Windows 7 Custom Login Background

When I got Windows 7 I really liked it, but was not a big fan of the floral pattern in the login screen background.  So I did a little research and discovered how you can edit this to a custom image.  This has a great and fun way to customize a Windows 7 system for friends and family, as well as making work systems look a little more professional.  There are really two steps to doing this, so lets start with the first one, editing the registry.

Most of the time I warn people, stay away from the registry unless you know what you are doing.  So I am going to make this really simple so you don’t mess up your system.

  1. Click on the Windows Orb or Start and select Run
  2. Type in regedit and hit Enter
  3. Navigate down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion  \Authentication \LogonUI \Background
  4. In the right hand pane see if there is a registry key called OEMBackground, if not right click in the pane and select New, String Value
  5. Name the key OEMBackground and set its value to 1, this will tell windows to look for a custom login background that we will setup in the next step.

So we’ve told Windows to look for a custom login background, but now we have to put one in place.  Basically you can use any image you want, as long as it is a JPG file format and is 256kb in size, or less.  Once you have your image ready name it backgroundDefault.jpg and copy it to C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds.

That should be it, the next time you lock your screen, logout, or reboot your login screen background should be your custom image.  If you want to change your login background later on, name the new picture backgroundDefault.jpg and copy it to the location in the previous step.  You shouldn’t ever need to re-edit the registry from the earlier steps once you’ve done it.