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How to change the Logon Screen Background in Windows 7 - fixedByVonnie

How to change the Logon Screen Background in Windows 7

The default Windows login screen is boring, banal and bland but it doesn’t have to be.

Windows 7 Login Screen

Some Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) will sometimes modify the Windows logon screen to show their company logo or wallpaper.  For example, Lenovo might flaunt its newest laptop floating in a hypnotic sea of green or Dell might place its logo in the corner so the first thing you see when signing on to your computer is the brand.  If you’re using a company computer, your IT department might have printed the company mission statement, website, or symbol on the login screen as a stamp of ownership that constantly reminds you that this computer isn’t yours.

While most people know how to change their desktop wallpapers fewer know how to change the login screen.  Fortunately, you don’t need to download and install any third-party software to do this.  The change just involves a small registry tweak.

Tweaking the Registry

Login to Windows, click Start and enter this:

regedit

Then backup the registry by right-clicking the Computer icon in the upper left pane and choosing Export.  If you end up flubbing the registry during this tutorial then you can restore it by importing the saved .REG file you just exported.  Make sure you save the file to a removable drive or use cloud storage because if you have a hapless encounter with the Registry the last thing you want to do is find yourself scrambling to find the backup.

After you’ve exported the Registry, navigate to this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background

In the right pane, you should see two values:

  • Default
  • OEMBackground

Windows 7 Create Custom Login Background Screen

Double-click OEMBackground, change the value to 1 and click OK.

If for some reason you don’t see that OEMBackground key, right click an empty part of the Registry editor and mouse over to New and left click DWORD (32-bit Value).  Name the key OEMBackground, double click it and set the value to 1.

Adding the Image

The first rule is that the image has to be less than 256KB and should match your screen resolution so that the image doesn’t look stretched or squished.  You can find some decent images by doing a quick Google Images search for windows 7 logon screens gallery or checkout InterfaceLift’s selection.

Once you have background image we need to move it to the folder Windows is expecting to find it.

Open My Computer and click through to this folder:

C:\Windows\System32\oobe

In the OOBE folder create a new folder and name it info. Then double-click that and create a new folder inside of info named backgrounds.

Windows 7 Login Screen Path for Images

Open the backgrounds folder and move your background image into this folder.  The file name must be:

backgroundDefault.jpg

So make sure you rename accordingly.  After you place your little graphic here, lock the screen by pressing the Windows Key + L.

You should immediately see your custom image background now.

Windows 7 Logon Background Screen

Windows 7 Logon Screen

If it doesn’t work…

Check these things if you’re seeing problems:

  1. Are you sure the image is less than 256KBs?
  2. Also you renamed the image to backgroundDefault.jpg and it lives in C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds right?

And keep in mind if you change your theme it will erase the Registry tweak we made earlier.  If you have questions just hit me up in the comments.

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  • Amar

    very well expalined…………I found another similar working method here- http://www.superpctricks.com/2012/04/how-to-change-log-on-screen-in-windows.html

  • sc

    What if you don’t want any image. Just a blue background (ie windows classic wallpaper).

    • geetika rana

      Download this, Install it and just need

      to right click on the icon and choose ‘Run as Administrator’ on application Icon. It can help you to get your default background back.

      http://sourceforge.net/projects/rocfkordwlbc/

  • sazuya

    still can’t
    my image size is 98.3 and i change the image name to “backgroundDefault” but it still useless~

  • i can’t get it to work but i did everything correct

  • O2

    It’s doesn’t work.I made step by step.I checked my steps it is correct.I don’t the cause.My image size is 29.6KB.

    • Hmm, O2 I’m not sure why it’s not working for some people (including sazuya and Kody). I do know that everything has to be exact. One extra character (even a space character) can throw the entire thing off. It took me a few tries to get it right. I’m assuming you’re not getting any errors right – it’s just not working?

      Shoot me an email if you keep having this issue so I can work it through with ya.

  • Emily

    I’ve tried this 20+ times, constantly made sure everything was correct, and it has not worked. I’m really getting frustrated… and, on top of it, I’m REALLY sick of looking at that stupid blue Windows logon background… it’s gross.

    • satz

      there is a software, try it. it merely takes seconds to change the ‘logon’ screen wallpaper. This article is shit.

    • geetika rana

      Try this Software. Just need to right click on the icon and choose ‘Run as Administrator’ on application Icon

      http://sourceforge.net/projects/rocfkordwlbc/?source=directory

  • Kevin

    Works like a charm! Have yet to have it fail. Just make sure everything is spelled correctly! Caps where capital letters are shown. etc, etc…

  • Kyle

    Thanks for this great tutorial! Question for you though, why does the image have to be less than 256kb? Is that something to do with allocated space for the background image?
    I have some pictures I’ve taken that I’d like to use, but when I crop them to the correct aspect ratio and then compress them to 256kb, they get horrible grainy and pixelated. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • shashavalli

    Hai I can try but my system not exist to change image pls tell me error it is Target folder is not available tell pls how can clear it is tell me

  • Jolene

    These instructions saved my sanity. My beautiful, classy Lenovo THiNK logon background had mysteriously vanished (due to Windows updates?) and in its place was that ghastly blue Windows background. I was so infuriated and heartsick. Thank goodness I found your instructions. Come to find out, the Lenovo backgroundDefault.jpg file was still in the “backgrounds” folder, but somehow the OEMBackground number got changed to “0”. Once I set it back to “1”, my beloved THiNK returned. Thanks so much for such detailed instructions, and for the screen shots! Much appreciated!

  • Funktapus

    Everyone who can’t get it to work: try deleting the “.jpg” from your file name. Under some configurations, windows hides file extensions, so your file is really named “backgroundDefault.jpg.jpg”

    • Good tip (and funny name) Funktapus!

    • Jeff

      Thank you! That was why it would not change for me.

  • venkat

    Thnqs Bro I Got the Bckgroung image thq thq…

  • satz

    there is a software, try it. it merely takes seconds to change the ‘logon’ screen wallpaper. This article is shit !!

  • geetika rana

    It’s nice, But hacking
    directly using Registry can be dangerous for newbies. Why don’t we use
    this tool made by Trusted Rockford Solutions (p) Ltd, I used it personally, just need
    to right click on the icon and choose ‘Run as Administrator’ on application icon.
    It’s called Rockford Windows Logon Background changer:
    Download Link
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/rocfkordwlbc/?source=directory