Customize Your Welcome Picture Choices in Windows Vista

Everybody knows how to change their Vista logon/start menu picture, but if you select a new picture, Windows Vista removes the last picture from the list entirely, leaving just the new picture and the default pictures. Does anybody really use the robot or the fish picture?

What you can do instead is add your pictures to the list of default pictures, and delete pictures you’ll never use.

In case you don’t remember, you open Control Panel \ User Accounts \ Change Your Picture to get to the list of pictures.

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All of the pictures are stored in a hidden folder buried deep within your program data directory.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\Default Pictures

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All you have to do is just remove the pictures you don’t want, and add the pictures you do want. You just need to make sure that your pictures are 128×128 resolution in bitmap format. If you want the pictures to be ordered in a certain way, you can name them in order.

If you’d like to copy your current picture, it is stored in the following file:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\<username>.tmp.bmp

The default user picture (the flower) is stored in the following file:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\user.bmp

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Now that we’ve customized the list of pictures, you can see that the baby tux picture I added is still in the list, even though we’re using one of the default pictures.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/29/07
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