[Windows] How to create custom screensavers and photo or image slideshows with IrfanView

2013-04-04_002122I’m sure, by now, most dotTechies have heard of IrfanView, a popular freeware image viewer and Windows Photo Viewer alternative we featured in our list of 12 free image viewers on Windows. However, some people may not know IrfanView is not just an image viewer — it can do things beyond displaying images. In this article I want to focus on one particular feature of IrfanView — the ability to create custom screensavers (SCR format — can be used as screensaver in Windows) and image slideshows (EXE format — standalone and can be viewed on any computer, regardless of if IrfanView is installed or not).


To create custom and standalone screensavers (SCR) or slideshows (EXE), do the following:

  • 2013-04-03_221420Download and install IrfanView, if you don’t already have it. Take note during installation you will be asked if you want to use IrfanView as your default image viewer on Windows. If you want to use IrfanView as your default image viewer, you can — select the formats you want to set IrfanView as the default for. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to — just skip past this screen.
  • If you want to include MP3 background audio in your slideshow(s), download and install IrfanView plugins.
  • Once you have IrfanView installed, run it and go to ‘File’ -> ‘Slideshow…’. You will see the following:


  • From the top-right corner of this window, browse to the images you want to include, highlight them (hold SHIFT and left-click with your mouse button on all the images you want), and then click on ‘Add’. Alternatively, if you want to add all the images in a particular folder, browser to that folder and click ‘All all’. You can add any image format supported by IrfanView, including JPG/JPEG, PNG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PSD, and more. Take note IrfanView supports videos but, as per my tests, IrfanView does not support videos in slideshows.
  • If you want background audio to play in your slideshow, add MP3 audio files to the ‘Slideshow files’ list the same way you added images.
  • (OPTIONAL) Once you have loaded the images you want, order them the way you want them to display from the bottom-right corner using the ‘Move up’, ‘Move down’, and ‘Sort files’ buttons. If you added audio files, make sure the first audio file is on top of the list. The position of remaining audio files is unimportant but order them in the way you want them to play — IrfanView will play one after another.
  • Now select how you want images to progress in the slideshow from the top-left corner (‘Slide advancement’). By default, IrfanView is set to automatically show next image every 5 seconds. You can modify this time limit or set it so next image is executed upon mouse click or key press. If you want your images to appear in random fashion and not in the order which is shown in ‘Slideshow files’, use one of the ‘Random’ options in ‘Slide advancement’.
  • Next modify slideshow settings from ‘Slideshow options’. Be sure to check ‘Loop slideshow’ if you want the slideshow to loops.
  • Finally, modify ‘Play mode’ settings.
  • When you are happy with your slideshow, click ‘Save slideshow as EXE/SCR’ , select if you want EXE or SCR, name the slideshow, select storage location, and hit ‘Create’:


Take note you can also do or ‘Burn slideshow to CD’, if you want to burn slideshow to CD/DVD.

  • Done!

If you outputted as EXE, you can view that slideshow by simply running that EXE. The EXE is standalone so it can be shared with others, who will be able to view the EXE even without IrfanView installed. If you outputted as SCR, you can set that as your screensaver by right-clicking the file -> ‘Install’ and applying it at the Windows screensaver settings that popup. SCR is also standalone, so you can share it with others.



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  • John

    Anyone know how to get Win7 Task Scheduler to run an Irfanview created slideshow? In ‘Actions’ I told scheduler to ‘Start a program’, browsed to the exact location of the .exe file, no ‘Arguments’, no ‘Start in’. Won’t run. Other programs will start if I browse to them.

  • RealBull

    This is nice info I did not know about…thanks!

  • AFPhy6

    [@Frank D]
    I just got done making nasty comments to another DotTechie who didn’t like seeing command lines. It is good to see someone who appreciates the power that gives you. iview (as we very old folks fondly know it as) has been versatile and powerful from its inception. Those like you who wish to use command line launches can do it easily; those who only want GUIs can open iview, select their pix (or load a previously built list) via the GUI and launch their sshow.

    I keep looking at other viewers, but haven’t found a compelling reason to change. … the more you know about the better iview is.

  • Frank D

    [@RODNEY COPELAND] Wow! Thank you for that procedure. I’ll give it a try. I had no idea IrfanView was that flexible.


    [@Frank D]

    “Creating a screensaver or slideshow” implies portability; thus the graphic data has to be included.

    If you want to play the slideshow on your computer, you can do it…

    SLIDESHOW (On Windows XP):
    When you click IrFanView’s _Play Slideshow_ button, it saves a text file in the IrFanView directory that contains the full path of the graphic files to be displayed. This file is saved (by default) at:

    C:\Program Files\IrfanView\Slideshow.lst

    You can invoke IrfanView from a command line, and pass parameters to it. The following command line displays the last slideshow that was played from within IrfanView:

    C:\Program Files\IrfanView\i_view32.exe /slideshow=C:\Program Files\IrfanView\Slideshow.lst

    You can rename and copy the Slideshow.lst file to another location to save the assembled slideshow (prevent it from being written over with something else while playing with IrFanView). This lets you have multiple slideshows, which consist of only a list of files.

    You can create a shortcut to a command line for quick access, or you could use a task scheduler to create a task that runs automatically at a certain date/time.

    SCREENSAVER: your on your own here… I have no idea how to get a .SCR file to point to external data. If you know how, you now have the info to do it.

  • acr

    Is there any way to get PhotoShow to run on Windows 7? Also, thanks for the Irfanview info about creating a slideshow. Is there some way to save other than .scr or .exe? I would like to create a slideshow and upload to youtube.

  • Frank D

    [@Shawn] Thank you for that info.

    My problem with this method of creating a screen saver is that on my PC this takes up over 350 MB of disk space (I know, I have a lot of images). If I use another screen saver (e.g., gPhotoShow), nothing is created on my HD, since it’s all done on the fly.

  • Shawn


    Btw for your april fools joke of yourself you should of taken Barak Obama’s Birth Cirtificate and change the name xD. I would of certainly of died laughing…

  • Shawn

    @Frank D

    Once you’ve created the .scr file what you need to do is right click on the file and choose install .. once done it will show up in the list of screensavers on your computer.

    Or what I do cause I’ve got a script that places files where they go the scr files go in windows system32

    but .scr files fall in the direct launch types so double-clicking on the final product will make it run.

  • Frank D

    This is a great find. Thanks!

    One question: how does it start? I don’t see any options for what starts it or after how long keyboard/mouse inactivity the slideshow starts. I checked out Personalization (Win7) but there’s nothing there for IrfanView.

  • Shawn

    I’ve been using this for a while…

    Great for when you want to make a Digital Signage.

    But as always great article.