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Change default logon/startup/lock screen in windows 8 pro

    Question

  • Hi,

    I want to change my default logon screen, the one that appears when I boot. I have changed the lock screen within my account, but I can't change the one (that I beleive is) for the default user. I have seen some complicated steps to copy over a file in systemdata folder for the default user profile, but It seems really awful to do it in my notebook (which is not joined to a domain, and it is Windows 8 Pro). So, is there a simple way to do it? Why my personalized lock screen isn't shown?

    Regards,

    MarianoC.

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 2:22 PM

Answers

  • Win8: How to Manage the Lock Screen Image on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2787100/en-us

    The update “Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 cumulative update: November 2012” adds functionality to the Control Panel group polices that allow an administrator to designate a lock screen image on their Windows 8 and Windows 2012 computers. This setting lets you specify the default lock screen image shown when no user is signed in, and also sets the specified images as the default for all users (it replaces the inbox default image).

    The new group policy is named “Force a specific default lock screen image” and can be found in this path in the group policy editor: “Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization”


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:22 AM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Same problem here, please help us!
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 2:55 PM
  • Hi there! Windows 8 rocks, so let's get that customization down for you.

    You should be able to create a computer-wide specific "lock screen" by altering the setting by the steps below.  You'll need to be local admin for this.

    1. Press CTRL+Windows Key to open a Run prompt.
    2. At the prompt type GPEDIT.MSC and then press enter.
    3. Navigate in that MMC to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon. The setting is called "always use custom logon background". Configure that setting to use the image you prefer. 

    Hope this helps!

    Tim Springston [MSFT]

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 3:09 PM
  • Tim, do you know how to properly "replace" the 6 lock screen images that are located in the C:\Windows\Web\Screen folder?  I've replaced these and their matching files under the C:\Windows\WinSxS folder structure, but the thumbnails in the Personalization Settings area for the lock screen still show the original (Microsoft included) images and don't reflect the images I have replaced them with.

    Is there a way to replace these lock screen images with our own branded images AND get the thumbnails to show up correctly?

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012 5:26 PM
  • Where do you set the custom logon background?
    Thursday, November 01, 2012 5:42 PM
  • You can no longer change the logon screen only the LOCK Screen :(

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Thursday, November 01, 2012 10:24 PM
    Answerer
  • Wow HUGE oversight on Microsoft's part.
    Friday, November 02, 2012 12:08 PM
  • Hi Tim,

    That setting does not work, it's for Windows 7. Also ctrl+windows key does not invoke the run window, I use Windows key+X.

    The only way is to replace the image files, in Windows\system\web and in programdata\Microsoft\Windows\systemdata\s-1-5-18 (which is the system user profile), also you need to take ownership of the directories, replace the images and set full control permision to the system account for the replaced images. I've done it but it's a pain. It really surprises me that this simple thing was not thinked.

    Regards,

    MarianoC.

    Monday, November 05, 2012 11:17 AM
  • @MarianoC, I've done what you have with taking ownership and replacing the files, however, the 'thumbnails' when you go into your Personal Settings for the Lock Screen still show the original thumbnails for the 6 photos that Microsoft included in Windows 8.  Is this what you are seeing also, or do your thumbnails properly reflect your new set of images you replaced.

    @nosko1, I agree.

    • Edited by KHHemmelman Monday, November 05, 2012 3:41 PM
    Monday, November 05, 2012 3:37 PM
  • I have figured out how to do this through MDT - Is this how you guys are deploying?
    Monday, November 05, 2012 3:42 PM
  • I have figured out how to do this through MDT - Is this how you guys are deploying?

    We aren't using MDT and want to replace the deault set of lock screen images directly in our clone.  But maybe post your info anyway as it may help someone else.
    Monday, November 05, 2012 9:08 PM
  • OK, well, as for the thumbnails, you can't change them because they are inside a DLL. It's located in Windows\system32\Windows.UI.Immersive.dll. Well, at least a copy of them are inside... You can't simply change it. I will not digg into this more, as I only wanted to change the screen when I boot. But, seriously, isn't this just a simple customization? Horrible!

    Regards,

    MarianoC.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:50 PM
  • MarianoC, I understand you stopping looking into this.  I've had to give up too.  Microsoft is refusing to address or answer the issue and it looks to be a road block intentionally put into Windows 8 that we can't hack around ourselves, so there's no point in trying anymore.
    Wednesday, November 07, 2012 2:58 PM
  • Thanks MarianoC, you got me closer to solving my lock screen problem.  Sorry about your lock screen presets issue, glad that is not an issue for me, as I see you have given up.  I wanted to post my more detailed solution description here, since this was one of the fist places I landed while researching this.

    I fixed mine by replacing the default Lock Screen image files.  You can find them here C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\S-1-5-18\ReadOnly  

    Caution---You have to have hidden files visible, and you also have to understand how to take ownership of folders and assign ownership and permissions (it's not that difficult, search if you don't know how).

    I had 2 folders in that location W and Z;

    The W folder already had my selected Lock Screen picture.  The W folder may have been the result of a previous tweak I tried, it had the newer photo I had selected already, if your W doesn’t have your photo and you have issues maybe replace it too.   If you don’t have a W folder I wouldn’t sweat it for now.

    I had my luck with the Z folder, it contained the default space needle picture in 2 versions; dimmed and plain (I didn't look for a visual difference).  I replaced both of them with my chosen lock screen picture.

    There are 2 ways to do this;

    1st is to rename your original file (add a 1 to the name, you can go back to original easier this way). Replace it with picture of your choosing with the exact same name as original.  You must assign full permission to the system account.  Warning. This method seems safer but I could not figure out how to assign permission to the trusted installer account, which existed previously for this file, this could inhibit some future compatibility.

    2nd way preserves system and trusted installer permissions.  Create your lock screen pictures in a separate folder, with exactly the same names as your 2 original files.  Copy/Paste the files into the Z folder, you will get asked to replace existing.  If you say yes it should preserve security settings but update the photo.

    • Proposed as answer by DuaneKucinich Sunday, November 25, 2012 2:38 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by DuaneKucinich Sunday, November 25, 2012 2:38 AM
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 2:38 AM
  • see the whole step::http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/change-the-windows-7-login-screen-background-image/
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 7:45 PM
  • see the whole step::http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/change-the-windows-7-login-screen-background-image/

    I'm guessing you haven't actually tried this in Windows 8, because this does not work with Windows 8.  That OEMBackground registry key only works with Windows 7.
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 10:12 PM
    • Proposed as answer by xpclient Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:09 AM
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:09 AM
  • Win8: How to Manage the Lock Screen Image on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2787100/en-us

    The update “Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 cumulative update: November 2012” adds functionality to the Control Panel group polices that allow an administrator to designate a lock screen image on their Windows 8 and Windows 2012 computers. This setting lets you specify the default lock screen image shown when no user is signed in, and also sets the specified images as the default for all users (it replaces the inbox default image).

    The new group policy is named “Force a specific default lock screen image” and can be found in this path in the group policy editor: “Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization”


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:22 AM
    Answerer
  • Go to windows search, search for 'personalize' in settings. Then choose 'Customize your lock screen and notification'. Browse any image file that's it your done.

    You could also change your windows start screen and user account picture of current logged in.

    Regards,

    Durgam R

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 9:10 AM
  • I found a tutorial here - http://www.fixnowsupport.com/3/post/2013/07/change-your-windows-8-lock-screen-background-picture.html 

    It explains step-by-step with screenshots how you can change the background image. Also, under the Personalize tab you can change the Start Screen view, Account picture and much more.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:21 PM
  • Tried this, still can't get my lock screen to use a custom image always defaults to the needle thingy
    Monday, August 12, 2013 7:35 PM
  • Group Policy Editor is available only with Windows 8 Pro and above (not standard).

    I've managed to set the default lock screen upon startup by using REGEDIT.EXE to create a string value called "LockScreenImage" in:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization

    ...which I then set to my desired lock screen.

    Note: I got creative, by first installing the "Lockerz" app in my user account and setting my preferred Lock Screen stream and then copying the appropriate value from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Lock Screen

    ...to the value in the above "LockScreenImage" string value.

    As noted, this causes Windows 8 to present the desired Lock Screen upon startup/boot. Unfortunately, it does not change the Lock Screen that appears when a user has been signed in and now signs out -- leaving Windows still running but nobody signed in. It's back to the dreaded Seattle Needle!

    Anyone know of a way for non-Pro Windows 8 users to change the Lock Screen that appears when no users are signed in?

    Friday, August 30, 2013 7:49 PM
  • WinAero Lock Screen Customizer will take care of all your lock screen changing needs: http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.211
    • Proposed as answer by xp.client Saturday, August 31, 2013 3:09 AM
    Saturday, August 31, 2013 3:09 AM