How to Display Build Info, Edition and WinDir Path on the Desktop

Here is a neat little registry edit for Windows 8 and Windows 10 systems that shows the build information and Windows version on the lower right corner of the desktop as a watermark. The famous PaintDesktopVersion registry edit still works in Windows 8 and Windows 10, but there is another way to display the same information, plus the Windows installation directory name.

Display Build Info, Edition, WinDir Path on the Desktop

  1. Press Win + R, type regedit.exe and click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
  3. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value named DisplayVersion
  4. Set the value data for DisplayVersion to 1
  5. Exit the Registry Editor.
  6. Press F5 to refresh the desktop.

Alternatively, using command-line:

Right-click Start, click Command Prompt (Admin).

Type this command and press Enter:

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows" /v DisplayVersion /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Press F5 to refresh the desktop. Your desktop should now show the build and edition at the lower right corner of the screen.

On Windows 10, it also shows the internal code name (vb for Vibranium, rs for RedStone, etc.) along with the build and release numbers.



displayversion paint desktop version

… whereas the PaintDesktopVersion value, when enabled, displays only the build information and Windows version as below:

(If you want to display additional system configuration information on the desktop, check out BgInfo from Windows Sysinternals.)


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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