Logon screen - Change

How to Change the Logon Screen in Vista
This will show you how to change the Logon Screen background image to whatever image you want it to be in Vista.
How to Change the Logon Screen in Vista

information   Information
The Logon screen is the screen that shows the accounts on your computer when you are logging on. This consists of the Welcome, Shutdown, Lock Computer, Switch User, Logon, and Logoff screens. The Logon screens are saved as a .logonvista file.

Tip   Tip
For free LogonStudio screens to download, see: WinCustomize: Explore : LogonStudio

EXAMPLE: Default Logon Screen

Here's How:
1. Download and save the free Stardock LogonStudio program..
2. Install the program.​
3. Click on the LogonStudio shortcut to run. (See screenshot below)​
4. Click on Continue in the UAC Prompt. The main window will now open. (See screenshot below)​

NOTE: See screenshot above. Click on these buttons to the left to do the action described.
5. Load - To load a logon image you already created from step 7 below or downloaded from step 6 below. (See screenshot below)​
A) Navigate to the location of the saved file.​
B) Select it and click on Open.​
C) Go to step 10.​

6. Download - To download a logon image file from: WinCustomize: Explore : LogonStudio
7. Create - To create a logon image file from any size .jpg, .png, or .bmp file you want.​
NOTE: If the image you use is to small it may be distored.
A) Type in a name for the logon image file. (See screenshot below)​
B) Click on Browse.​

C) Navigate to the location of the .jpg, .png, or .bmp file. (See screenshot below)​
D) Select it and click on Open.​

E) Click on Save to add it to the main display window. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: By default, the logon screens are saved in the hidden system folder C:\ProgramData\Stardock\LogonStudio Vista.

F) Go to step 10.​

8. Upload - This takes you to the same website from step 6 above, except you can register and upload a logon screen you created for everyone else to be able to download and use.​
9. About - Tells you the about information for LogonStudio. (See screenshot below)​

After you Loaded or Created a logon file Options:
NOTE: This will now have the logon file in the display window. EX: My Alien avatar (See screenshot below)
10. Save - To save the selected logon file to where you want it.​
11. Apply - To change the logon screen to what you have selected.​
NOTE: When you click Apply, you will be taken to the logon screen with your new screen where you will need to log back on. You will be taken back to where you left off after you logon.
12. Delete - To delete a selected logon file.​
A) Click on Yes for the confirmation prompt.​

That's it,

Related Tutorials

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Shawn Brink


Did some more checking, and thought I'd look at Tune-up Utilities, found it was out of trial, so decided to Uninstall, and guess what, the new Logon screen flashed up on restart.

So it seems depending on what alterations you make in tune-up, can affect your logon screens.

Needless to say I had no trouble on Win7 as it (TUP) wasn't installed.

We live and learn.
I'm happy to hear that you found the culprit and got it sorted out. :)
Hey Brink,

1st of all I want to thank you for all your hard work and provide everyone with some good and helpful information.

I have one problem on creating a logonvist file. the way step 7 describes how do i get to that screen a logon screen from picture? I have saved few of my pictures to make that as a logon screen but i have been unable to do so. It gives me an error saying it is not .logonvista package file. Help please

Thank you
Hello Blkbenzo, and welcome to Vista Forums.

After you have typed in a name in step 7, clicked on Browse to select your image file, you would click on Save and Apply. Double check each step to make sure that you did not miss one. :)
Hi Shawn,

Excellent Tutorial!

Question: Suppose I have 6 users and they are setup in a certain order on the Welcome Screen. Does this program allow me to alter the order to one I prefer? Is there any other way to control the order they are presented (or the way presented - like all in one line vs. 3 on line line and 3 on another) or make other changes of this nature?

Hello Lorien,

Sorry but no. It only changes the background image displayed in these log on screens. :(
Thank you, Brink!

Just to be sure, this is not available through Vista or any other 3rd party program you know about (not just using this program)? Are the names of the users shown on the welcome screen stored somewhere that perhaps can be changed (through sorting or whatever) to present differently? It seems so odd to me that something like that would not be able to be configured (even if I can't figure out how to do it - LOL!). I mean, how does it determine the order? Was it based on the original user account add-on order (it doesn't seem to be alphabetical)? Will changing the usernames affect the order they are presented? I don't mean to pester you with this, I'm just trying to resolve an issue in the threads and this was the closest tutorial I could find on the subject.
Hi Brink,

This apparently can be done (changing the user order that neither of us thought possible), but it is very involved. Here's the procedure that was provided to the OP who, beyond all belief, actually went through the effort of doing it and it apparently worked (not as he had wanted, but it did do the trick): http://www.vistax64.com/general-discussion/285472-change-arrangement-users-log-screen.html#post1302337.

I thought you'd be interested in this and perhaps may want to add a reference link to the post or to the SF article linked in that post or perhaps even add it here as another way to change the logon screen.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!
Ah, I was thinking that it had to be alphabetically ordered based on the original name of a created user account. Thank you Lorien. :)
I installed StarDock's Logon Studio for Vista, but ran into a problem. Every time the login screen comes up, I get a VC++ runtime error with msvcrt.dll. Uh... how odd. The logon process continued OK and everything else seems fine, but the error happens every time I use the logon screen. This bothers me a lot. I tried to uninstall Logon Studio, but it failed to do so because somehow it couldn't locate INSTALL.LOG, even though it was present in the director. That looks even worse! So, I did the next best thing, which was to roll back to a previous restore point.

I then read that x64 systems are NOT supported, only x32. Ah, so perhaps this explains it.

How hard can replacing an image file actually be? I simply want a different image, which is a data file... not a program. Is there a manual way to substitute the image? If memory serves me correctly, I have a feeling that Windows does not use a stock image type, that there is some kind of proprietary binary file that is used to load system theme images.

I'm now thinking that there be another way to achieve the desired image... Maybe after installing and customizing Logon Studio, I can save off the special theme files created. Then when rolling back to my previous restore point, I then copy those files over an existing theme.
Hello Cy,

I'm not sure what may have caused the VC++ runtime error with msvcrt.dll, but LogonStudio runs perfectly fine on both the 32-bit and 64-bit Vista. You might also run a sfc /scannow command to see if you have any corrupted system files, and check to make sure that you have all of your Windows Updates installed.

Hope this helps,
Thanks for letting me know that it should be OK on x64, Shawn. I'm usually pretty good about keeping Vista up to date. I ran the SFC /scannow and some corrupt files were located. Most were true type fonts. The only file flagged that looked peculiar was winload.exe.mui. Anyway, hopefully after rebooting all will be resolved.

Ah, the problem still happens. And I got the file name wrong. It's nvvsvc.exe. The complaint is that it was tried to be run in a "peculiar" way. I don't quite know what that means. The program is an NVIDIA driver helper of some kind. Maybe the Stardock software is not compatible. I did notice my screen acting a little funny afterward, meaning there was a delay in screen transition and then it kind of "half repeated" the previous screen before changing.
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See if uninstalling and reinstalling the NVIDIA drivers may help if they are corrupted. winload.exe.mui is the file that get's modified to change the log on screen background, so that would be normal for it to show up. You may need to change the log on screen again after running the SFC command if it restored the default one.
Wow... what a mess.

Well, in the Event Viewer, I also noticed that LogonUI.exe was crashing too. I downloaded the latest NVidia update pack and installed it. Everything appeared to go normally. Upon logging in, I ran into yet another crash of LogonUI (notified by Windows after desktop appeared). The screen had flashed unusually a couple of times, so I kind of figured it would happen. So... I uninstalled the Stardock Impulse software. And now? Everything is fine. No more errors.

So... I don't know what is going on. Maybe there's something about the NVidia software that conflicts with Stardock software. I've run out of patience on this, as I've been very happy with my NVidia driver software and I just don't want to take any more risks with Stardock.

In any event, I did find a tip on a manual change of the Logon screen background image. I don't know if it works for Vista... will have to give it a shot. I found it at RT Win Customize.
Well, I tried the manual method, but as you surmised it did not work (it must be for Windows 7).

I uninstalled Stardock/Impulse one more time, completely rolled back to a previous restore point, re-applied NVidia update package and Windows update, then tried Stardock one more time. You know, the install program reports encountering an error (none specified), but still proceeds. Same thing happened last time. I suspect something doesn't get installed right, and may be the culprit of this whole issue.

Anyway... unfortunately I can't seem to use this software. Not only does it throw an annoying error message any time I log on, the fingerprint reader icon no longer has information text below it. I can't know if it failed to read my fingerprint, only to go on the fact that the screen remains. So, in the end... aborting this. I will keep searching to see if there's some manual method (there must be), that has been overshadowed by many posts about Stardock.
Did you already try right clicking on the program and click "Run as administrator" to see if that may help?

I'm thinking it may be more of a conflict with the fingerprint reader or Impulse. I had no problems using LogonStudio with NVIDIA video drivers installed.
When I ran the install, it requested administrator permission to install, and so I clicked "OK". When I logon without using the fingerprint reader, the same problem results.

Anyway... I've now created more of a mess than I'd expected. Apparently I no longer have a restore point available prior to the last Stardock install. I did find someone else report the very same problems I did back in 2009, but he had some other issues as well that clouded the resolution, then he stopped responding.

Well, off to waste the rest of my day trying to manually repair my system. I am really ticked off that a company like Stardock would do something that would compromise an operating system this way, or even better still, that Microsoft wouldn't have better protections in place to recover.
Just to follow up here...

From what I experienced, Digital Persona fingerprint reader software is NOT compatible with Stardock Logon Studio or BootSkin. Those products do something to the user logon process that confuses Digital Persona, to the point where you cannot logon via the keyboard (only fingerprint reader) and the reader won't show any status messages. It doesn't matter which is installed first (Stardock or Digital Persona); this problem happens no matter what. Also, recovery is tricky. Stardock has some installation issues where it does not clean up after itself very well. After doing a manual registry clean and fully uninstalling Digital Persona, I was eventually able to get the user logon process back to normal with Digital Persona back in place (with latest 4.11 update).

I have an open inquiry to the Stardock people (and on their forum), as well as to Digital Persona in hopes of learning more about the conflict and perhaps a manual workaround. Given how seldom this problem is encountered (I haven't seen anyone complain about it on Windows 7 with Digital Persona), and the fact that Vista is about to be 2 product versions in the past (W7 and W8 ahead), I am not hopeful this will be resolved.