Other Windows 7 versions have been left out to dry, although something like this should really be a feature by default.
We resort to third-party applications to customize our welcome screen. There are many alternatives, ranging from terribly amazing to just terrible, and we’ve listed the best three below.
Logon Screen is one of the simplest, most down to earth application to change your log-on and welcome screens. Or rather, to customize your log-on and welcome screens’ background. Simply use the Logon Screen application to select the desired image, and off you go. Images will be automatically resized to fit your welcome screen.
The most peculiar thing about Logon Screen is how well it integrates with Windows 7 itself. Most of these kind of applications are portable, but Logon Screen looks like it belongs; as if it was always a part of Windows 7.
Notably, Logon Screen will also install an extension for the right-click menu (as seen above). Changing your welcome screen will be just as easy as changing your desktop wallpaper, like it should be.
If you want to do more than just change your wallpaper, Windows 7 Logon Screen Tweaker is your best choice. It adds a batch of advanced features without ditching the user friendly interface. At any point, you can review what your log-in screen is going to look like.
Some of these “tools” allow you to change the button set, remove the Ease of Access button and change the default log-in sound. Windows 7 Logon Screen Tweaker will also remove the Windows branding and the shutdown button. If you’re prone to showing off (but are on a tight budget), you can change this Windows branding to make it seem you’re using a different OS version. Of course, this will not affect your Windows functionality.
Feel free to play around. If you mess something up, you can use Windows 7 Logon Screen Tweaker to restore everything to its original state.
If we are going from simple to more advanced software alternatives, Logon WorkShop certainly fits the part. The main windows allows you to switch between different ‘logon skins’. You can export and import these profiles so you can easily apply them to different computers or even company-wide.
Of course, you can also create new skins. Logon Workshop offers the most customizability by far; you can change almost anything, including the background, look and position of the user picture, text, and every button on the screen. The screenshot below shows but one of the different configuration panels.
Undoubtedly, the interface will look too complicated and cluttered for many users, but you don’t need to use all this advanced functionality. If you want, you can just change the welcome screen background and be done with it. If you do decide to play a little with the application, and something goes south, just restore your computer to the default skin, or create a new one.
What do you think of these applications to customize your welcome screen? Let us know what you’re using (and why) in the comments!