How-To Geek

Display a Text Message During Bootup of Windows 7

Sometimes you might want to leave a text message for a user before they log into a Windows 7 computer. Today we show you a neat trick that allows you to leave a message they can read before logging in.

Add a Text Message

To add a message, click on Start and enter regedit into the Search box and hit Enter.


Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\System and double-click on legalnoticecaption.


In the Value data field enter in the header you want…for instance your company name or the name of your computer…whatever you want it to be, then click OK.


Then double-click on legalnoticetext


And in the Value data field enter in the message you want to display and click OK. Close out of Registry Editor and reboot the computer.


After the machine reboots you’ll see the text message you just created at the Welcome screen.


You can include whatever text message you want to be included for the user to read before they log in.


This is a neat trick if you have a company or school and want to show a particular message to the user before they log into the machine.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 04/28/10

Comments (21)

  1. Kalle

    Do this work if I have set my computer to log in automatically to my account?

  2. Alexx

    This trick works also on Windows XP, but is shown in a message box.
    I have uploaded a picture here:

  3. Tangmeister

    Just clarification: Is it before or after the password is entered? In XP I think it was after or something…

    It definitely looks nicer in Win7!

  4. ItsOpenID

    How do you make a new paragraph. There must be a way, right?

    Thnaks in advance and nice post!

  5. Dahoove

    Could this be changed via domain policy. I could see this as being great to announce system outages or reminders.

  6. Mysticgeek

    @Tangmeister: The message will appear BEFORE the log in screen

  7. Kevin

    Ubuntu does this without a hack. Ubuntu FTW!

  8. Kalpesh Solanki

    Any trick for font size in it ?
    I have used unicode language. The notice characters are very tiny. I want to make it bigger

  9. J

    Does the message only appear after a reboot? Or does it appear when a user logs out ?

  10. joe

    how to geek…why don’t i see more walkthroughs using the group policy editor? its a much cleaner and efficient way of editing the registry.

    i suppose some of these hacks aren’t present in gpedit, but i imagine a large portion of them are

  11. Alec S.

    @Alexx, forget about Windows XP; this has worked since Windows 95 / Windows NT 3.

  12. Kervin Vergara

    Very good article. I have a question: How did you take a screenshot to boot-up? Thanks, I hope you can resolve my doubts, because I tried and I failed. And with a virtual machine I would not like, even with a digital camera to photograph. Greetings.

  13. Ty

    He’s using a virtual machine. Check out “Sun VirtualBox”.

  14. Joshua Carlin

    Hey, just wondering, when will my program be added?

  15. JosephGunn13


  16. Kevin H

    @ Kevin: yes Ubuntu does this without a hack. But having to hack stuff is more fun

  17. Mike Dunn

    How did you get the two lines of different font size, with a line between them???

  18. Felix Megion

    @geek – how do I write multiple lines?
    -First Line
    -Second Line
    -and so on

  19. IvVitAn

    @Felix Megion
    I believe, you talk about that:

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  21. Emo

    is there a way to combine this and a password, so that you have to enter a password to continue and THEN you log on (skipping the windows login screen) ??

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