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Windows 7 Background Customization

Windows 7 Background Customization

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One of the most requested windows7 customization in every deployment projects is the OS branding. Here is a quick step by step guide.

Windows Background Picture:

If you want to assign a Win7 Background & Logon picture based on the size of the Monitor we recommend to create a picture that looks good with the FILL
option on different screen sizes. Here are the recommendations for a nice looking picture

  • Create a picture with a resolution of 2560x1440
  • Use the attached win7 background template
    • The black lines defines the different sizes
    • The best place for customer Logo is in the middle white area
    • The top and bottom area (marked with the red line) should not contain any information , this is a cut off area based on the screen size
  • Push the picture to your clients via GPO
    • "\User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Desktop\Desktop\Desktop Wallpaper"
    • Enable the Active Desktop Setting as described in KB977944

- Or you could use a .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

where "Wallpaper"="<path to your wallpaper>"

Windows Logon Screen:

The graphics in the “Windows 7 Login Screen Templates. zip” file show the different resolutions

  • Ensure you don’t change the names, only on the default file you can have a higher resolution
  • Again, don’t add information, logos , etc in the red area because those can have an overlapping with windows default elements
  • Copy the jpg files to %windir%\system32\oobe\info\Backgrounds. You need to create the folder if it does not exist.
  • Open the Registry Editor
  • Navigate to (If you cannot find the path or the key go ahead and create it)
  • Navigate to
    , If the key does not exist, create it
  • Double click on key named OEMBackground and change its value dword:00000001 If the key does not exist, create it.
  • If you use Themes (including win7 default Theme), ensure that in the [Theme] area SetLogonBackground=1 is set.
    This will prevent any change of the Logon screen. You can also tie your login background to a specific theme if you change themes frequently but always return to your standard.
    To do this open your favorite .theme file with a text editor (notepad will do), which, if you've saved your theme, you will find in the folder at C:\Users\Your User Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes

DisplayName=Woodgrove IT Theme
BrandImage=%systemdrive%\Windows\System32\OOBE\Info\Backgrounds\Windows 7 Background.png

This post was contributed by ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lutz Seidemann a Architect with Microsoft Services - APAC. Inspired by the work of german collegue Lars Iwer.

  • Thanks for putting this together. Working as a consultant, I always get a lot of questions regarding the setup of the background logo from customers. This should prove to be a nice reference for them.

    One note, I've found that manually setting the SetLogonBackground key isn't always permanent. In a corporate environment, if the user has rights to change the theme, it will sometimes reset that key. There is a group policy setting to lock down that setting and has proven to be very consistent.

    Computer Configuration/ Administrative Templates/System/Logon

    Set 'Always Use Custom Logon Background' to Enabled

  • Useful, as usual. Thanks.

    Could you possibly do a follow-up on deploying and installing themes and visual styles?

  • @Drewfus - this is a good idea for post, thanks!  One way I have used in a lab is to add a run command line task to an LTI task sequence and directly put the full path to the .theme file as the command line for the task.  this will trigger the theme to be set, although it also opens the themes window as well although this disappears during a later reboot.

  • Useful, as usual. Thanks. [2]

    I liked.

  • @Daniel Oxley -- Thanks Daniel. I've since tried playing around with the following theme related command, that runs out of Active Setup.

    > %SystemRoot%\system32\regsvr32.exe /s /n /i:/UserInstall %SystemRoot%\system32\themeui.dll

    On its own, this command installs the default theme, which i believe is determined by the InstallTheme value under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes. Anyway, changing this value to something like '%windir%\resources\Ease of Access Themes\classic.theme' did not have the desired affect.

    I did find this useful information on the MCT folders and mctadmin command -

  • I just found your page and it helped me a lot. Many thanks ! Would somebody also have template for Full HD 1920x1080 ? Or is it similar with any from the bundle ? Thanks

  • Nice' rel='dofollow' target='_blank' title='Themes windows 7'>

  • I created a simple tool that changes the Windows 7 logon background using a similiar approach. You can find it - you can run it from the command line or use the GUI.

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