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 good old PaintDesktopVersion registry edit still works in Windows 8 and Windows 10, but there is another way to display the same information in addition to 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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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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