Microsoft’s newest operating system came with a lot of enhancements “under the hood”. One of those enhancements is the ability to change the logon screen without the use of third-party software. For most users, this may or may not be a welcomed change as this feature was specifically made available for OEMs. This means OEMs can place their logo as the background image of Windows 7’s logon screen. This feature is primarily set through the use of a registry key. If you bought Windows 7 off-the-self, this key maybe inactive or nonexistent. OEM copies of Windows 7 are more likely to have that key existent and active. In order to successfully change the background to the logon screen, you need to determine whether the required registry key is active. Open the registry editor and go to the following directory: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background. Find a DWORD value called OEM Background. If there isn’t a key already there with that name, then create a new key using that name. Set the value of the key to 1. The registry editor can then be closed. Next, open up Windows Explorer and navigate to the following directory: %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds. If the location doesn’t exist, then create new folders so it does. Finally, place your favorite jpeg picture into the folder. The picture cannot exceed 256kb in size. For best results, use a picture with the same aspect ratio as your screen’s resolution. Restart your computer and…Presto! Your logon screen will be changed. If upon restarting your computer and you realized that it is hard to read text on your logon screen, you can make a simple registry change to combat the issue. Microsoft has secretly created three types of button sets for the logon screen to make text more legible. This time when opening the Registry Editor, navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI. Create a DWORD value called ButtonSet and set its value according to the following choices: 0 - Lighter text shadows, darker (more opaque) buttons (Windows default) 1 - Darker text shadows, lighter (more translucent) buttons (for lighter backgrounds) 2 - No text shadows, opaque buttons (for darker backgrounds) If you are afraid to manually change the logon screen you can use Tweaks.com Logon Changer for Windows 7. It’s free and there is no install required. It also allows for the logon to be reverted back to its original state .