How to change the Windows lock screen

Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope
Windows logo with a lock icon.

Securing your computer is good for protecting your personal data and privacy. One of the ways to do so in Windows is by utilizing a login or lock screen. This feature requires the user to input a password to access the desktop on startup, or when the computer resumes from a screensaver or sleep mode (the latter two are optional).

Some users prefer to have a specific image on their lock screen as opposed to the one displayed by default. To learn how to change the image on your lock screen, choose your version of Windows from the list below and follow the instructions.

Windows 10

  1. Press the Windows key, type Themes and related settings, and then press Enter. Or, press Ctrl+I to open Settings, and click Personalization.
  2. On the left side of the window that appears, click the Lock screen option.

The lock screen selector in Windows 10.

  1. In the middle of the screen, under Background, click the The down arrow. on the right side of the box.
  2. You should see a drop-down menu like the one below.

The lock screen image choices menu.

  1. Choose Picture or Slideshow.

If you chose picture:

  1. Choose one of the suggested images, or click the The Browse button in Windows 10.\ button.
  2. Navigate to the location of the picture file, select the desired picture, then click the The choose picture button in Windows 10. button.

If you chose slideshow:

  1. Either choose one of the folders presented to you, or click the The add icon in Windows 10. button next to Add a folder.
  2. Navigate to the location of the folder containing your pictures, then click the The choose this folder button in Windows 10. button.

Windows 8 and 8.1

  1. Press the Windows key, type Change PC settings, then press Enter.
  2. In the PC settings menu, on the left, select Personalize.

The personalize selector in Windows 8.

  1. To the right of the PC settings section, click the Lock Screen option.

The lock screen selector in Windows 8.

  1. Either choose one of the images suggested, or click the The Browse button in Windows 10.\ button located in the lower-right corner.
  2. Navigate to the location of the picture file, select the desired picture, then click the The choose picture button in Windows 10. button.

Windows 7

Note

To change the Windows login screen in Windows 7, you need to be comfortable with editing the Windows registry. Before making any changes, it's recommended that you back up the registry. We also highly recommend that anyone new to the registry become familiar with the Windows registry basics.

Note

The lock screen image for Windows 7 may not exceed 256 kB.

  1. Press the Windows key, type regedit, then press Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background, as shown in the screenshot, highlighted in blue:

The registry editor in Windows 7.

  1. On the right side of the screen, double click on OEMBackground.
  2. Set the value to 1, then click the The Okay button in Windows 10. button.

Edit DWORD window.

  1. Close the regedit window.
  2. Press the Windows key + E to open Windows Explorer.
  3. Click your primary drive, then the Windows folder, then the System32 folder.
  4. Right-click in the blank area to the right of the file list and select New in the pop-up menu that appears.

The new selector in Windows.

  1. Select The folder selector in Windows..
  2. Set the name of the newly created folder to be info.
  3. Open the info folder and create another new folder inside it, setting the name of that new folder to be backgrounds.
  4. Locate the image you'd like to put on your lock screen.
  5. Save that image as backgroundDefault.jpg and then move it into the backgrounds folder you created in step 11 above.