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screensaver A program that is initiated after a display has remained unchanged for a definable period of time, usually a few minutes, to prevent a permanent pattern being physically burnt into the screen. In its simplest form the program merely blanks the screen, but screensavers have become something of a subculture and can range from complex moving abstract shapes to colorful animated stories with many variations. It is also possible to have a whole set of screensavers and have one chosen at random on each occasion.