One thing I could never understand about Windows is why Microsoft makes it so hard to change the background image of the sign-in screen. I do understand that the company likes everyone to have the same default image that they created but it makes absolutely no sense from my point. After all, it is merely an image and changing it should not be complicated. Unfortunately, that has never been the case and Windows 10 really is no different in that regard. Today I will show you both how to completely disable the background image in favor of a simple color and how to change the image to one you actually like.
How to disable the background image of the sign-in screen in Windows 10 (no third-party software)
By disabling the background image completely, the sign-in screen will instantly take the accent color found in the rest of your Windows. The default setting in Windows 10 is to grab that accent color from your desktop image. If you want to change that, go to Settings > Personalization > Colors and disable the setting that reads “Automatically pick an accent color from my background”. And now onto the actual disabling part:
1. Open the Registry Editor by typing regedit.exe in your Start Menu and pressing the Enter key.
2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System.
3. With the System key selected, right click on an empty space in the right pane and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it DisableLogonBackgroundIMage.
4. Open the DWORD you just created and change its value from “0” to “1” (without the quotes). You are done!
How to change the background image of the sign-in screen (with third-party software)
For one reason or the other, Microsoft does not provide any way of changing the default logon image. The group policy that worked in Windows 7 no longer works in 10, at least not as far as I can tell. Of course, third-party developers have already overcome these limitations as they found that the image is part of the Windows.UI.Logon.pri file and changing it is pretty simple with the right software.
Though you can use whatever program you want, I personally prefer PFCKrutonium’s Windows 10 Login Background Changer. The download page can be found in the linked GitHub page so go ahead and grab it if you want. The app needs no installation so extract its files in a folder of your choice, run the program and choose what you want to do. To change into an image of your choice, click on the Browse button at the top right and select the image you want. It is preferable that the image matches the resolution of your screen, otherwise it will look stretched.
The app will also let you change the color of the background screen without having to change the accent of your desktop. It also offers a huge amount of options via the color picker so you can use that instead of disabling the image as I showed you above. The only real reason why anyone would want to use the first method is to avoid third-party tools but if you do not care about that, the program is by far the best choice both in terms of convenience and customization options.