I've had enough of Windows' built-in screensaver.

I have a simple requirement: turn off the screen after X minutes of idle, which I define as:

  • No keyboard and mouse input.
  • No app is in full-screen mode.

Currently, it gets easily upset, e.g., by:

  • The xbox controller generates random clicks.
  • A game that runs in full screen but is currently suspended.

Then, I need to do something about the device or exit the game.

Is there an alternative app?


I wrote a python script that does all of that except for ignoring the xbox controller. Since it's an input device, its input wakes up the screen, and I don't know how to prevent that.

1 Answer 1


You could build your own script with AutoHotkey, for instance.

AHK makes these available for you:

  • timer to make it work in a cycle
  • several various idle variables, including one for keyboard and mouse. If that's not enough, you could manually check for limited inputs.
  • bunch of various ways to potentially detect fullscreen app, for example this or this. A 100% reliable way will be hard to find as Windows doesn't really provide that info through APIs.
  • multiple ways to launch a screensaver, e.g. by sending SC_SCREENSAVE message to launch the default one:
SendMessage, 0x112, 0xF140, 0,, Program Manager

If you'd like to use Python instead, there's e.g. inputs library that helps catching events only from specific device types, as long as they send default codes.

  • Thanks for that. Since it's a bit involved, I preferred to do it in python. However, there's an issue that I couldn't overcome; see my update above.
    – Zohar Levi
    Commented Apr 9 at 18:38
  • Controllers send predefined keycodes that you need to handle/ignore. Use e.g. inputs lib: github.com/zeth/inputs/blob/master/examples/keyboard_example.py
    – Destroy666
    Commented Apr 9 at 20:21
  • Oh, yeah, I can detect controller input, but the screen would turn on, and I can't prevent that. The most I can do is install a hook and turn it off immediately afterwards.
    – Zohar Levi
    Commented Apr 10 at 1:59
  • I see. That may be rather hard to get around.
    – Destroy666
    Commented Apr 10 at 9:04

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