Customizing your Windows 7 Login Screen

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Windows 7 introduced a lot of new functionality with the way users can personalize their OS. In the days of Windows XP, you could merely change the background image, and a few various views for buttons and menus, but with Windows 7, if you know where to look, you can edit quite a bit.

When you are on your desktop, you can set an entire picture slideshow as your desktop background, and even customize the color and the sounds you hear through “Personalize”, but what about that drab blue Windows 7 background you see when you turn on your computer, and you put in your login credentials? With a few simple steps, you can actually change that as well!

You can make this screen…

…Look like this…

Step 1 is to find a photo online that you would like to use. The photo should be of the highest resolution you could get. If you constantly change your screen resolution, you might need to create several sizes of the photo, but in this example, we use one resolution, so we are going to use one photo size.

Once you have the photo saved to your computer, you are going to need to make one registry key change. It is very important to understand that the computer’s registry is the backbone of your entire system. Editing the registry can result in significant system damage. If you are uncomfortable doing this, you can call Everon IT, and we can assist.

To get to the registry, click on the Windows logo in the lower left hand corner of your screen, and in the ‘Search program and files’ bar right above the logo, type: regedit.exe and hit the enter key. This will launch the registry editor. Click the ‘Yes’ button to proceed if user account control requests you to accept changes.

The registry has many nodes that when you click on them, they will drop down into further nodes. Follow the path to the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE ->SOFTWARE->Microsoft ->Windows ->CurrentVersion ->Authentication ->LogonUI ->Background.

On the right hand side, after clicking on Background, you will see the key entitled OEMBackground. Double-click on the key and change the hexadecimal value from 0 to 1. This essentially turns this function on. 0 means off, and 1 means on. Once you have completed that, you can close the registry editor and reboot your machine. You must reboot to accept the changes.

 

The hard part is now over…

Once you have rebooted and logged back into your desktop, you need to browse to the following folder: C:\Windows\system32\oobe. If you have user account control enabled, it might ask if you would like to continue; click the ‘continue’  button to go inside the folder. When inside the oobe folder, create a new folder called INFO. Inside the INFO folder, create another folder called backgrounds.

Inside the backgrounds folder is where you are going to put your new wallpaper. However, in order for it to work, your photo must meet the following requirements: The file must be no greater than 256KB in size, it must be a JPEG, and it must be renamed DefaultBackground.jpg. In some cases, the INFO and backgrounds folders are already created. If this is the case, you might see another DefaultBackground.jpg file. Rename this file with a .old extension, and put your photo in place.

 

Once you have this file in place, lock your screen by using the Windows key+L, and check out your new background!

To find out more cool customization you can do to your operating system, call Everon IT at 1-888-244-1748.

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