Windows 7 Background Customization

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]

"Wallpaper"="C:\\Windows\\Web\\Wallpaper\\MyWallpaper.jpg" 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.