How to Change Windows 7 Logon Screen Background

Every time you start up or shut down you Windows 7 powered PC you will see the default logon screen image. It’s your personal computer and you want to personalize it as much as possible. For that you may be using third party software to change the logon screen image. However these third party software slows down you PC and always runs in the background.

There is a way to change the logon screen without using any third party software. It is easy to change the logon screen in you Windows 8 PC but in Windows this setting is very well hidden and normally you won’t able to do this as it is much complex for a average user.

But you do not have to worry as in this post you will see step by step instructions which will helped you to change the Windows 7 Logon Screen to your liking.

Edit Windows Registry to Enable Custom Backgrounds

First we need enable the custom background feature. For this;

    1. Open the Registry Editor. You can do this by searching for ‘regedit’ into the box in the Start menu and press Enter.
      find regedit in windows
    2. In the Registry Editor go to this location; HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Authentication > LogonUI > Background.
    3. There you will find a DWORD value named ‘OEMBackground‘.
      change OEMBackground value
    4. If you do not see it then; mouse right-click in the right pane, point to the New submenu and click DWORD value and name it ‘OEMBackground’.
      create DWORD in windows Registry
    5. Now Double-click the OEMBackground value or right click > rename and set its value to 1.

You have enabled custom background in you Windows 7 powered PC.

But if you change the template of you windows 7 PC; in most times you will see that the log-on screen’s background is again showing the default image. It’s because of the value stored in the theme’s ‘.ini’ file, which is most probably 0 (zero). If you change your theme, you will have to perform this registry tweak again.

However if you are using a Professional editions of Windows; you can prevent this change with the Group Policy Editor. For this;

  1. Search for gpedit.msc into the box in the Start menu and press Enter to access Group Policy Editor.
    gpedit.msc in windows
  2. Now go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Logon.
    Group Policy Editor in windows 7
  3. You’ll see a setting named ‘Always use custom logon background’. Double-click on it and set it to ‘Enabled’.
    use custom lonon bacground image Group Policy Editor

Now all that is required is to set an image for the custom background.

Setting an Image for Custom Logon Background Image

change windows 7 logon screen background

Now for changing the background image you will need a image file which is less than 245 KB in size. It’s also use an image file that matches the resolution and aspect ratio of your monitor, so it won’t look stretched.

Windows looks for the custom logon screen background image in the following directory:

    1. Go to: C:WindowsSystem32oobe.
    2. Create a folder named ‘info’. Inside the info folder create a new folder named ‘backgrounds’. If they are both already created then just edit them.
    3. Now just copy your desired background jpg image to the created backgrounds folder and rename it to ‘backgroundDefault.jpg‘. It is case sensitive. Do make sure it is less than 245KB is size.

After this no system reboot required. And it will start work from the first time you log out or lock your screen (try the Windows Key + L keyboard shortcut); you’ll see your new background.

If you want to set a new image as background then just replace the previous ‘backgroundDefault.jpg‘ image that you had set. If you want to get back the default logon screen then just delete the ‘backgroundDefault.jpg‘ file and Windows will use the default background as no custom background image is available.