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Lock Screen Default Background Image - Change in Windows 8


Brink

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mvp
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Lock Screen Default Background Image - Change in Windows 8
This tutorial will show you how to change the default lock screen (aka: pre sign-in screen) background image that displays when no users are signed in to an image of your choice in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
Published by Brink
#1
ByLine
How to Change the Default Lock Screen Background Image in Windows 8 and 8.1
Synopsis
This tutorial will show you how to change the default lock screen (aka: pre sign-in screen) background image that displays when no users are signed in to an image of your choice in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
How to Change the Default Lock Screen Background Image in Windows 8 and 8.1


In Windows 8 and 8.1 there are two "Lock" screens.

  • The user lock screen is the one that displays when a user locks the PC while still signed in to Windows, and when the user is selected on the sign in screen, times out, and returns to the lock screen. Each user is able to change their lock screen background image to an image of their choice.
  • The default Lock screen image is the one that displays when there are no users currently signed in to Windows or selected on the sign in screen.

While it's easy to change your lock screen image, Windows doesn't have an easy way to change the default lock screen image.

This tutorial will show you how to change the default lock screen (aka: pre sign-in screen) background image to an image of your choice in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8.1 RT.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.


EXAMPLE: Default Lock Screen

Default_Lock_Screen.png





OPTION ONE
Change Default Lock Screen using "Lock Screen Customizer" Program


1. Download and run the same 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Lock Screen Customizer program by WinAero below for your 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

WinAero: Lock Screen Customizer for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8


2. Do step 3 or 4 below for what you would like to do.

3. To Change Default Lock Screen Background Image

A) Click/tap on the Change background image link under "Default Lock Screen Appearance", select the .jpg image you want to use, click/tap on Open, and go to step 5.


4. To Restore the Default Lock Screen Background Image

A) Click/tap on the Restore default image link under "Default Lock Screen Appearance", and go to step 5.


5. When finished, you can close the Lock Screen Customizer program.

See also:
How to change the background image of the default Lock Screen and the login screen | Winaero


lsc82.png


[video=youtube;z5MX7SvuAWs]






OPTION TWO
To Manually Change the Default Lock Screen


1. Copy and paste the folder location below into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter.

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows


2. First you will need to change the owner and permissions of the SystemData folder in the location above to be your user account's name.

The steps below will help show you how to along with OPTION FOUR in the tutorial link below.

It is important that these steps are followed completely and exactly, or this will not work.


(Option Four in this tutorial link)
How to Take Ownership of a File, Folder, Drive, or Registry Key in Windows 8 and 8.1



A) (step 2 at link) Right click or press and hold on the SystemData folder, and click/tap on Properties.

B) (step 4 at link) Click/tap on the Security tab, and click/tap on the Advanced button. (see screenshot below)

No_Permission-1.png

C) (step 5 at link) At the top to the right of the current Owner, click/tap on the Change link.

D) (steps 7-10 at link) Select your user account name to be the owner.

E) (step 11-13 at link) Check the Replace owner of subcontainers and objects box, and click/tap on OK and Yes.

F) Click/tap on OK in "SystemData Properties" window. (see screenshot below step 2B above)

G) (step 2 at link) Right click or press and hold on the SystemData folder again, and click/tap on Properties.

H) Next, we need to add SYSTEM with "Full control" permissions.

The steps below will help show you how to along with OPTION TWO in the tutorial link below.


(Option Two in this tutorial link)
How to Allow or Deny Access Permissions to Users and Groups in Windows 8 and 8.1



H-1) (step 5 at link) Click/tap on the Security tab, and click/tap on the Edit button. (see screenshot below)



Edit.png


H-2) (step 8-A at link) Click/tap on the Add button. (see screenshot below)



Add_System.png


H-3) (step 8-B at link) Type SYSTEM, and click/tap on OK.

H-4) (step 10 at link) Select (highlight) SYSTEM at the top, and check the Full control box under Allow. (see screenshot below step H-2 above)

J) Click/tap on the Advanced tab. (see screenshot below step H-1 above)

K) Check the Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object box, and click/tap on OK and Yes.



inheritable_permissions.png


L) Click/tap on OK in "SystemData Properties" window. (see screenshot below step H-1 above)


3. Open the SystemData, S-1-5-8, ReadOnly, and LockScreen_Z folders, and delete the image file(s) inside the LockScreen_Z folder so it will be empty. (see screenshot below)

This is the cache of the current default lock screen image. It needs to be cleared to be able to use the image you added at step # below.




LockScreen_Z.png


4. In File Explorer, go to the folder location below, and open the Screen folder.

C:\Windows\Web\Screen


Screen-1.png


5. Change the owner of the img100.jpg file to be the Administrators group, and set permissions for Administrators to have Full control. (see screenshot below)

img100_Permissions.png


6. Rename image100.jpg to anything you like (ex: image100X.jpg). (see screenshot below)

7. Copy a 1920 x 1200 .jpg image you want as the default lock screen into the C:\Windows\Web\Screen folder, and rename it to be image100.jpg.

Screen-2.png


8. Sign out all users on the PC to see the new default lock screen. (see screenshot below)

New_Default_Lock_Screen.png




That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited by a moderator:

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usmangta

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#2
I cant do step 5
 

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Brink

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#3
Hello usmangta,

I'm assuming you mean in Option Two, but why not, and what are you seeing different than in the tutorial? :)
 

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System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
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    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
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    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
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cognus

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#4
sean is the WinAero suggestions still valid? looking on their site, there's confusion there. they speak of a different 32/64 version "new" for 8.1. Then there is one and only one download link for 8/8.1, then there is a string of comments as to bugs under varying scenarios, especially 8.1. Just checking before I try to repair 8.1 for MS :)
 

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Brink

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#5
Hello Cognus,

There's one download, but there's a 32-bit and 64-bit version of the program in the ZIP file. Be sure to use the correct version that's the same as what Windows you have installed.

I'm not sure about the reported issues with it since it works fine for me, but if you are uncertain, you could always do the manual Option Two methods. :)
 

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System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
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    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
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    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
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    1920x1080
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    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
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    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
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groucho

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15
#6
The complicated hack above should never have been necessary. Hopefully it will dawn on Microsoft one day that its hideous Windows 8.1 lock screen and pre-sign-in screen are driving away its customers and it will replace them in the next Windows 8.1 Update.
 

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    Windows 8

klsrd

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4
#7
There might be a file size limitation for the lock screen image. I tried using a 1.30MB jpg and the lock screen did not show the image. It was just a plain blue background. The other images I tried worked fine, and they were all smaller files. Same 1920x1200 res.

Edit: After using Option Two to change the lock screen, I found that I could do the same thing in PC Settings. Not sure if this is from a recent update but it's much more convenient.
 

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Brink

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#8

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System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
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    Custom self built
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    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
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    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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klsrd

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#9
I see. I guess this tutorial wasn't for me since I only have one user account? The lock screen when I'm signed out is still the one I selected in PC Settings.
 

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Brink

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#10
Restart the PC to see what the default lock screen is for you before any user is signed. It should be the example screenshot in this tutorial by default unless already changed. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
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    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

groucho

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#11
Last edited by a moderator:

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klsrd

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4
#12
Restart the PC to see what the default lock screen is for you before any user is signed. It should be the example screenshot in this tutorial by default unless already changed. :)
Restarted, and the default lock screen is still what I set in PC Settings. To verify, I changed the image again through PC Settings and restarted again. The lock screen background was the new image. Have you tried it on a computer with only one user account? Or is there another factor that might be causing this? Either way, I'm not complaining. This is exactly what I wanted. :D
 

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Brink

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#13
Klsrd,

I'm thinking that since you are the only account on the computer, you may be see your lock screen as the last user instead of the default lock screen.

If you like, as a test to play, create a new user account and sign in and out of it to test and see if you see the default lock screen now, or still the same. You can delete the account afterwards.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
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    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

klsrd

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4
#14
Klsrd,

I'm thinking that since you are the only account on the computer, you may be see your lock screen as the last user instead of the default lock screen.

If you like, as a test to play, create a new user account and sign in and out of it to test and see if you see the default lock screen now, or still the same. You can delete the account afterwards.
I was going to refuse out of laziness, but curiosity got the better of me and it only took a minute. After enabling the guest account and signing out, the lock screen was the image that I previously set as the default lock screen via your second method. Disabling the guest account brought back the lock screen I selected through PC Settings. So the theory is probably correct. When there is only one account, the default lock screen seems to be bypassed and the user lock screen is used in its place. For those with only one user account, there's no need to go through the trouble of changing the default lock screen. Good news for me! Thank you for the tutorial nonetheless, it's interesting to see how things are organized within an OS.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Brink

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mvp
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#15
Great news. Thank you for taking the time to test the theory on your system. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
Posts
3
#16
Hello, I know this thread is old, but I hope this is the appropriate place to ask questions.

This guide worked beautifully and I was able to change my default lockscreens. I was wondering though, would you happen to know which locations the thumbnails are stored at? It's just a small detail, but it feels weird clicking on the thumbnail and the pictures don't match. They also have the names: Seattle, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, when I hover over them, so I tried doing a file search, but couldn't find them. Is there any way I can find out where they pull the thumbnails from? I'm amazed you were even able to find the locations of the lock screen images, so I thought that was really cool. Anyways, thank you so much for this great tutorial!

thumbnails.jpg

The best I could find was a cache of the image previews stored at C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom
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    Intel Core i7-3770K
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    Gigabyte
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Brink

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mvp
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#17
Hello thunderstorm, and welcome to Eight Forums.

This tutorial isn't for the lock screen displayed when you are still signed in to your user account, but for the lock screen shown when no users are signed in.

The lock screen images that come with Windows are stored in the folder in step 3 of Option Two. You could check to make sure that they are still there and correctly named. An easy way to fix the recent thumbnails is to keep changing the lock screen until the thumbnails have been replaced with ones that show the correct image, then change your lock screen back to what you wanted.

Hope this helps, :)
Shawn
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
Posts
3
#18
I kept changing the lock screen by clicking on the thumbnails, but nothing happens. The default lock screen that shows when i log off is the custom one I picked (I mean the default one which I had replaced following the tutorial). However, it still shows up as the default seattle thumbnail is what I mean. After I reset my thumbnails to default, it shows back up. For example i click on the honeycomb and a black rose shows up, I click on the seattle picture, my default star background shows up, I click on the piano keys but it's a deck of cards. So the thumbnails don't match the pictures I've replaced.

hmm.jpg

Not sure if this explains it, but the pictures I'm selecting in the "Change PC Settings" is the ones I've all replaced.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-3770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte
    Memory
    16GB
    Browser
    Firefox

Brink

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mvp
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#19

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
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    Internet Explorer 11
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    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
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    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
Posts
3
#20
Ah, not quite what I'm looking for, but thank you anyways.

I can customize my user lock screen just fine that way. I was just trying to look for a way to completely replace the default files, including the thumbnail, because from your tutorial, it looks like it replaces the default lockscreen flawlessly, but missing a slight detail. I replaced the default Seattle lock screen, but not the Seattle thumbnail that goes along with it, but I can change my user lock screens with no problem and they have the correct thumbnails. It was mostly just to experiment and learn how you find the files you need to edit. I wanted to learn about how windows generates the thumbnails and where it stores them. It's just a silly edit I want to make - not really anything as important.

Haha, sorry if this is confusing, but I appreciate the time you take to try and answer! By the way, I forgot to thank you for the welcome. Thanks!

Edit: I found a person with the same question as mine online, but worded much better.
...do you know how to properly "replace" the 6 lock screen images that are located in the C:\Windows\Web\Screen folder? I've replaced these and their matching files under the C:\Windows\WinSxS folder structure, but the thumbnails in the Personalization Settings area for the lock screen still show the original (Microsoft included) images and don't reflect the images I have replaced them with.
It looks like the answer is in the Windows\system32\Windows.UI.Immersive.dll !!!
 
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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-3770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte
    Memory
    16GB
    Browser
    Firefox