Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Ideally, this can be done for a non-virtual installation of Windows 7 and without the use of an RDP client connection. There are numerous blog posts, how-to's, etc that include screen shots of the Windows 7 logon screen... how did they do it?

share|improve this question
Having looked through their forums, it looks like How-To-Geek uses virtualisation to get these screenshots – Shevek Jul 1 '10 at 18:32

This works for XP, unchecked in Windows 7

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Windows Task Manager. Click on the Processes tab and highlight Explorer.exe. Click "End Task" in the lower right. You will be presented with a warning, which you should select yes on.
  2. If everything worked, your taskbar and desktop should have disappeared. Don't worry, it's temporary. In the Task Manager, go to the File menu and select New Task. In the resulting input box, type "logonui" and click OK. The logon screen should now appear behind the Task Manager. At this point, go ahead and take your screenshots. You can open Paint by typing "mspaint" into the New Task box.
  3. Once you have finished taking and saving the screenshots, select "logonui.exe" in the process list in the Task Manager and click End Task. This will close the logon screen. Finally, go to File and New Task. Type "Explorer" into the text box and click OK. Your taskbar and desktop should now re-appear.


EDIT: Does not work in Win 7. Looks like VM or RDP is the way to go.

share|improve this answer
Sorry guys. This doesn't seem to work for me in Windows 7. I tried it on Windows XP and it did though. What am I missing? – Saul Dolgin Jul 1 '10 at 15:06
@Saul - I'm home now and back in the land of Win7. I can't get logonui to fire either... – Shevek Jul 1 '10 at 18:26
I never knew you could do that in XP. Hmm... – TheLQ Jul 1 '10 at 19:52
@Saul - you have piqued my interest though! I will continue to investigate and let you know if I find anything... – Shevek Jul 1 '10 at 20:42
I wrote one below. Community + Time = Knowledge – ixe013 Jul 19 '11 at 20:34

Here is how I do it (taken from my blog):

  1. Log on with an account that can elevate to administrator
  2. Download Microsoft's pstools suite
  3. Start an elevated command prompt
  4. From the directory where you unzipped pstools, type psexec -dsx cmd.exe. The CMD won't show, but it's there.
  5. Logoff or lock your Windows session (depending on the what you want to see on your screen shot)
  6. When you are at the logon screen, type ALT-TAB. The command prompt you launched at step 4 will be there.

From that point on, you have everything set up.

  1. ALT-TAB again to the logon screen, which is nothing more that LogonUI.exe full screen window.
  2. Capture with a screen shot program (the print screen key will not work). I use boxcutter.
  3. ATL-TAB to the prompt, type mspaint,
  4. Paste and save.

+It works on XP, too. But since Microsoft's and most 3rd party GINA are not full screen, you will have to reduce the size of the command prompt and hide it behing the GINA's dialog box.

share|improve this answer
I attempted to try this and everything works except print screen, which is sadly a crucial step in this process. I would get to the locked screen, find the terminal there, hit print screen, open MSPaint, and I wouldn't be able to paste. – Nich Del Jun 6 '11 at 14:58
You are rigth, Nich. The print screen key does not work. I actually use a screen shot program boxcutter -f []. I beleive other screen shot tools will also work. – ixe013 Jun 6 '11 at 20:20
Please note that the URL for boxcutter has now changed to – David Gard Oct 20 '14 at 11:04
Thanks for the edit, @DavidGard – ixe013 Oct 20 '14 at 14:18
No prob, thanks for the post! – David Gard Oct 20 '14 at 15:21

If you have a multi-monitor setup there is a solution to this.

There is a TweakUI style utility called WinBubbles, part of which can hook into the logon screen via the ease of access button and it has a screen grab utility.

If you trigger WinBubbles and then move the window to a 2nd monitor you can then take screen grabs of the main logon window.

(credit to Pottsy1981 and TheFreak)

share|improve this answer

You could simply take a photo of the screen on your monitor with a camera. I know it's a bit old school to do it that way, but if you can't use the solutions others have posted (VM or RDP) it may be your best option.

share|improve this answer

You can use Win 7 Logon Screen Capture:

  • free
  • Windows 7
  • take a snapshot of login screen

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

Result (.jpg file, no choice):

enter image description here

How to Use it :-

  1. Open up \Windows\System32
  2. Look for a file called "Utilman.exe"
  3. Take ownership the "Utilman.exe" file, and rename it into "Utilman_old.exe"
  4. Copy the new "Utilman.exe" file that is located in this folder to Windows\System32
  5. Lock Windows 7, and click on the Ease of Access button.
  6. Capture the logon screen with ease...


  1. Delete the new "Utilman.exe"
  2. Rename the "Utilman_old.exe" into "Utilman.exe"
  3. And you are done...
share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

protected by studiohack Jun 7 '11 at 2:30

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .