interesting custom looks with it.

Should you stump up the twenty bucks for thePro version you’ll get your manual picture browsing function, plus a whole lotmore. A single Pro licence also lets you install the software on two computers,so if you have two machines it works out to ten bucks apiece. It’s a greatslideshow screensaver and everyone should try the free version at the veryleast.

ScreenPaver ($14.95)

Unfortunately, ScreenPaver does not have a free version and you’ll have to pay the asking price if you want to use it. The good news is that there’s a 30-day trial, with no feature limitations other than an annoying reminder of how many days you have left.

For your money you get a solid, fully-featuredslideshow screensaver with the functions you’d expect. You can randomize theposition of images, stretch them, scale them down and generally tell thesoftware how you want images to be handled. This seems like a basic requirementfor a screensaver like this, yet the one included with Windows 10 does none ofthis except for randomizing images.

Speaking of picture selection, ScreenPaver hasa pretty robust system to choose which directories you draw your pics from. Youcan pull them from multiple drives, select subfolders and even mark certainpictures within a folder as a favorite. It doesn’t have as many transitions assome slideshow screensavers, but it’s doubtful that many people would beconcerned by only having a few dozen transition effects rather than hundreds ofthem.

Worth the $15? It’s a solid buy, especially ifyou don’t quite get what you want with the two free options above.