How-To Geek

How to Change the Login Screen Background on Windows 10

Windows 10 allows you to change the lock screen background, but the login screen background always features the default Windows 10 background. Use these tweaks and you can set any image or color you want as the background.

This changes the image that appears on the sign-in screen after you leave your lock screen. On Windows 8 and 8.1, this was just a flat-color background. The trick for changing Windows 7’s login screen background no longer works the same way on Windows 10.

Use a Single Color Instead of an Image

Rather than seeing a background image whenever you type your password, you can choose to disable the login screen background and see a single, flat-color background — just as Windows 8 and 8.1 used. This requires a quick registry tweak.

Download our Disable Logon Background Image on Windows 10 registry hack. Double-click the included “Disable Logon Background Image on Windows 10.reg” file to add the tweak to your registry. We’ve also included a .reg file that will undo the change, if you like — just double-click it.

If you’d like to do it yourself, open the Registry Editor and create a DWORD value named “DisableLogonBackgroundImage” under “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System” with the value “00000001”. Delete the value or set it to “00000000” to go back to the default Windows 10 “hero image.”

After you perform the registry hack, the Windows login screen will disiplay a flat-color background behind the login prompt. Just press Windows Key + L to lock your PC and check. You don’t have to reboot.

Change the Color of the Login Screen

You can easily change the color of the login screen. Windows 10 uses the same “accent color” used elsewhere on your desktop. By default, it grabs an accent color from your desktop background.

To change this, visit the Settings app, select Personalization, select Colors, and disable the “Automatically pick an accent color from my background” option. The color you select here will be used on your login screen if you’ve used the above registry hack.

Not every possible accent color appears here. To choose any color you want, you’ll need to use the old, hidden Control Panel interface for picking a color. To access it, press Windows Key + R, copy-paste the following line into the Run box, and press Enter:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced

Use the “Show color mixer” option and adjust the values until you’ve found your preferred color. This accent color will be used elsewhere on the desktop interface, too. This is the same hidden interface you can use to set any color for your title bars after enabling colored window title bars on Windows 10.

Set a Custom Login Screen Image

Microsoft doesn’t yet provide an official registry hack or group policy setting for changing the login screen background on Windows 10. However, enterprising Windows tweakers have discovered that the image is part of the Windows.UI.Logon.pri file. Change the image stored inside the PRI file and Windows will use a different background image of your choice.

Warning: This approach uses third-party tools to modify a Windows system file. Continue at your own risk.

You’ll need some sort of third-party script or utility to do this. The best tool we found for this was the Windows 10 Login Image Changer, created by Alphawaves over at the My Digital Life Forums, which worked fine on our test system. You’ll need to register and log into the forum to view the download, but here’s a direct download link to the Windows 10 Login Image Changer. (PFCKrutonium’s Windows 10 Login Background Changer should theoretically work as well, but we ran into permission issues. It may be fixed in the future.)

Launch it and select a background image — for example, the wallpapers built into Windows 10 are stored at C:\Windows\Web\ . You’re free to download other wallpaper images from the web, use your own, or even create a flat-color wallpaper image. This would allow you to set a different flat-color background for your login screen than the one Windows 10 uses on the desktop.

These tweaks were tested on the final release version of Windows 10, build 10240. Microsoft may change the way this works in the future as it updates Windows 10 at a more rapid pace than previous versions of Windows — hopefully by providing more built-in options for adjusting these settings.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 08/1/15

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