Windows 7 makes it possible to change the logon screen background image/wallpaper that appears when you see login screen on starting your computer without any third-party software. But this setting is well hidden and you won’t find it easily. You can set any image you like as your custom logon background. This setting is intended for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to customize their systems, but there’s nothing to stop you from changing logon background of your Windows 7. You just have to change some settings in Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor and put desired photo in correct location. You don’t even need to reboot your PC, this takes effect immediately.
We can do it in two ways, i. e. using Registry Editor and Group Policy Editor. Registry Editor method fails when you change Theme in Windows 7. You can use Group Policy Editor method for permanent solution. But Windows 7 Home version doesn’t have Group Policy Editor utility in it. So, for Windows 7 Home version, you can use Registry Editor Method. This tutorial shows changing of Logon background using both Registry Editor as well as Group Policy Editor method.
What do we need?
- A Wallpaper in jpg format. You can download Free HD Wallpaper from here.
Registry Editor Method
Press Windows Key + R to launch RUN utilily, then type regedit and click OK.
You may be prompted for Administrator’s permission, click Yes to continue.
Registry Editor window will open-
Now, track down to following path in Registry Editor-
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Authentication > LogonUI > Background
After clicking on Background on left pane, click on OEMBackground DWORD on right pane. If you don’t see this DWORD in right pane, you can create it. To create it, right-click in blank space, click New >> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name this new DWORD as OEMBackground (case sensitive).
Modify this DWORD‘s value. Right-click on it and select Modify…
Change the value from “0” to “1” and click OK.
This Registry Editor Method may fail if you change the Theme in your Windows 7. But if you are using Windows 7 Home, you can’t use Group Policy Editor method, you can proceed to Logon background setting.
And if you are using a Windows 7 version which has Group Policy Editor, you can use following method as permanent solution.
Group Policy Editor Method
Press Windows Key + R to launch RUN utilily, then type gpedit.msc and click OK.
This will open Group Policy Editor.
In Group Policy Editor, go to following path-
Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> System >> Logon
Double-click on “Always use custom logon background”, this will open a new window. Click on Enabled and then click OK to enable this feature. After enabling this you will be able to use custom backgrounds.
Setting Up Logon Image
Now, you are all set to change logon background. You just need to put your desired wallpaper in the right place. First, get your wallpaper in right format. Wallpaper should be in .jpg format and size should not be more than 256KB, and most important thing, name must be backgroundDefault.jpg . Without this name it would not work. Name is case sensitive.
The background image is ready, you just need to put it in right place. Go to following path-
If you are using a laptop, you will have above path already available but if you are using a PC, you may only have upto C:\Windows\System32\oobe directory. You will have to create info and backgrounds folder yourself. First go to oobe folder and right-click in blank space and create a new folder named as info.
Double-click this newly created info folder. And create an new folder inside info folder and name this new folder as backgrounds.
Now copy that “backgroundDefault.jpg” image and paste it into recently created backgrounds folder.
You may have to provide Administrator’s permission for doing this, click Continue to paste this image there.
Image will be copied to backgrounds folder.
Close all the folders and exit to desktop. We are almost done.
You have done every thing to set a custom logon background. You don’t need to reboot your PC to see the effects, just lock your Windows. To lock your Windows, click Start button, then click Arrow next to Shutdown button and click Lock.
Your computer will be locked and you will see logon screen with new background.
You see, that looks amazing. You can choose your desired image and put it into that backgrounds folder with right name and you can set it as logon background image/wallpaper. If you are facing any problem in setting custom logon background, comment below. Enjoy, custom logon background!