[Fix] Can’t Change Lock Screen Background Image and User Account Picture in Windows 8

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I have received so many emails from several Windows 8 users complaining about the same problem i.e. not able to change lock screen background image and user account picture in Windows 8.

Actually Windows 8 users can change lock screen background or user account picture using PC Settings page which can be accessed from new Charms Bar. You can show Charms Bar on screen by moving your mouse cursor to top-right corner or by pressing Win+C keys together. Then click on Settings charm and there you can access PC Settings by clicking on "Change PC settings" link given at the bottom. Once you open PC Settings page, you can change lock screen background or user account picture by clicking on "Browse" button as mentioned here.

But many times when you click on browse button, nothing happens. The screen flickers and that's it. You don't see the page to select desired images.

Lock_Screen_User_Account_Picture_Problem_Windows_8.png

Generally if your Windows 8 is not activated, you can't customize Start Screen, lock screen or user account picture so first make sure you have activated Windows 8 successfully. You can check Windows activation status using System Properties.

If your Windows is activated but still you are not able to change lock screen background and user account picture in Windows 8, this tutorial will help you.

METHOD 1: By Restoring Homegroup Registry Key

Actually this problem occurs when a required Registry key is missing in Windows 8. It might be deleted accidentally or intentionally by the user or it might be deleted by a 3rd party software. It might be also possible that you applied a Registry script downloaded from a website which automatically deleted the key without your knowledge.

So the bottom line is that you just need to add a key in Windows Registry to fix the problem. This key is related to Homegroup feature of Windows. Many websites suggest deleting this key from Registry to remove Homegroup icon from Desktop or My Computer window so its possible that you followed their advice and deleted the Registry key to get rid of Homegroup icon which started causing this new problem as a side effect.

If you are also facing this strange problem in Windows 8, just create the Registry key using following steps and your problem will be solved:

1. Press "WIN+R" key combination to launch RUN dialog box then type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace

3. Now look for a key {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93} under NameSpace key. If it exists, click on it and in right-side pane, check the value of (Default). It must be set to Other Users

If the key doesn't exist, right-click on NameSpace key and select "New -> Key" option. Now set the new key name to {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93} and in right-side pane change value of (Default) to Other Users as shown in following screenshot:

Fix_Lock_Screen_User_Account_Picture_Problem_Windows_8.png

4. That's it. It'll immediately fix the issue and you'll be able to change lock screen background image and user account picture in Windows 8.

NOTE: If you don't want to edit Registry or if you are not familiar with Registry, download following ZIP file and extract it. You'll get a ready-made Registry script which will automatically add the required key in Windows Registry:

Download Registry Script to Fix Lock Screen Background and User Account Picture Problem

METHOD 2: By Restoring Libraries Feature

If the above fix doesn't work for you, it might be possible that you disabled "Libraries" feature in Windows 8 using a Registry tweak given in following tutorial:

How to Disable "Libraries" Feature in Windows 7?

If it is true, restore libraries feature by running "Restore Default Settings.reg" script present in the downloaded zip file given in above mentioned article, restart your system and now you should be able to change lock screen background and user picture without any problem.

PS: Check out following video showing the whole method live in action:





Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1


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