Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you make this screensaver when Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 has a similar photo screensaver build in?

Windows has a nice screensaver to display photographs, pictures and other images. Unfortunately it lacked some features I was looking for. The main features I missed are:

  1. Hidden images and folders
    I tend to keep all the digital photographs I've ever made and I hide the blurry ones and other pictures I don't like to see in my screensaver.
  2. Exclude folders
    I tend to make thumbnails from some photo series and I don't want them in my screensaver either.
  3. Wallpaper
    I wanted a randomly changing background wallpaper on my computer.
  4. Multi monitor support
    Older Windows screensavers don't support multiple monitors.

For which version of Windows is the Random Photo Screensaver?

The Random Photo Screensaver is tested on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1 & Windows 10.

The installer runs on both 32bit and 64bit systems.

If you have issues running RPS 4 on Windows XP, it should work, but not all features work. You could consider running the previous RPS 3.4 version.

RPS doesn't automatically start after upgrading to the latest version

Having to re-select RPS is a know issue which there is a work around for: Select different screensaver press apply, re-select RPS and click Ok.

RPS doesn't start after installing / updating on Windows 10

There seems to be a mysterious issue with RPS not starting on Windows 10 after a new installation. Either try running RPS using Run as Administrator (right click Random Photo Screensaver tile in start menu) also, users have reported that after rebooting the PC RPS worked as expected.

I see the same image multiple times is RPS not random?

RPS is really random* however you might not perceive it as random as the human brain is geared up to detect patterns even if they are not there. If you are interested read How random is random on your music player? on the BBC website. For more reading see Randomness Misconceptions and logical fallacies on Wikipedia. If you would like me to make RPS less random please add your vote (aka comment) to GitHub issue 51.

For the techies, RPS uses the SQLlite RANDOM() function on all files in the database. 

How do I re-number the monitors in multi-screen mode?

Tim Lake - one of the users of RPS who uses the photo slideshow screensaver with 6 monitors - asked:

"... the photos are displaying across my 6 monitors in order of the monitor number. However, the monitors are not actually arranged in numerical order in "Display Settings". How do a re-number the monitors (since I physically can't move them)"

From a system perspective it wouldn't be make sense to have to specify the monitor numbers / orders for each individual program you are using. Together we found a solution and Tim reported the following back:

"The re-number was a problem. In the end I disconnected all the monitors, went to System Devices and deleted each display. Then reattached each monitor, this time in the correct order. That worked fine."

Please note you make these changes at your own risk. I will not be able to offer any assistance or help if changing this fails.

RPS doesn't find any files/images in my folder (and there are some in there)

  1. Make sure you have 'Exclude all subfolders' unchecked in the Folders configuration section.
  2. Make sure the files you are trying to include aren't hidden files or in hidden folders. The Folders section has advanced settings for 'Ignore hidden files' and 'Ignore hidden folders' which are checked by default.
  3. Make sure no filters are enabled.

How can I get my old screensaver back?

  • Go to Start > Settings > Configuration > Screen
  • Select the tab Screensaver
  • Select your old screensaver in the pulldown list marked Screensaver

How do I uninstall the Random Image Screensaver?

  • Go to Start > Programs > Random Photo Screensaver > Uninstall Random Photo Screensaver
  • The uninstall wizard should guide you through the process.

How can I setup a hot key / shortcut for the screensaver?

A shortcut icon for Random Photo Screensaver has been installed in the Windows start menu. You can assign a hot key to the icon.

Do the following to setup a hot key/shortcut to invoke the screensaver before the idle time is met:

Windows XP, Vista, 7:

  • Click on Start > (All Programs [Windows Vista / 7]) > abScreensavers.com > Random Photo Screensaver
  • Right click 'Run Random Photo Screensaver'
  • Select Properties in the pop up menu
  • Select the Shortcut tab if it isn't already selected
  • Enter your shortcut key in the field
  • Test your shortcut key as not all shortcut key combinations seem to work. If it doesn't work try a different combination

Windows 8, 10:

  • Click on Start > All Apps > Random Photo Screensaver 
  • Right click on 'Run Random Photo Screensaver'
  • Select Open file location from the pop up menu
  • Right click Run Random Photo Screensaver shortcut in the start menu folder
  • Select Shortcut tab if not already selected
  • Enter your Shortcut key in the field
  • Click Apply
  • You might be asked to elevate to administrator permission
  • Test your shortcut key as not all shortcut key combinations seem to work. If it doesn't work try a different combination

Why isn't my panorama photo shown across both screens?

A photograph is treated as a panorama as if the width / height ratio of the panorama is equal or greater than the width / height ratio of the monitors.

For example a 2800x900 panorama won't be displayed if your actual screen size is 2880x900.

Only panorama's selected on monitor 1 are stretched. If monitor 1 has a regular photo and monitor 2 a panorama, the panorama won't get stretched because of the normal picture on monitor 1.

The screensaver starts too quickly or too slowly

The screensaver start time is a setting in Windows. Please note that this is found in a different place than the RPS screensaver settings.

  • Windows XP:
    • Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display and select 'Screen Saver' tab.
  • Windows 7:
    • Go to Start > Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization > Change Screen Saver 
  • You can set the start time out with: 'Wait XX minutes.'

The screen goes blank/black or the monitor is switched off after # minutes

This is a Windows setting:

  • Windows XP:
    • Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display and select 'Screen Saver' tab.
  • Windows 7:
    • Go to Start > Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization > Change Screen Saver 
  • Select Change power settings > Change plan settings

Alter the value for Turn of the display to your liking.

If you have set a power saving time out but it doesn't engage, select the blank screensaver, click apply and then reselect RPS.

Does RPS support .webm video format?

RPS 4 uses Internet Explorer to display images and videos. This means that all formats supported in IE can be used, IE doesn't support .webm yet, but if you install the IE plugin from: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/webmmf/ and then add .webm to the video extensions (restart RPS after the change) it works.

Can I adjust the font/colour/location/size of the filename/clock/metadata?

Yes, you can but there is some editing of files required.

Rename or copy _custom.monitor.css to custom.monitor.css (Note that the underscore (_) has been removed from the beginning of the filename!) and edit the file in Notepad or another text editor.

For Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1, 10:

  • File location: %programdata%\Random Photo Screensaver\data\css\_custom.monitor.css
  • Rename to: %programdata%\Random Photo Screensaver\data\css\custom.monitor.css
  • (If you've used RPS version 4.2 or earlier your files could still be in %localappdata%\Random Photo Screensaver\)

For Windows XP:

  • File location: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Random Photo Screensaver\data\css\_custom.monitor.css
  • Rename to: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Random Photo Screensaver\data\css\custom.monitor.css
  • (If you've used RPS version 4.2 or earlier your files could still be in C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Random Photo Screensaver\)

The file has detailed comment in and should guide you along. For quick testing open %programdata%\Random Photo Screensaver\data\monitor.html in your browser and use F5 to refresh page after saving your changes. Once you are happy run RPS to confirm everything is as you like it.

Let me know if you have any issues! I'd like to know the kind of customisations you make, please send me your custom.monitor.css so I can have look. I might include it as a default or alternative settings in a future versions!

Note on multi-monitor systems
To target a specific monitor use .monitor#, for example to show the filename on monitor 2 in the top right corner use:

.monitor2 #filename {
left: auto;
right: 0.25em;
}

Can I use different settings for different users/profiles on my computer?

Yes, you can.

For Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1, 10:

  • Go to the folder %programdata%\Random Photo Screensaver\
  • Locate: settings.sqlite, store.sqlite and metadata.sqlite
  • Copy the three sqlite files to the folder %localappdata%\Random Photo Screensaver\

 

For Windows XP:

  • Go to the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Random Photo Screensaver\
  • Locate: settings.sqlite, store.sqlite and metadata.sqlite
  • Copy the three sqlite files to the folder C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Random Photo Screensaver\

 

The screensaver will automatically use the local files if they are available. You should only copy the contents of the data folder if you want to customise the look-and-feel for different profiles. If you do you will need to upgrade the copied html/css/js files manually.

How do I transfer settings between computers?

Settings are stored in SQLite file settings.sqlite, you can edit sqlite files directly using the open soure DB Browser for SQLite. The file can be found at:

For Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1, 10:

  • Go to the folder %programdata%\Random Photo Screensaver\settings.sqlite

For Windows XP:

  • Go to the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Random Photo Screensaver\settings.sqlite

Unless you are using customised user settings.

Filters tips and tricks

The field metadata contains all metadata for a photo where each entry is on a new line and values are separated by a tab (\t). To access the available metadata for a photo press Ctrl + C when the photo is shown, which copies it into the clipboard. Paste into Notepad or another text editor to see it's contents.

+ Ratings

To filter on a specific rating create a filter that contains the metadata Rating\t#.

E.g. Include metadata Containing Rating\t5

filter-metadata-rating5.png


If you want to include all photos rated 4 or higher you will have to add them individually:

Include metadata Containing Rating\t5

or

Include metadata Containing Rating\t4

filter-metadata-rating5-rating4.png

 

+ Similar time of year

If you would like to view photos that where made in a similar time of year; around the holidays show show photos taken at Christmas, in spring photos of all the lambs you can use the following advanced filter:

rawSQL abs(strftime("%j", created) - strftime("%j", 'now')) < 15

filter-similar-time-of-year.png

This selects photos that where taken the same time of the year of all your photos. If you don't have that many photos and get the 'no images found' message increase the number at the end:

rawSQL abs(strftime("%j", created) - strftime("%j", 'now')) < 30

For all date substitutions see: https://www.sqlite.org/lang_datefunc.html  

How do I exclude all videos?

In the configuration menu (press S key whilst screensaver is running)

  • Select Media tab.
  • Click Show advanced settings...
  • Remove all extensions from Video extensions
  • Exit RPS
  • Delete the metadata.sqlite and store.sqlite files from your config folder to remove previously indexed images.

Is there a 'msi' version or does the 'exe' support silent installs?

The Random Photo Screensaver installer is created using NSIS, this supports the /S option for silent installations.

How can I ask you a question not listed here?