Changing the Lock Screen's Background Picture

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 28, 2016)


In Windows, the Lock Screen is what you first see when you get your computer's attention. It serves the same function as the introductory screen you see when you activate your phone or tablet. It typically contains a picture, the time, the date, and little else.

When Windows is first installed, the Lock Screen shows a stylistic interpretation of the Seattle skyline. (Makes sense, I guess, since Microsoft is headquartered in a Seattle suburb.) This may not be to your liking, however. Fortunately you can change the Lock Screen image by following a few simple steps:

  1. Display the Charms bar at the right side of your screen. (Do this by swiping right-to-left or moving the mouse to the very upper-right or lower-right of the screen. You can also accomplish this step by pressing Win+C.)
  2. Click Settings. Windows displays the Settings bar at the right side of the screen.
  3. Choose the Change PC Settings option. Windows displays the PC Settings screen.
  4. Choose Personalize at the left side of the screen.
  5. Choose Lock Screen at the right side of the screen. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The PC Settings screen.

Windows provides six standard images from which you can choose. You aren't limited to these six options, though. You can choose any photo you want by clicking Browse. Using this option, you can browse through the pictures on your system to find the photo and chose it for the Lock Screen.

 This tip (12731) applies to Windows 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is two less than 5?

2016-11-28 16:10:41

Steve Price

What about doing this for Win 10?

2016-11-28 12:24:28

Pierre Sundborg

After I upgraded to Windows 10, the lock screen was a view out of a cave toward waves on a sea. After a month or so, it changed to cliffs over a Swiss-like scene. Both are lovely, and I wonder if Microsoft will continue to occasionally change the images. Hope so. Yes?

2016-11-28 09:44:26


What I would really like to do is to eliminate the Lock Screen entirely. Is there any way to do that?

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