Windows 7 Lets you Change the Logon Background Image

Just what the title says! Windows 7 supports the ability to load images into the background of the login screen without the use of third-party software or manual hacks. This excellent tip was published by Rafael Rivera in his "Within Windows" blog. To change the logon desktop background, you just need to complete two simple steps.

(Thanks & Credits to the Within Windows blog.)

Step I – Creating a Registry Value

1. Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press ENTER:

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

2. Create a new DWORD value named OEMBackground

3. Double-click OEMBackground and set 1 as its value data.

4. Exit the Registry Editor.

Editor’s Note: I’ve observed that it also works if you create the OEMBackground value in the following Policy key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Windows \ System

-or-

Use the following Group Policy setting in Windows 7

1. Start the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)





2. Go to the following branch:

Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | System | Logon

3. Set the following option to Enabled

Always use custom logon background

4. Close the Group Policy Editor.

Step II – Include the Wallpaper Image (JPG)

Next step is to place the background wallpaper (JPEG file) in the following folder:

C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds

Note that the info folder doesn’t exist by default. You need to create the info and backgrounds folders manually.

Place the background image file (name it as backgroundDefault.jpg) into the above folder.

As for the file naming info and maximum supported file size, check out Rafael’s post Windows 7 to officially support logon UI background customization. Be sure to check out Rafael’s blog for more information and screenshots! And someone even wrote a small utility to change the Windows 7 logon background.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

19 thoughts on “Windows 7 Lets you Change the Logon Background Image

  1. OK, I did this some time back and all was great, however a short time ago it changed back on its own. All the setting are right but it still will not work, any ideas?

  2. after i created an INFO folder, will i create the BACKGROUND folder in it? i can’t understand the image procedure thingy..

  3. doesn’t work. followed all the steps — reg entry, policy change, less than 256k and still the same ugly background.

  4. I have Win7 Ultimate x64 and I do not have folder named “oobe” in my system32 folder. I do, however, have one in my SysWOW64 folder that leads to the background image that is simply called “background” and is a bitmap.

  5. In older windows operating systems it was also possible to change the logon wallpaper by setting the HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\desktop\Wallpaper key and specifying a BMP.
    Nice to know how it is done in 7; thnx!

  6. I’m running windows 7 pro 32bit and I’ve tried everything, I did the regedit thing, gpedit.msc thing, and made the info file, background file, and put the pic I wanted to use in it and it’s under the size limit. I even tried to replace the main image by over riding the admin controls and still nothing. any advice?

  7. My Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit laptop has several different OEM logon background screens in the backgrounds folder, which differ in their size in pixels. Changing the BackgroundDefault.jpg file does not change the logon background screen, but changing one of the other background files (Background1360x768.jpg – which is not my maximum screen size) does.

  8. Finally it works on my Win 7 Pro 64bit. I spent a lot of time without success unless I realized that the info\backgrounds folders should be created, opened and files copied in WINDOWS EXPLORER!
    I created the folders using Total Commander first time and the folder was mapped to different location than Windows (and the Windows Explorer) was looking to.

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