From build 7057 and up, Rafael discovered that Windows 7 natively supports changing the default login screen, for which a number of applications have already been created in order to automate the process.
However, these applications are may not be so useful for serious modders and those who want to slipstream their own login screens into their Windows 7 releases in order to make it a one step process. Even though this feature was almost certainly intended for OEMs to use, it is actually quite easy for any average end-user to customize their login screen using only default Windows 7 tools.
Please take note that the desired background must be under 256kB and in the jpg format.
1. First, you will need to open the registry editor (REGEDIT) and browse to this branch:
If a DWORD value named OEMBackground already exists, change the value to 1 unless it is already set to 1. If you do not see it, right click and create a new DWORD that’s named OEMBackground and set the value to 1.
2. Afterwards, navigate to the following directory:
It’s possible that the info and backgrounds folder will not exist by default; if not, then you may have to create the folders yourself.
3. You will then need to rename your desired background to one of the following, depending on your resolution and place it in the new directory:
The idea is that Windows 7 will check your current resolution and select the appropriate background to display; so if there’s a chance that the resolution may be changed from the initial setting, it’s a good idea to create your background for multiple resolutions and save it with each name.
However, there is one save all solution:
If Windows 7 cannot find an appropriate image for use, it will use that background and either stretch it or shrink it as needed in order to fit the screen.
Again, you can use any jpg image that is less than 256kB. You can then view your changes simply by logging out or restarting your computer.
4. Rafael later discovered that Windows 7 also supports changing the button set for the login UI in order to improve readability on differing wallpapers, examples of which can be seen below:
In order to change the button set, navigate to the following registry branch:
Create a DWORD value (or modify an existing one) named ButtonSet and set the value between 0 and 2. An explanation of each is provided below, courtesy of Rafael.
- 0. Lighter text shadows, darker (more opaque) buttons (Windows default)
- 1. Darker text shadows, lighter (more translucent) buttons (for lighter backgrounds)
- 2. No text shadows, opaque buttons (for darker backgrounds)
5. Again, you can view your changes by logging out or restarting your computer.
Thanks go out to Rafael for finding these tweaks.
Also, Windows7News’ wallpaper section is a good place to start looking for new login backgrounds.