Today my Windows7 notebook drove me nuts.
If you work with sensitive data, it is necessary that your devices are protected against unauthorized usage. A good and easy way to do this is to ‘password protect’ the screen saver. A bad and unproductive way is to set the screen saver activation time to 5 minutes. Especially if you work on more than one computer the same time. You spend 5 minutes every hour in typing your password to the other computer. To fix this issue I thought that there must be a switch somewhere under screen saver settings in Windows 7. I found it where I expected it. But it was ‘grayed’ out.
It took me awhile to find the answer on how to enable these switches in Windows7, because 99% of the ‘I-know-the-answer-experts’ in Google didn’t read or understand the question properly. So to change the behaviour of these switches, open regedit and edit the following keys under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop:
ScreenServerIsSecure can be 1 (options are grayed out) or 0 (options are enabled)
ScreenSaveTimeOut set the waiting time in seconds.
As you can see, I changed the ScreenSaveTimeOut to 900 seconds(15 minutes)
Job done …
P.S. You can also set this behaviour by adding the keys to the registry. Both keys have REG_SZ values. Changes in the registry can make a system unusable, please keep that in mind.