How to Remove Watermark (Build Number Info) from Desktop in Windows 8 and Later

Whenever Microsoft releases a testing build of Windows or service pack, a watermark is always shown on Windows Desktop. This watermark usually shows the build number of Windows or service pack.

Many people don't like this watermark on their Desktop as it hides some part of the wallpaper and sometimes doesn't look nice on Desktop wallpapers.

There are many methods available to remove the watermark from Windows Desktop. These methods include modifying system files using our favorite tool "Resource Hacker". One needs to open a specific system file in Resource Hacker and then remove the text present in the file which is shown on Desktop. More info can be found here.

There are also a few 3rd party patching utilities released whenever a new testing build of Windows or service pack is released by Microsoft. These patchers automatically modify system files to get rid of watermark from Desktop.

Recently Microsoft released free Consumer Preview (public Beta) build of Windows 8 which also shows a watermark on Desktop as shown in following screenshot:


Many AskVG readers asked us how to remove this watermark from Windows 8 Desktop? Believe me removing watermark from Windows Desktop was never so easy before.

Although the watermark string is stored in a system file "shell32.dll.mui" in Windows 8 but the process of showing this watermark on Desktop is a bit different in Windows 8.

Actually whenever you set an image file as Desktop wallpaper, Windows automatically creates a copy of that image file in a hidden folder and then puts the watermark on that image file. So basically the watermark is shown by the image file and if you edit that image file and remove the text from it, you can easily get rid of the watermark from Windows 8 Desktop.

What we'll do is that we'll replace the hidden JPG image file which contains our Desktop wallpaper and watermark with a similar image file but without the watermark.

To make it clear, lets start the tutorial for removing watermark from Windows 8 Consumer Preview Desktop:

1. First apply your desired image as Desktop wallpaper or leave it to default Windows 8 wallpaper if you like.

2. Now copy following text:


3. Press "Win+R" keys together to open RUN dialog box and paste the above text and press Enter.

4. It'll open Themes folder in Windows Explorer where you'll find a folder "CachedFiles" and an image file "TranscodedWallpaper.jpg".


Here, "TranscodedWallpaper.jpg" file contains the wallpaper image which you set on your Desktop and "CachedFiles" folder contains a cached image file which is used by Windows to show wallpaper on Desktop. Its basically a copy of "TranscodedWallpaper.jpg" file + watermark on it.

5. Now click on "TranscodedWallpaper.jpg" file and press "Ctrl+C" keys. It'll copy the file. Now press "Ctrl+V" keys to make a copy of the image file in same folder. You can also do the task using right-click menu.


6. Now open "CachedFiles" folder and you'll see an image file with the name "CachedImage_xxx.jpg". That's the actual image file which is showing your Desktop wallpaper. Windows automatically creates it whenever you change your Desktop wallpaper.

7. Now click on the image file and press "F2" key or right-click on the file and select Rename option. Now copy its name.


8. Go back to previous folder and rename new "TranscodedWallpaper - Copy.jpg" file and paste the copied text string.

It'll set the new image file name to same as the name of image file present in CachedFiles folder.


9. Now cut this new image file from "Themes" folder and paste it into "CachedFiles" folder.

Windows will ask for confirmation, click on "Replace the file in the destination folder" option.


10. That's it. Close the folder and refresh your Desktop and the watermark will be gone.


PS: If you see some black space on Desktop, unlock Taskbar and move it to some other place such as top, left or right and then put it back to previous place i.e. bottom and the black space will disappear.

NOTE: You can also directly edit the image file present in "CachedFiles" folder using an image editing software such as MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, etc and remove the watermark text on it and then save the image file. It'll save the extra steps to make a copy of the image file and replace files.

A big thanks to our reader "Sid" for providing this awesome info...


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • roflmao
    Like everything else in this scratch OS.

  • Cool! I didn't know watermark could be removed this easily. What if I want to remove watermark from any image? Is that possible?

  • VG

    ^^ You'll need to repeat the steps every time you change the wallpaper.

  • Would the resource hacker mod work in this case?Becoz it's a bit tiresome to remove the watermark whenever the wallpaper is changed and I change that often.

  • Uh, would be easiler from just go to the Registry Editor and find "HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Control Panel>Desktop" and change the "PaintDesktopVersion" value from 1 to 0? Just asking.

  • Hi, nice tutorial!
    um.. does anyone here knows how to set a custom screen resolution in windows 8 in a virtualbox?
    i need to get a 1280x720 resolution, i tried other tutorials on the web but didn't worked

  • I yet to pioneering windows 8, thank you on given tips . Later, I will be testing in windows 8 that I install in my laptop.

  • or just put your own background in that folder

  • you can do that by removing strings in shell32.dll.mui and basebrd.dll.mui

  • It's work ......
    But But everytime I restart the PC it comeback to default desktop with watermark.

    However it's still great tutorial......Thanks Mr.VG ......

  • Only the edit cached picture option worked for me. Just edited it in paint and rebooted and seems to work fine. The start8 is also brill. Many thanks


  • VG

    ^^ Brandon's trick will only work in final RTM versions of Windows. You can actually hide or show desktop build number using that DWORD value. It doesnt work for testing builds.

  • Thanks. It works for me but whenever I shutdown and restart windows updates and changes back the image with watermark. How do I kill the watermark maker entirely?

  • Thank you.. It works on my windows 8 pro..

  • With Windows 8.1 Pro Preview Evaluation copy, this fix does not work. Even showing hidden files, there are no cached files, and the transcodedwallpaper file is not a jpg (no extension, and changing that just makes Windows create a new one without the extension again).

  • yes,i have same problem .it does not work

  • VG

    You guys can try following:

  • I tried several ways to remove the watermark; nothing works. Everything else just works fine, so why bother. Finally I took the Vista desktop wallpaper and painted the bottom right corner white in Photoshop, saved it as jpeg and used that as desktop background. That works!

  • Does not work on Windows 10 Technical Preview.

  • Microsoft themselves actually have functionality within the Administrative Command Prompt to get rid of this watermark in the lower left side.

    Open Command Prompt as an Administrator (Do this by right clicking)
    Type in this command and hit enter. Restart for results.

    bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF

  • just download tune up utilities, it have an option to hide this Windows version from the desktop wallpaper.. it is best way and easy way to remove. trust me

  • .jpg edit method doesn't work on Windows Embedded 8, Build 9200. The text isn't ever in the cached file, so replacing the cached file doesn't help.

  • Just wanted to let you know this appears to also work in Windows 10

    I deleted the bitmap file and the watermark is no longer there, they did change around some of the terminology of the activation status within the text portion, how ever you can quickly discern the 3-4 lines that have "Acitivation" in it and could probably delete those as well without issue

    but the actual watermark was all i cared about, i KNEW it had to be something within the system files that was being used to overlay it and glad i finally found a blog describing where it is, thanks

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