Change Windows 7 Logon Screen Wallpaper

windows-7-wallpaper-app

So I wanted to change the wallpaper on my logon screen for Windows 7. I found some great articles online on how to do it. Then I decided to create a quick little app to make easier for me and anyone else to change it in the future.

It works around the limitations of Windows. For example Windows 7 only supports JPEGs, this tool supports many other formats including PNG, BMP, and TIFF.

It also gets around the Windows file size limit of 256 KB. It gets around this by compressing image and adjusting the size to fit the screen.

The interface is very simple, just a button to select the image you want to make into your wallpaper background, and another button to remove it.

You can download it here: Download

Updated! Command line option.

Some of you expressed an interest in running this tool from the command line so you can do mass deployments. You can now run this tool from the command line with no front end GUI. Here’s how you do it:

Usage: ChangeWindows7LogOnScreen [filename | default]

Specify a filename to change the Windows 7 log on wallpaper to that image via the command line. The guid will not load.

Specify the word “default” to restore the logon wallpaper to the default Windows 7 wallpaper.

If you don’t specify any parameters you will get the window you see in the screenshot above.

Here are some example:

ChangeWindows7LogOnScreen c:\temp\myWallPaper.png

Changes your windows 7 logon wallpaper to “myWallPaper.png”. Remember to use quotes if the path to the image contains any spaces.

ChangeWindows7LogOnScreen default

Restores your Windows 7 logon wallpaper to the Windows default logon wallpaper.

ChangeWindows7LogOnScreen

No parameters will open the window in the screenshot above.

ChangeWindows7LogOnScreen help

Any variation of help will display information on how to use it.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    any chance you’ll post the source code? Downloading an EXE is a bit scary. Perhaps packaging source and a build utility as opposed to just the executable.

    • says

      I understand your concern. One day I might do as you suggested and publish the source code.

      In the meantime you might find peace of mind in knowing that it’s been downloaded thousands of times since I published it last year and no one has reported any problems.

      If you want to be absolutely sure I suggest running an anti virus scan on it. If you don’t have anti virus software I suggest the free version of AVG anti virus.

      Or you can use an online virus scanning tool like: https://www.virustotal.com/en/

      Hope that’s helpful.

  2. Anonymous says

    This is awesome…I was having trouble getting my login wallpaper to show after going through the regisrty steps and this worked like a charm. I am going to favorite this site!!

  3. Anonymous says

    Due to the last site I visited, I’m not too sure about this one. I’m afraid (Like last time) the logon screen will just go black, but I want real proof, and I don’t have the money to spare for a test computer. Pictures, please?

  4. Anonymous says

    Anybody that is afraid… I scanned with AVG 2014, no viruses found. My Windows install has the most recent updates for the Pro version. It works like a charm and is dead simple. One button to select an image, and one button to reset. To see if it was changed, just press the windows key on your keyboard+L key and your desktop will lock. If anyone has any issues, I would recommend using it as an admin, although I ran it with a double click and it ran fine. Great work, simple yet awesome tool. Very appreciated.

  5. Anonymous says

    After an hour or so of fiddling and finding all the constraints to get a damned screen to load and display properly, then, only THEN do I find this page…….. typical.

    The tool, however, works perfectly out of the box.

    Sweet!

  6. Anonymous says

    Works perfectly. I used the techrepublic tutorial on how to change the login wallpaper, but couldn’t get around the size limitations. Thankfully, I read your comment and decided to use the app. It worked without a hitch.

    Very cool app… thanks!

  7. Anonymous says

    Hell Yeah! Thx God I found this page and replaced default logon screen with X-mas one :) Thx Dude Sooo Much! Now I’m gonna send link to this site to my friends, coz I know that they’ll use it as well :) Thanks 4 IT ;)
    BTW… Greetings from Poland & Have a Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year!

  8. Paradoxical says

    Hello. When I choose a wallpaper I get an error message saying the path c/system32/oobe/background access denied. What to do?

    • Luis Perez says

      This sounds like a permission’s issue. The app needs access to that folder in order to be able to change the background image. If you don’t have the necessary permissions you might not be able to change your background. If you do have the right permissions you can try right clicking the app and choosing to run it as administrator.

  9. JohnnyGrey says

    As of April 28th, 2014, this program works like a charm.

    I have no idea how it compresses the JPG down to 256kb or less, but the original is almost 2mb. Dimensions haven’t changed. Trying to get an image below the 256kb limit is harder in my case, since I am using a 1440p monitor, but it worked.

  10. Anders says

    Ok, so this works. Perfect, wonderful job. But HOW? If we were to believe the famous techrepublic post (link above in another comment) we should put this JPG file with proper size constraints in C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds, modify the registry, and possible a group policy. That didn’t work for me, or rather, it changed the default logon screen to Lenovo’s, which I have no idea where it found.

    But that is not, apparently, what this tool does, as now I have the logon screen I wanted, but no JPG file in that directory (which doesn’t even exist).

    So presumably, sometimes you have to do something more than what’s written at techrepublic. What the secret, do you mind sharing?

    • Luis Perez says

      Hey Anders, The tool resizes the image, converts it to a JPEG, and compresses it to meet the 256 KB requirement.

      It saves the picture to:
      C:\Windows\System32\Oobe\info\backgrounds\backgroundDefault.jpg

      And sets the registry entry:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background\OEMBackground to 1.

      I did some time ago so I don’t remember for sure but I think the instructions that Tech Republic article was what I used to create this program.

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