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How to Customize Your Plex Screensaver with Photos and Fanart


The default “screensaver” for Plex Home Theater clients is to simply dim the screen. Let’s do away with that boring method and replace the dimming effect with fanart from your media collection or personal photos.

While the setup process is simple, there are a few caveats worth covering before we dive in. First and foremost, this trick only works on completely standalone Plex clients based on the Plex Home Theater software (like RasPlex, a Raspberry Pi-based Plex installation we’ve previously shown you how to set up). If you are running a Plex client on another operating system (such as Windows) or using another platform (such as the Apple TV), then you don’t configure the screensaver settings within Plex, but within the operating system/platform you’re using.

Second, if you intend to use your personal photos (or just a bunch of wallpapers you’ve collected), then you need to set up, at minimum, a simple photo collection on your Plex server before proceeding. If you don’t want to use your own photos, but instead just want to use the existing fan art from your Plex media collection, you can skip this preparatory step.

With that minor preparation out of the way, however, the rest is a breeze. Simply sit down wit your Plex client (we’ll be using RasPlex for this demonstration, but the settings option is there for all Plex Home Theater clients) and grab your TV remote. Starting at the main menu, seen below, click to the left with your remote to pull up the various settings menus.

In the sidebar menu, select “Preferences”.

Select “Screensaver” in the left-hand navigation column and then, within the screensaver menu, select “Screensaver mode”.

When prompted to select the screensaver type, select “Library Art”.

After selecting “Library Art”, you’ll be returned to the previous menu. Select “Settings” to customize what artwork is displayed.

Here in the screensaver settings menu for Library Art, there is one major setting and three minor settings you can toggle. The major setting is found at the bottom, labeled “Type of art”. You can toggle this setting between “Photos” and “Fanart”. When set to Photos, it will randomly select pictures from your photo libraries, and when set to Fanart, it will randomly select background fanart from your movie and TV libraries.

In addition, you can toggle the clock on and off, the image info, and a “grainy effect” (that puts a sort of old-film-grain layer over your images). The only option we recommend toggling off, as a matter of course, is the “image info” option as it simple puts the full file name of the image in the corner of the screen—that’s both distracting and not really all that useful unless you have very descriptive file names.

Once you’ve made your choices, hit “OK”. You can either wait a few minutes for the screensaver to  kick on or hit the “Preview” entry in the Screensaver menu to instantly trigger the screensaver so you can preview you.

Here’s what our screensaver looks like with a directory loaded up with Game of Thrones wallpapers, the clock on, the grain effect on, and the image info off:

That’s all there is to it. With a little prep work and a few moments tweaking the menu in your Plex Home Theater client, you can enjoy custom screensavers served up by your Plex Media Server.


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