A Windows Screensaver to cycle through webpages

It started pretty simply, I just wanted to have a screensaver on the big screen outside of our development lab to cycle though some webpages on our hudson server.  I thought that there must be an open source tool somewhere that does what I need but alas couldn’t find anything out there.  I am in general quite reluctant to download any free screensaver software from the web after the time I’ve spent fixing the computers of relatives after they downloaded a “screensaver”.  After a few false starts (windows scripting of IE is not option for a screensaver (think what happens when you send a keypress to a screensaver!)) I finally came across a quite simple solution using C# and Windows Forms, based on the tutorial at Geekpedia.  I put the source up on github so hopefully no one else will have to learn the hard way :-)

Things to watch out for:

  • There is a difference between the WPF WebBrowser control and the Windows Forms WebBrowser control.
  • The WPF WebBrowser doesn’t expose the full functionality of the control so this is a bad otion for the screensaver (in particular you want to suppress the scripting errors dialogs).
  • You have to add the mouse and keyboard event listeners not to the WebBrowser control but to each document as it’s loaded.

Good luck!



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4 responses to “A Windows Screensaver to cycle through webpages

  1. Thank’s Mike! It works. Nice work.

    Interestingly, it doesn’t work with the page I want to use, though, because when Windows runs IE9 as the screensaver, it does it in “Compatibility” mode, and doesn’t understand CSS3. Just thought I’d throw that out there. If you happen to know how to tell Windows to run IE9 as IE9, I’d be much obliged.

    • meekrosoft

      Hi Stu, sorry, I’ve absolutely no idea how to do this. Really windows programming isn’t my forte, it is a bit of a foreign land. If you find out I’d really appreciate a comment on how to make this happen. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Is that really all there is to it because that’d be flaaiergbstbng.

  2. Hi Mike – It’s been a good few years since you discovered the home made version, but I thought to let you know my colleagues and I are about to release a product that does exactly this (for Windows and Mac).

    Screensaver Ninja rotates through live websites via your screensaver, so whether you wanted to install a big screen or just utilise existing monitors, you can have an easy-to-build dashboard in a few minutes. You can add any site, choose the rotation time and ensure the pages refresh, as well as lock the screen so no one else has information access.

    Check it out here if you’re curious to know more! screensaver.ninja

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