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We are about to deploy Windows 7 in an enterprise environment and I am having some concerns concerning the account picture that is displayed on the logging screen, and in the upper right corner in the start menu :

enter image description here

How do you guys deal with this picture in an enterprise environment? Because I guess that my users will waste some time trying to change this picture, and try uploading their own picture, which is not what we want in a professionnal workspace. And if we deny users to change that image, maybe some people will be mad about the picture that have been permanently randomized for their account.

So is there a way to replace every account picture with a dummy logo of the corporation, or maybe do you have a better idea?

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I've never seen this set to a corporate logo even at 10,000+ seat firms. If it were me, I'd just let them change it. If users are going to waste time, this restriction won't stop them. If they change it to something inappropriate there are other ways of dealing with that. Besides, there are some studies that show that letting your employees do things like set their desktop wallpaper or put a plant on their desk actually improves productivity. Not sure how far an icon would help but it cant hurt :) –  Colin Pickard May 22 '13 at 20:19
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I work for a >1k employee company. The image was set to the company logo when I got my laptop. I was able to change it a minute ago. I'll follow up if a group policy forces it back. –  Dan Neely May 22 '13 at 21:19
    
@DanNeely They may have just set the image (and other settings) in the Default user profile before they imaged it, but aren't enforcing it via policy. I think that's way more common that locking it down. –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 22 '13 at 22:43
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@DanNeely You may be able to check your Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) with gpresult, i.e. gpresult /z. –  Louis May 22 '13 at 23:13

2 Answers 2

Like most things you want to control company-wide, look into using Group Policy.

Specifically:

Computer Settings-> Policies-> Administrative Templates-> Control Panel-> User Accounts-> Apply the default logon picture to all users

Blurb:

This policy setting allows an administrator to standardize the logon pictures for all users on a system to the default user picture. One application for this policy setting is to standardize the logon pictures to a company logo.

...

If you enable this policy setting, the default user logon picture will display for all users on the system with no customization allowed.

There's more info (like picture-file locations, etc.) provided in the full description of that actual policy.

Related SU question: Change user account picture

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You can apply a GPO that will force the use of the default picture. The policy is under Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, User Accounts, Apply the default user logon picture to all users. You could also replace the default picture, which is under C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\. The picture must be in bmp format and 128 by 128 pixels.

I think the best solution however is to allow your employees to change it. Customization makes the user feel better. Maybe post a tutorial explaining all of the dumb little customization things your users will want to do so they can do this efficiently.

If your employees waste time, that's their manager's problem. Don't try to solve people problems with technology.

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Locking down this sort of thing (the desktop wallpaper even more so) is a major source of irritation to users. (Especially the wallpaper as that is in your face all he time.) Company mandated screensavers are another, although most users can live with that if they are at least able to change the timeout to something reasonable. –  Tonny May 22 '13 at 20:24
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@Tonny I agree that some things aren't worth the trouble to lock down much of it should be controlled/backed by people-policies. BUT users also get majorly irritated when we don't let them write to USB drives or install iTunes, yet I'm sure you can see why one might disallow those. There are reasons for companies to want to have all the computers as close to the same as possible (like legislation and laws that govern their industry). Sometimes you just have to live with the irritation set out by the folks who pay you. Especially since it's their computer(s). ;) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 22 '13 at 20:35
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@techie007 You have got a point, but there is no excuse what so ever to force everybody to a wallpaper that shows the company building or a product in such garish colors that people sit behind their computers wearing sunglasses. (I've seen that happen.) Screensavers (with mandatory lock) are often required because of security, but I have never heard of any regulation that required a mandatory wallpaper. It's pointless anyway. People will just run a viewer or browser-window full-screen in the background with their own picture. –  Tonny May 22 '13 at 20:46
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We're not (just) talking about wallpapers here though, and you shouldn't be surprised by anything legislation calls for; governing bodies can be goofy. ;) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 22 '13 at 20:50

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