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ScreensaverStopper, stop activating the screensaver by sending F24 often

Published: 21-12-2019 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article

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Screensaver Stopper

ScreensaverStopper sends the F24 keystroke every 40 seconds. This way, Windows should not activate the screensaver. Useful if you do not have rights to disable the screensaver, but can run executables.

I've written it to solve a personal annoyance. At work I have a Windows 10 virtual machine (for Visual Studio, network file share access and the Microsoft Office Suite). I cannot disable the screensaver, due to GPO policy. I can however, compile and run software.

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There is no window, no output, no settings, just a keystroke every 40 seconds. If you need to stop the application, use the task manager.

Test the keyboard input here:

screenshot 2

Resource usage:



It's written in C++, compiled with GCC 8.1 via MinGW. Filesize is around 14 KB, memory usage after a day of running around 600KB. License is GNU GPLv3.

Source Code


 * Stop system from going to screensaver by sending F24 keystroke every 40 seconds.
 * License: GNU GPLv3
 * Source:
 * Author: Remy van Elst, 2019
#define WINVER 0x0500
#include <windows.h>
int main()
     // 40 seconds
    DWORD sleeptime = 40000;
    INPUT ip;
    ip.type = INPUT_KEYBOARD; = 0; // hardware scan code for key = 0; = 0;
    // list of keycodes:
    // = 0x87; // virtual-key code for the "F24" key
    while (true)
    { = 0; // 0 for key press
        SendInput(1, &ip, sizeof(INPUT)); = KEYEVENTF_KEYUP; // KEYEVENTF_KEYUP for key release
        SendInput(1, &ip, sizeof(INPUT));
    return 0;


cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.15)
set(CMAKE_EXE_LINKER_FLAGS "-static-libgcc -static-libstdc++")
add_executable(ScreenSaverStopper WIN32 main.cpp)
Tags: c++ , cpp , development , mingw , screensaver , software , windows