Customizing the Windows 7 Logon Screen Wallpaper

Customizing the Windows 7 Logon Screen Wallpaper
May 3, 2009 Jens

In the dawn of Windows 7 RC on MSDN and “for the masses” in two days there comes a new logon screen:

Windows_7_logon_0

Birds? Are they kidding me? Tough guys need tough logon screens, like flying pink elephants or something.

Good news is, that you can easily customize the logon screen without any resource hacking, etc.

Preparing your installation for logon customization

The functionality was originally designed for OEMs, so the first thing to do is to check, whether this feature is already enabled.

Start regedit.exe (requires admin rights), navigate to HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionAuthenticationLogonUIBackground and look for a DWORD called OEMBackground.

Create it, if it doesn’t exist and set its value to 1 to enable it, or 0 to disable.

Exchange logon wallpapers with your own ones

The “OEM wallpapers” are stored in %windir%system32oobeinfobackgrounds where you may find the following list:

  • backgroundDefault.jpg
  • background768×1280.jpg
  • background900×1440.jpg
  • background960×1280.jpg
  • background1024×1280.jpg
  • background1280×1024.jpg
  • background1024×768.jpg
  • background1280×960.jpg
  • background1600×1200.jpg
  • background1440×900.jpg
  • background1920×1200.jpg
  • background1280×768.jpg
  • background1360×768.jpg

It may be that the neither the files nor the directory exist. If so, simply create them.

Just replace the file matching the resolution of your primary monitor. If Windows can’t find a file matching your resolution, it uses the backgroundDefault.jpg in “stretched-to-fit” mode. So, if you’re too lazy to create all the files for different resolutions, just delete all files but the default one.

Be aware, that you can only use files with less than 256kb in size.

Hello! I’m Jens. A User Experience Specialist and Developer based in Bonn, Germany.

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