I don’t know about anyone else, but I think the default log in screen for Windows 7 is a bit on the bland side. Once you have logged in a few times, it does tend to grate on on the eyes a bit with that blindingly bright blue color. The odd thing about this is, changing your login screen has never really been something you could actually do for yourself in Windows without the use of third party utilities. The desktop wallpaper can be set to what you want, and all consumer Windows versions have the ability to change the color and look of the interface with themes, but the login or welcome screen seems to have been overlooked through the years. Or so I thought until I came across a nifty little tool to help change the background image of your log in screen.
Tweaks.com is a site that is quite well known for its tweaking and enhancement utilities, and luckily they had just the thing. Tweaks.com Logon Changer for Windows 7 is a tool that does exactly what it says and is so easy to use, even the vastly inexperienced user will find it a breeze to edit the login screen.
Logon Changer is extremely easy to use. Clicking the “Change Logon Screen“ button opens a file requester dialog so you can choose the image file. Simply navigate to the image you want to use and select it. You can only use JPEG images for this screen as Windows won’t accept any other type. It would have been a nice feature for the program to convert PNG or BMP files to JPEG for you, but you can’t have everything I guess. If the image is over the 245K in size, because it must be smaller than this, you will be given the option for the program to make a copy and reduce it for you. This will also reduce the image resolution.
When back at the main screen, it will be plainly obvious that the picture in the preview window has now changed to the picture you just selected. This will give a good indication of what the logon screen itself will look like. For a real demonstration, the test button will show you exactly how the Logon Screen will look like in when in use. If you’re not happy, just click the Change button to choose something else. The “Revert to Default Logon Screen” will do what it says and will put back the default blue image.
The Tweaks.com Logon Changer for Windows 7 is obviously simple to use, completely free and portable and is under a Megabyte when extracted from the zip. If you feel like changing your own Logon screen yourself, or want to backup any of the created Logon Screen image files, look in this folder:
The Info and Backgrounds folders will need to be created in you haven’t used the changer utility. Then place the JPG file in Backgrounds with the name above. Remember the 245K size limit. After that, go to the following registry key:
Change value for ”OEMBackground” from 0 to 1
Then got Start and Lock the screen or Log-off to see the changes.
Do be aware that a custom logon image will be stretched to your screen size so if your monitor is widescreen, it’s best to try and use a widescreen image to match the aspect ratio of the dislpay.