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November 9, 2017

Take your PC back to the ’90s with the coolest screensavers, like, ever

by John_A

Screensavers, like other ’90s fads, have swerved around and become popular again — especially with the high-tech additions available today (even if they don’t affect screens the same way anymore). If you’d rather not be the fourth person in the office to download a Game of Thrones screensaver, or you’re just on the lookout for something a little more special, we’ve got you covered with these awesome downloads. Check out the coolest screensavers around!

BOINC/SETI

BOINC is a very different sort of screensaver courtesy of the labs at Berkeley. Instead of just showing fancy pictures, it actually utilizes a server connection to take a little RAM from your computer and use it. Don’t worry, there’s no ill effects — but your computer could help work on projects in universities that are trying to cure cancer or unravel the mysteries of the universe. Cool! Plus, you also get a visual representation of the SETI signals (albeit without much resolution), which is a good way to show your geek cred.

Helios

Helios is a basic particle effect screensaver, but it’s also an astoundingly beautiful one. It features carefully rendered organic bubbles and patterns that move and interact as the screensaver goes on. Perhaps even cooler, you can set the number of ions, the emitters, the animation speed, and more, to get the display exactly how you want it.

IMAX Hubble 3D

This was technically a movie in 2010 (Leo Dicaprio narrated, and no one really remembers it), but the visuals were so great that it was made into a slideshow, so people can take a closer look at the cosmos. It features the incredibly famous photos of space that the Hubble telescope made so popular. If you are a big fan of high-res space images, this is the one for you.

Living Marine Aquarium 2

The aquarium screensaver has been around forever, of course — but this version takes it to a whole other level, and helps make it look like you really do have an aquarium on your desk. You can choose how many of each fish species are present across three different tank options, and ramp up the graphics to make it look like you are really there.

Dog Licking Screen

Yep. That’s exactly what you are getting. Perhaps it was fate, but the time has clearly come for a screensaver that’s just a pug (other species optional) happily licking the screen. Delight coworkers and impress friends! Try to pet your screen! The only downside here is that the screensaver doesn’t come with sound, so you won’t get the full intensity of those pug licks.

3D Zombies

3D Zombies raises a horde of the undead to wander around your desktop and attack. You can either set their hunting rounds as your most recent screen, or as the image/background of your choice for greater hijinks. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and certainly one of the most unique screensavers out there. Note, however, that it costs $4 to buy the full version.

Briblo

Briblo combines aspects from many boredom-defying activities. It’s part Lego, part Tetris, and all mesmerizing as you watch the blocks slowly fall into place. You can even take on a more active role, to dictate where the next block will land.

Don’t Touch My Computer Ep. 2

In its normal passive state, this screen shows a friendly animated dog that ambles about an office and amuses himself with tricks. But if someone touches your mouse or tries to do anything at your computer, he suddenly turns into a protective guardian.

YoWindow

YoWindow provides you with a pastoral scene — but there’s a catch. It taps into local weather reports and then shows the area with whatever weather your region is experiencing, including clouds and the position of the sun. Sure, you could just go look out a window, but this is more fun.

Electric Sheep

Electric Sheep is a fascinating crowdsourced project that taps into online designs and shows them in a psychedelic screensaver. The images and permutations that are the most attractive are voted on, and so become more common, “mating” with other popular designs and mutating into new creations.

UberNES

UberNES is an emulator-like program with two different modes. The first is a watch mode, where it will emulate various games (you can download 150 files, so there’s a lot of different games that can show up) split into “checkpoints.” The second option, however, lets you take over the game and play it yourself with your keyboard. Which is great, if you don’t have anything to do.

Twingly

Set Twingly as your screensaver, and you will get a global map that shows all the blogging activity going on in the world, in real time. It also provides minute little details about what’s being blogged, making the whole thing seem a bit more believable.

Screenstagram

Do you use Instagram for work or fun and end up following a lot of the latest trends? This screensaver collects random popular Instagram photos and displays them in a grid across your screen. You can also make the screensaver pick from various categories and tags, to really narrow the search down to what you are interested in.

Cities of Earth 3D

This screensaver providers a 3D rotating image of the earth. As it passes by a city of note, it will provide information about that city, including population, local time, and more. The graphics aren’t going to blow anyone anyway, but it’s simple and informative, and a good addition for geography fans.

Wikipedia

Knowledge fans may love this one: It takes random first pages off of Wikipedia and displays them on the screen at the rate of around one per minute. While that page is displayed, you can still scroll through it and even click on links while in screensaver mode.

Editors’ Recommendations

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