Did you know Windows 7 comes with a built-in Registry tweak which allows you to easily customize or change the background image of Windows login screen (aka Welcome Screen)? Yes, using this secret feature you can set any of your favorite wallpaper as Windows 7 login screen background without using any 3rd party software.
Want to know how to do that? Just follow these simple steps:
1. Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
3. Now in right-side pane, change value of OEMBackground to 1
PS: You can use following ready-made registry script to enable custom login backgrounds, no need to manually apply the tweak using 1-3 steps:
NOTE: If you don't want to use the above mentioned Registry tweak, you can edit your current theme file present in "%windir%\Resources\Themes\" folder using Notepad and set the entry SetLogonBackground to 1 in [Theme] section. If you are using default Aero theme, you'll need to edit aero.theme file in Notepad. Thanks to our reader "Charleston2378" for reminding us about this method...
4. Now go to following folder:
Here %windir% represents "Windows" folder present in the system drive where Windows 7 is installed.
5. Create a new folder "info" inside oobe folder. Then again create a new folder "backgrounds" inside info folder. So the final path would be:
6. Now copy any desired wallpaper to this new "backgrounds" folder but following conditions must be followed:
- The image name must be backgroundDefault
- The image format must be JPG
- The image size must be less than 256 KB
7. That's it. Once you copy the wallpaper to "backgrounds" folder, your Windows 7 login screen will start using this new wallpaper as background. You can check the new login screen background by logging off or locking Windows.
PS: You can also use custom sized images based upon your screen resolution with the following names:
- background768x1280.jpg (0.6)
- background900x1440.jpg (0.625)
- background960x1280.jpg (0.75)
- background1024x1280.jpg (0.8)
- background1280x1024.jpg (1.25)
- background1024x768.jpg (1.33-)
- background1280x960.jpg (1.33-)
- background1600x1200.jpg (1.33-)
- background1440x900.jpg (1.6)
- background1920x1200.jpg (1.6)
- background1280x768.jpg (1.66-)
- background1360x768.jpg (1.770833-)
NOTE: The backgroundDefault.jpg image is loaded and stretched-to-fit when a resolution/ratio-specific background cannot be found. If the background cannot be loaded (e.g. image physically too large, incorrect ratio, etc.), the default image is loaded from imagesres.dll file.
If you want to use a free tool to customize Windows 7 login screen, check following list: