Turn Your Computer into a Digital Photo Frame!

Digital photo frames are a fabulous way to display your photos. You can sit back, relax and gaze at a constant slide show of your favorite images. But you don’t need to buy a digital photo frame, you’re looking at one (that is, if you’re reading this on a computer).

Changing your computer into a digital photo frame is easy. In Windows 7, go to:

Start >> Control Panel >> Personalization >> Screen Saver

To turn your Mac into a digital photo frame using iPhoto, follow these instructions from Apple – Mac 101: Change your Screen Saver

When you click on Screen Saver, the Screen Saver Settings window will appear.

To turn your Screen Saver into a digital photo frame, choose Windows Live Photo Gallery from the left drop-down menu:

By default, the Screen Saver will show all of your pictures from either your Windows Live Photo Gallery or the “My Pictures” folder. But what if you have some pictures on your computer that you don’t want the world to see? Or what if you only want to display photos from a specific album?

You can select the pictures you want the Screen Saver to display by choosing “Settings”. The Windows Live Photo Gallery Screen Saver Settings window will appear. This window shows you which folder will be used for your Screen Saver photos. To choose a different folder, click Browse and then choose the folder with the pictures you want to see in your Screen Saver.

You can also choose different fun effects under “Use this theme” and how rapidly you want the pictures to change. Click “Shuffle contents” if you don’t want your pictures to appear in order.

After you’ve made your selections, click Save and you will be taken back to the Screen Saver Settings window. From there you can adjust the amount of idle time before the Screen Saver appears (the default is 15 minutes) and turn the login requirement on or off.

Click “Preview” to start the Screen Saver and show you how your new digital photo frame will appear. To exit from the Preview, just move your mouse or click a keyboard key and you will be taken back to the Screen Saver Settings window.

To activate the Screen Saver, click Apply. Your Screen Saver will now be a digital photo frame.

Do you enjoy digital photo frames? Do you like watching your images appear on a screen? Do you prefer your photos to appear randomly or in order? Let us know in the Comments section below!

*Scottish castle image by Martin Sojka

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  1. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    I tried this it worked! It started displaying old pictures from when I first had my camera. I might move that folder somewhere else. I realised my theme was a custom Samsung theme and so I deleted that while I was at it. I hope that has fixed my problem with this computer. The magnifier keeps turning itself on. One solution of many according Microsoft is to turn off Aero themes, whatever they are. The problem is a Windows problem that appears particular to Samsung so getting rid of that theme might fix it. It seems OK so far! I used the vintage picture option today with Fotosketcher. I think I’ll try it with a building, rather than nature. I think it could be useful.
    Mike Maynard recently published this awesome post..Farmville Paradise?My Profile

    • says

      Hi Mike,

      That’s one of the great features about this cool trick, seeing older photos you forgot were on your computer. Of course, that could be a bad thing too, if you have any you don’t want others seeing.

      You could make a new folder for screen saver photos and set the Screen Saver folder to that one to make sure you only see the ones you want to see.

      I look forward to seeing your FotoSketcher images!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Turn Your Computer into a Digital Photo Frame!My Profile

      • Lee says


        This is precisely what I have done, i.e. made a personal screen saver file and use that exclusively. Just wonderful. But I need to slow it down so I can appreciate each one without it flipping in 3 seconds to another one. Ha Ha Ha.

        • says

          Hi Lee, That’s a great idea to have a separate folder for images you want to appear in your screen saver. I used to have that, but then I missed seeing so many pictures that now I just “let it ride” and show all of my pictures. Sometimes, though, I wish there were some I would highlight.

          One of the great things about using your computer as a digital photo frame is that you don’t have to transfer your image files to a digital photo frame. They’re already on your computer! :-)
          Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..How to Leave a Facebook GroupMy Profile

  2. says

    What a cool way of using your screen saver. I actually use a Mac, and have been a fan for ages, but the new Metro is really (really) tempting. I do have Windows 7 installed and used with bootcamp. I’m going to try this now. Hopefully it will still be available with Metro.

  3. says

    First of all, hurry up and get your site fixed. If I’m going to have to answer math problems I’m here I might not be able to get my response in every time…..

    This looks pretty cool. However, I don’t have a lot of photos on my computer; maybe enough to at least see what it looks like though, huh?

    Thanks for sharing this tidbit; can’t wait to see what gem you uncover next.
    Bill Dorman recently published this awesome post..I might smell like one, but Iā€™m no fishMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Bill, I am shocked you don’t relish the opportunity to hone your math skills here at The Wonder of Tech. There has been a groundswell of appreciation from readers at this added feature. I’m enjoying the process so much myself that I am considering keeping Captcha on the new and improved site. [-(

      Perhaps using this Screen Saver feature is a great reason to put photos on your computer? :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..14 Fantastic and Fun Tech Gifts for Mom!My Profile

  4. says

    I don’t use that feature because I just turn my monitor off when I’m not on the computer. So I never use the screensaver.

    As you probably can imagine though, my background is my precious girl so she’s always looking at me head on. She’s just too cute Carolyn.

    I’m sure you’ve helped a number of people out with this since sometimes it’s hard to locate how to include photos on your screen.

    Great job young lady.


    • says

      Hi Adrienne, I agree, I turn off my computer when I’m going to be away from it for a while. But if I get up from the computer for a short time, I will leave the computer on. It’s fun to see what pictures are displayed when I return! :-bd
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Color Your World with Tech!My Profile

  5. Ruth Zive says

    How do I do this on my Mac? Is that a silly question…I’m missing something obvious, no doubt :-). Help….

    • says

      Hi Ruth, Great question! I debated including instructions for the Mac, but didn’t want the article to be double the size. Here is the link to Apple’s site explaining how to use iPhoto to make your Screen Saver on your Mack into a digital photo frame: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2485. I will update the article to include that link.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your awesome comment, Ruth!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Color Your World with Tech!My Profile

  6. says

    My apologies. The blog was moved to a new account today and this comment was deleted in the move.

    From Ilka Flood:

    “Hi Carolyn,

    Awesome information! Actually, I have a small digital photo frame my oldest gave me for Mother’s Day a few years back. While looking at it the other day I thought…I wish it was bigger so I could see the pictures from further away. Ha, now I can, without having to go out and buy a new one.

    Thanks so much!

    Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Color Your World with Tech!My Profile

  7. says

    I used to use screen savers few years a back but not any more i turn off my monitor. Having pictures and arranging according to the time is great .Because when i see old images memories start to linger my mind. That feeling is great u know. Anyway good stuff
    Pubudu recently published this awesome post..Creately Real-Time Collaboration for DiagrammingMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Pubudu, I’m glad you liked this post. You’re right, when you see long-forgotten photos show up on your screen, it brings back memories of times past. I hope you enjoy using this screen saver!