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.To change the logon desktop background, you just need to complete two simple steps.

Windows 7 Lets you Change the Logon Background Image

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
    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

Alternately, you can 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 Always use custom logon background to Enabled.
  4. Close the Group Policy Editor.
  5. The 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.

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

Third-party Logon Changer Utility

There is also a 3rd party tool to automate the task. The Logon Changer for Windows from Steve Sinchak provides an easy way to customize the login screen background with just a few clicks. Download Logon Changer for Windows from Tweaks.com, and run it.



Click Change Logon Screen. Select a JPG image (must be less than 256KB)

Note that there is also an option to revert back to the default login screen.


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About the author

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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

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

  8. 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?

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