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How to Change the Windows 7 Welcome Screen

Posted on by Arnon Erba in How-To Guides

Ever wished you could stare at a different background image while logging into Windows 7? With a bit of photo editing and registry modification, you can.

The first step is to get an image that matches your computer screen’s native resolution. This is important, because the image will not be scaled and will appear stretched or distorted if it is the wrong size. Once you’ve found the image, save it as backgroundDefault.jpg (note the capitalization) and make sure that it’s under 245 KB in size. Then, put it aside for a second as we modify the registry.

Type regedit in the Start menu and press Enter to open the registry editor. Then, browse to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Authentication/LogonUI/Background

and change the OEMBackground DWORD value to 1. To change the value, double-click on OEMBackground, type in a 1 under Value data, and click OK. If the value OEMBackground does not exist, right-click in the folder, select New DWORD (32-bit) Value, and create a DWORD entry called OEMBackground with value 1.

Now you can close Registry Editor and open Windows Explorer. Browse to the C:\Windows\system32\oobe folder and check if a folder named “info” exists. If it does, open it and proceed to the next step. If it doesn’t, create it, accept the User Account Control warning, and proceed.

Now, create an empty folder called backgrounds inside the info folder. If the “backgrounds” folder already exists as well and contains images, rename it to something like “backgrounds_old” and create a new one. Then, move your backgroundDefault.jpg image into the empty backgrounds folder and lock or log off your account to see the new welcome screen.

Keep in mind that if you switch back to the default Windows 7 theme in Control Panel>Personalization, Windows will reset the value of OEMBackground to 0 and the default welcome screen wallpaper will display. Just change the value back to 1 to display your custom wallpaper again.

Tagged: #windows

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