How to personalize the lock screen background image in Windows 11

While similar to Windows 10, personalizing Windows 11 requires you to navigate through several layers of configuration setting menus laid out in new and different ways.

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Image: 24Novembers/Shutterstock

If Microsoft upgraded your Windows 10 personal computer to Windows 11 recently, you were likely able to keep your personalized settings for basic features like background images. However, if you purchased a new PC or opted for a clean Windows 11 install, you will have to add any personalization touches yourself using setting and configuration menus.

In general, changing or adding personalization touches in Windows 11 is similar to how you did it in Windows 10—but not exactly the same. The Windows 11 Settings menus are presented differently than in previous versions of the operating system. Microsoft has also added a few new features to Windows 11 that you may want to take advantage of when you personalize your PC experience.

SEE: Windows 11: Tips on installation, security and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to change the login screen background image in Windows 11

To make sure we are all on the same page, we are talking about the background image that appears on the Windows 11 lock screen and the login screen. The Microsoft-installed default for the lock screen is the daily image chosen by the Windows Spotlight service. The standard operating procedure is that you click the lock screen or press a key and the image blurs and presents a screen requesting your login credentials.

Personalizing that experience requires you to navigate the various Settings menus deep inside Windows 11. Click the Start button on your desktop and select Settings from the list of apps. Under the System tab in the left-hand navigation bar, select the Personalization item, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

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Scroll down the right-hand list of configuration features and select "Lock screen" to reveal the sub-menu shown in Figure B.

Figure B

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Clicking the drop down box under Personalize Your Lock Screen provides you with three choices: Windows Spotlight, Picture or Slideshow. As mentioned above, Windows Spotlight will download and display a new image each day and provide links to view articles and access detailed information about where the photo was taken. However, unless you change some settings, this service may also send you what amounts to advertisements as well.

Choosing the Picture setting will allow you to pick a specific image for your background that will show up each day as you login. The Slideshow setting allows you to select folders of images, which will display in sequence according to your timing choices.

The next setting, "Lock screen status," as shown in Figure C, allows you to pick what app detail you would like to display on your lock screen. This is a personal choice.

Figure C

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The next setting, in the form of a toggle switch, allows you to choose whether you want your image choice above to carry over to the login screen. If you turn this setting off, the login screen will be a blank page.

The Related Settings section will take you to other areas of the Windows 11 Settings menus, specifically Power & Battery and Screen Save Settings. From there you can change settings for Sleep Mode, etc.

When you are satisfied with your personalization choices, close the Settings menu.

While the standard personalization settings for the lock screen and login screen provided by Microsoft are appreciated, they are limited. Perhaps we can find some registry hacks to expand our personalization choices and spice up our user experience just a little.

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By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.