Setting Windows 7 Login Background Screen

I picked this info up from “The Winhelpline Blog” and am documenting it here so that I’ll be able to find it the next time I want to change this. The following subset of directions is lifted unabashadly by me for my own edification. If you want the whole story go to the Winhelpline link. I also used the reference below to “Rafael’s” site to determine the correct size for my image.

For my purposes I used the Windows 7 policy editor technique and it worked just fine.

I also took a favored picture and downsized it to 1900 x 1200 pixels and reduced the resolution so that the final JPEG file size would be less than 256 KBytes. In Photoshop Elements 8 that meant going for a quality of “3”. My original picture was 3872 x 2592 at weighed in at a hefty 2.74 MegaBytes. So rather than the standard background I now sport a picture of my lovely wife in front of one of the ruins of tulum.

Use the following Group Policy setting in Windows 7

1. Start the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)

2. Go to the following branch:

Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | System | Logon

3. Set the following option to Enabled

Always use custom logon background

4. Close the Group Policy Editor.

Step II – Include the Wallpaper Image (JPG)

Next step is to place the background wallpaper (JPEG file) in the following folder:


Note that the info folder doesn’t exist by default. You need to create the info and backgrounds folders manually.

Place the background image file (name it as backgroundDefault.jpg) into the above folder.

As for the file naming info and maximum supported file size, check out Rafael’s post Windows 7 to officially support logon UI background customization. Be sure to check out Rafael’s blog for more information and screenshots!

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