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Windows 7/Protecting the Monitor


We have a computer lab where I live with 10 stations all running windows 7.  There are 10 different monitor makes and models.  To use the computer, residents log-in to a particular user account.  One is expected to log-out when finished.

One of our residents is constantly turning the monitor "off" after logging out.  I am of the opinion this is not necessary.  He insists it is important to not damage the monitor.  I think it is not important because all that shows after logging out of a user account in windows 7 is a benign image of the user accounts that are set up on the computer.

Would you please speak to the issue of whether one needs to turn off the power to the monitor for safety reasons when the user has logged out...... ?

Would you also speak to whether having a screen saver installed would provide any benefit at the point the user has logged out of his user account....?


Hi Theresa,

Setting aside computer-specific issues, the reason for turning off screens is kind of a tradition stemming back to earlier CRT monitors which, if left on the same image, would result in that image being burned permanently (or at least semi-permanently) onto the screen. There are similar issues with LCD screens, but they tend not to be as prevalent. Additionally, turning off the monitor helps save energy, and therefore money.

There aren't any inherent safety concerns to leaving a monitor on or off - they are both still connected to the electricity supply and the computer unit, so switching it off won't necessarily stop it from having issues during, say, a lightning strike and/or power surge.

A screensaver would help solve the issues mentioned earlier of "burn-in" because the image is constantly changing on the screen, but the monitor would still use the same amount of power as when it is in normal use.

I would suggest the following:

- set the computer to show a screensaver after 5 minutes
- set the computer to turn off the monitor after 15 minutes

Turning off the monitor just puts it into a lower power mode, usually with negligible power consumption. With a flick of the mouse, the screen comes back on almost instantly.

I would say that the above suggestion is an ideal solution for both yourself and the other resident's needs. Take a look here for more details on the power settings in Windows 7.

Good luck!

Windows 7

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James Milligan


Several years of IT support experience with a range of customers and clients. I aim to answer as many questions as I can, particularly ones where I have a chance to learn about a feature or new technology myself.


Personally, Windows 7 is my main operating system, so I know my way around it like the back of my hand. I have provided support for Windows 7 since it was released,

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