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TIP: Run the MSN Screen Saver 'without' the MSN Search Toolbar
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 06.08.05 - 17:47:28 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 17229x
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For some days now, I have the MSN Screen Saver installed on my PCs (Notebook, Media Center Edition and office PC) and I must admit it's exactly what I was looking for for a long time. It shows my very own photos randomly as well as it adds RSS news feeds on top, something absolutely handy if you want/have to stay up to date.
Anyway, I was "slightly annoyed" by MSN because I had to install the MSN Search Toolbar for Internet Explorer. As good as these Toolbars might be (doesn't matter from whom - Google, Yahoo! or MSN) I don't want to be forced to install it just because I want to run a different application, especially because the MSN Search Toolbar doesn't provides me any benefit because I'm using Avant Browser instead of the Internet Explorer (even if Avant Browser is using the Internet Explorer OCX) which offers tabbed browsing and some other goodies for a long time already.

Today I've decided to uninstall the MSN Search Toolbar but (trying to) leave the MSN Screen Saver on the PC. If you try to install the MSN Screen Saver without having the Toolbar installed already, the installation wizard denies to continue but I wanted to test the other way around - uninstalling the Toolbar since the Toolbar and the Screen Saver are two different applications:

Select MSN Search Toolbar, press "Remove" and confirm you want to remove it from your PC:

The MSN Search Toolbar will uninstall:

Done, now you have to reboot your PC:

Okay, so far so good but the question was: "will the Screen Saver continues to work?".

Open the Desktop Properties and select Screen Saver. At least it still appears in the list of available screen savers:

If you press "Preview" the MSN Screen Saver is also still working:

Same happened when I reduced the Screen Saver time to 1 minute to make sure it was really starting - it worked and started after one minute! :-)

Anyway, for sure there is one problem now: because MSN Toolbar was removed, you get an error message if you try to configure your screen saver:

However, this isn't a big deal if you have initially configured your Screen Saver via the MSN Toolbar because as always for these kind of applications, all the data are typically stored in a xml file. All you have to know is where you can find it and the storage location follows the typical way how Windows XP stores user date: you can find it in "C:\Documents and Settings\[YOUR LOGIN NAME]\Application Data\Microsoft\MSN Screen Saver".

Just open "localconfig.xml" either with a text editor or FrontPage (if you have) and you get the initially configured settings you can change now:

That's it - now I have a customized RSS enabled Screen Saver without having the MSN Search Toolbar installed which took 22,88 MB for nothing.

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by krypticide on 06.08.05 - 18:58:21

Great tips! I'm just happy that I was already using MSN Toolbar for search.

Posted by Omer Khan on 09.08.05 - 07:32:01

Nice work Arne! We've had a lot of feedback about forcing people to also install the MSN Toolbar. And we've listened to it. So this week we'll be releasing an updated version of the MSN Screen Saver which works with OR without the MSN Toolbar. It will be your choice if you want want to install the MSN Toolbar or not. Also, I read your comment about OPML support. Don't be surprised if that feature also gets added soon! wink

Omer Khan, MSN Portal, Group Manager

Posted by Li-Kai Chang on 12.08.05 - 12:21:23

Yesterday, we released a version of the MSN Screen Saver that does NOT require the MSN Toolbar. You can to go to to upgrade.

Li-Kai Chang
Program Manager, MSN Screen Saver

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