Windows 7 is relatively old now. After all, the next iteration of Microsoft’s operating system will be Windows 10. Although Microsoft skipped on the Windows 9 name, Windows 10 will apparently be an amalgam of Windows 7 and Windows 8. Well, from a GUI perspective anyway. Personally, I do not like Windows 8, mainly because of the tile interface; unless you use it on a touch screen computer it doesn’t feel right to me. On the Windows machines that I use, have Windows 7 installed, as I like the interface, the ease of use, and of course the ability to customize it until the cows come home.
One of the cool things you can do in Windows 7 is to change the welcome screen, which appears when you start up your computer. This can be accomplished without the use of any third-party software. The setting to do this is hidden though, so you need to dig around a while. This setting was originally intended for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to customize their systems. You need to change a registry value and put an image file in the correct location.
To start off you will need to launch the Registry Editor by typing regedit into the search box in the Start menu and pressing Enter.
Now navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authenticatation\LogonUI\Background.
You should see a DWORD value named OEMBackground. But, don’t worry if you don’t see it, just right-click in the right pane, point to the new submenu and create a new DWORD value with this name. Double-click the OEMBackground value and set its value to 1. *Please note that selecting a new theme in the Appearance and Personalization window will “unset” this registry value. If you select a theme, it will change the value of the key to the value stored in the theme’s .ini file, which is probably 0 – so if you change the theme then you will have to perform this registry edit again.
To set an image your image file must be less than 256 KB in size. You should also use an image file, which matches the resolution of your monitor.
Windows will look for the custom logon screen background image in the following directory: C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds. By default, the info and backgrounds folders don’t exist. So you need to navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\oobe folder and create them yourself by right-clicking inside the folder, pointing to New, and then selecting New Folder.
Now copy your desired background image to the backgrounds folder and name it backgroundDefault.jpg.The change takes immediate effect; there is no need to reboot the system. If you want to get back to the default logon screen, you just have to delete the backgroundDefault.jpg file. Windows will then use the default background image if no custom background image is available.
[Image via reddit]