Show Your Desired Text on Desktop by Customizing Windows Vista and Later Watermark (Build Number Info)

Each Windows OS has its own build number which is shown in its Beta builds but not shown in RTM versions. This build number on Desktop is also called Watermark. For example, Windows Vista SP1 shows its build number as "Build 6001" on Desktop.

In this tutorial, we'll change this build number to our custom string and will show that custom string on Desktop. You can put your name, your website URL or anything which you want to show.

It might also become very useful to customization pack creators who can show their customized text like any beta build number or their pack version/name on Desktop.


So here we start our tutorial:

1. First thing is to enable "Build Number" on Desktop. There is a simple registry trick to show it.

Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu Search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor. Now go to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

In right-side pane, change value of "PaintDesktopVersion" DWORD to 1 (Create the DWORD value if its not present).


2. Now log off or restart your system and you'll see the Build number on Desktop:


3. We have completed first step. Now we have to customize this Build number. For this task we'll need to edit a system file "%windir%\System32\en-US\user32.dll.mui" in Resource Hacker.

NOTE: Here %windir% represents "Windows" directory which can be found in the system drive where Windows is installed. In most of the cases its C:\Windows. And if your Windows language is different, then replace en-US in the above path with your language code.

4. Now copy user32.dll.mui file from "en-US" folder to some other location for example Desktop and open the new file in Resource Hacker.

5. Once you open the file, go to "String Table -> 45". In right-side pane, look at the 715 and 716 entries. The 715 entry contains the first line of Build number i.e. "Windows Vista (TM)" and the 716 entry contains the second line i.e. "Build 6001".


6. We need to change their text so that we can show our own desired text. That's very simple. Simply delete the text within double-quotes "" and type your own desired text in both entries as shown in following screenshot:


After changing the text, click on "Compile Script" button.

7. That's it. After modifying the string, save the file.

8. Now we'll need to replace original user32.dll.mui file present in "C:\Windows\System32\en-US" folder with our new user32.dll.mui file which we saved at Desktop or some other location.

8 a. First take ownership of "C:\Windows\System32\en-US\user32.dll.mui" file using following tutorial:

Add Take Ownership Option in File / Folder Context Menu in Windows

8 b. Now rename it to "user32_backup.dll.mui" or any other name.

8 c. Now copy your new modified "user32.dll.mui" file from Desktop to "System32\en-US" folder.

9. Restart your system and after restart Windows will start using your new modified file and your desired text will be displayed on Desktop:


PS: Please be very careful while editing any file in Resource Hacker. Changing Build number is completely safe and it'll not cause any problem.


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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista

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  • Is there a way to REMOVE a watermark? I have this windows is not genuine I want to remove, since I fixed the issue

  • @arezj, apparently no. there is no string table 45 entry as far as i can tell using resource hacker.

  • how can i apply it in windows xp ?
    i need it

  • all steps go fine but when i restart the text is as is no change.
    If I open the file in "C:\Windows\System32\en-US\user32.dll.mui" It shows the original text.
    Now I copy this file to another location and open it in resource hacker it shows the changed text!!!
    Just has me stumped

  • Great tutorial ! Thanks for your efforts.
    Now I want to change font color from white to black (on a bright, but non-white background). Any hints how?

  • VG

    ^^ I'm not sure but did you try to change the font using Desktop settings -> Appearance?

  • Just download "My WCP Watermark Editor"...

  • In Windows 8.1 those strings are missing (in both ro-RO and en-US languages). It just skips from 714 to 719 I guess; should I add them?

  • bginfo is a free tool for adding your own custom watermark to windows desktop. It also has options for displaying ip address, computer name, and much more. download for free at
    I just got windows 10 technical preview, is there a way to remove the watermark. I have tried this method as well as replacing the cached desktop image. Will start looking into third party patch programs.

  • I have the same problem as maxbuzz. When I copy the file into en-US folder it shows original text!

  • Hello, I am using tricks and tweaks from last 1 year. Really the contents of the site is awesome and simple statements.
    I am in middle in custom text editor (build number) for Win 8.

    I am searching and found user32.dll.mui and open it in Resource Hacker, but entry of 715 + 716 under string table not defined.

    Tell me where it is. Thanks in advance.

  • Hello, I am using tricks and tweaks from last 1 year. In Windows7 Ultimate x86 I followed steps as defined in article but my text remain same as " Windows7" and last line 'Buil 7601'

    Where is fault?

    Please solve my problem. Thanks in advance.

  • A great tutorial. I did it by the way shown here. But after Activating Windows 7 the text was gone.

    Why and how?

  • This doesnt appear to work anymore. Windows will ignore any changes or modifications made and after a restart will have the original file back in place so that only the Windows build info is shown. Others have reported this as well without response from the author, so I'm guessing the article is no longer valid.

  • VG

    ^^ Windows restores default file due to WFP service. Check out following tutorial to learn how to prevent this:

  • Windows 7 build 7601 does not work. File change is successful and can be verified. Also changed matching file in SysWOW64 folder. Still, when I reboot, I get the same test mode stamp. Both files show my changes, but they are not executed on startup. Something else is controlling this.

  • The watermark doesn't appear in my Desktop. Is there have a way to this appear in my Desktop? I'm using Windows 7 build 7601.

  • you cannot change 14393.rs1_release.170112
    in Win10AU in 64bit release i have tried changing more then dozen values in shell32.dll.mui

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