This is about Windows 8 RTM.

How can I change the lock screen in Windows 8 that appears after connecting to the machine via RDP?

You can change your lock screen for your user account like so:

  1. Hit the Windows key.
  2. Right click your user name in the upper right hand corner, choose Change Account Picture.
  3. Click Lock Screen, choose a new picture.

However, if you then connect to the computer where you've done this from another computer via RDP, using the same account, the physical machine you've connected to will display the "default" user lock screen - a stylized Space Needle / Seattle picture. It's not a bad picture, but I'd like to change it.

4 Answers 4


MS released an update to allow this without any hacks:

Win8: How to Manage the Lock Screen Image on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2787100/en-us

The update “Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 cumulative update: November 2012” adds functionality to the Control Panel group polices that allow an administrator to designate a lock screen image on their Windows 8 and Windows 2012 computers. This setting lets you specify the default lock screen image shown when no user is signed in, and also sets the specified images as the default for all users (it replaces the inbox default image) Some restriction apply. See the Restrictions section below.

The new group policy is named “Force a specific default lock screen image” and can be found in this path in the group policy editor: “Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization”

  • Thanks! I've seen this article, but my PC doesn't seem to have the update yet. I'll keep checking on it.
    – Mark Allen
    Dec 19, 2012 at 19:16
  • @Mark Allen have you tried the update? Does it work for you? May 17, 2013 at 17:06
  • If I run MMC, add snap-in, go to /Local computer policy/administrative templates/personalization, it's there now, yes. Thanks.
    – Mark Allen
    May 17, 2013 at 17:41
  • ok, you should unmark the "hacking" answer and mark the better one. May 18, 2013 at 4:27
  • Any idea how to do this on Windows8-Home which does not have Policy Editor? Oct 18, 2013 at 9:57

Found it.


Replace the picture in there with your custom background picture. It must match the name of the current background picture (for me, it's LockScreen___1680_1050.jpg). Logoff (or restart) to see the result.

NOTE You may have to take ownership (or grant yourself permission) to view the contents of the SystemData folder and it's subfolders.

Credit goes to someone named Brian Michael Reed posting here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-GB/w8itprogeneral/thread/82e7ae0f-1b6e-4d04-ae05-8278911af3e2

  • This answer, for the record, is correct and was correct before the answer I've changed to be the accepted answer. Microsoft eventually released a patch that enabled this functionality without going to all this trouble.
    – Mark Allen
    May 19, 2013 at 2:58

To make a change that is resilient to changing screen resolutions, replace C:\Windows\Web\Screen\img100.png with your new picture. Then delete the resized image caches from C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\S-1-5-18\ReadOnly\LockScreen_Z. You'll need to take ownership of the folders/files in question to access them.

Alternative: Disable the lock screen. To do this, search Settigns for "group policy". Navigate to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, Personalization. Set "Do not display the lock screen" to Enabled.


Go to the "setting" tabs on the right. Click personalizations. Your LOCK SCREEN image should be there with about 5 more choice from which you may choose. You may also browse for other pictures you may hav on your computer of other devices connected.

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