How to add a company screensaver and lock it with Group Policy

I came across a LinkedIn post about someone wanting to add a company screensaver to 800+ computers. Some suggestions talked about doing it one at a time or running scripts. Well group policy has this covered and instead of replying back to them. I thought it would be good article to write about.

With the help of group policy the administrator can define settings to automatically setup a screen saver and lock the computers after the specified amount of seconds (It goes by seconds). This will also prevent unauthorized access to the computer even though the employees forget to lock their computers. It also could be used as advertisement around the office.

1. Start off with creating a company screensaver. This can be done with a lot of programs and someone on the marketing team can figure this out. I will be using a simple picture as the screensaver.

2. Connect to your domain controller and create a shared folder. The folder in this example is called Company ScreenSaver. It allows others to know what is inside the folder and what it is. This is where the employees will be viewing the screen saver from.8

3. Open Group Policy Management, right click on the OU that will be having this policy. More than one OU can have this policy.


4. After you have right clicked on the OU, the options will appear. Select Create a GPO in this domain and link it here. Provide a name to the policy such as Screen Saver Policy.1

5. Double click the Screen Saver Policy that was just created. The Group Policy Management Editor will open.23

6. On the left pane you want to navigate to User Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, and Personalization. On the right pane the list of settings will appear.

7. Select the Screen Saver Timeout by double clicking on it. Click Enable, and add your note. Adding a note will help others know who and why you did it. Make sure to add how long you want it to wait until it shows the screen saver in the Options section. Click OK when finished.45

8. Now still on the right pane double click Force Specific Screen Saver. Click Enable, and add your note.  In the Options section you will want to add the shared folder location you created in step 2. Click OK when finished.67

9. It is time to enable the Screen Saver. To do this you want to find the option on the right pane called Enable Screen Saver. Once you have double clicked on the option you want to Enable and add your note. Click OK when finished.910

10. Time to make it secure. Start by double clicking on the Password Protect the Screen Saver option. Once you have double clicked on the option you want to Enable and add your note.13

That was it. The company now has a screen saver with password protection on all computers in the domain.

It could take 0-45 days until GPO is updated on all computers. It all depends on the settings on the domain. 


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