KB ID 0001281
I was tasked with working out how to do this for a client a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it would make a decent article. I’m going to have a central server share, with some photos in, then I’m going to copy them down to all the clients, and finally set their screen saver to use those photos as a ‘slide show’ screen saver.
I’ve done this with Windows 10 clients, but it should work with anything newer than Windows XP.
Create a share folder to put all your photos in, I’m setting Share Permissions Everyone = Read, then on the Security tab, Domain users = Read, and Domain Admins = Full Control.
Now I’m creating a basic script that will map a drive letter (x:) on the client machine to that share, and copy down all the photos into a folder called “C:\IT Dept\Screensaver”. Save the file with a .bet (batch file) extension.
Now create (or Edit) a GPO thats linked to the OU that contains your users, (remember the thing that looks like an OU in AD called users, isn’t an OU, it’s a ‘container’).
Edit your group policy.
Run a Logon Script from Group Policy
Add > Browse.
Now, STAY in the folder when it opens, and copy/paste your batch file in there, its icon should look like the one below.
Open > OK > Apply.
Set ScreenSaver Settings via Group Policy
Enable the policy and type in PhotoScreensaver.scr > OK > Apply.
Leave the policy editor open!
Windows 10 Screen Saver Settings
These are well hidden, thanks Microsoft! Remember these setting can be deployed to Win7/8 as well. You need to have the local folder with the photos in already to get some settings from, you will have to do this one manually just make sure the folder path is correct!
On a client machine > Start > Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen.
Scroll down > Screen Saver Settings > Set ‘Photos’ > Settings.
Browse to the photo folder > Tick Shuffle Pictures > Save.
Run regedit and navigate to;
Right click and export the whole ‘Screensaver’ key, save it somewhere you can find it.
Now copy the file you just exported to the server, and double click it to ‘merge’ it into the registry.
WARNING: There is a registry value in here called EncryptedPIDL, it’s the actual path to the folder that contains the photos, and it’s been encrypted. Because Windows is a bit stupid, it breaks the text down so when you try and import/merge it, it does not work. Also it does not tell you anything went wrong. You can open the file you exported in Notepad, and disable word wrap, then make sure that the EncryptedPIDL value copies over correctly. Or simply create a new ‘string value‘ called EncryptedPIDL and copy and paste it directly from your client onto the servers registry value.
Back in the policy editor that you left open above, navigate to;
Browse down to;
Select all the values as shown, (if you cant see EncryptedPIDL see my warning above) > Finish.
Close the policy editor and wait for the policy to apply, or force it on the clients.
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