Jan
1
2013

Fix : Unable to change Lock screen Picture / stuck user account picture in Windows 8

This article will help you fix an issue with windows 8, where you cannot change the Lock screen picture. Your Windows 8 PC might show on the settings panel that the picture has been changed and the settings were saved, but the Lock screen picture does not change. In some other cases when you click on browse button, nothing happens.

To fix this, follow the methods mentioned below:

Method 1 : Using Group Policy Editor

  • Make sure you are logged on as administrator
  • Go to run by pressing Windows Logo Key + R
  • type gpedit.msc and press Enter
  • Navigate to:
  • Computer Configuration
  • Administrative Templates
  • Control Panel
  • Personalization

gpedit1

  • Now, Double click the second entry “Prevent changing lock screen image”
  • Select Disabled
  • Press OK
  • Now, Double click the very first entry “ Force specific default lock screen image”
  • Select Disabled
  • Press OK

gpedit2

 

If this method does not work :

Method 2 : Using Registry Editor

  • Press Windows Logo key + X
  • Click on Command Prompt (admin)
  • Press Yes or provide administrator password ( if required)
  • type regedit
  • navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/Desktop/NameSpace
  • Locate the key : {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}
  • Double Click the Default value in the right pane and set the value to Other Users
  • Follow the screen shot below:

regedit

reg2

  • If for some reason the entry “ {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93} is not present in NameSpace
  • Right Click on NameSpace
  • Click on Create
  • Click Key
  • Name the Key {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}
  • Now, follow the steps mentioned above to make sure the Value for Default is Other Users

If this also does not solve your problem:

Method 3 : System File Checker

  • Press Windows Logo Key + X
  • Click on Command Prompt (admin)
  • Type SFC /SCANNOW

About the Author:

Shantanu is a Windows Enthusiast, a troubleshooter & a writer. He is a Microsoft MVP in Windows Expert - IT Pro from 2007. You can check out his other work @ www.shantanukaushik.com

17 Comments+ Add Comment

  • None of the above means worked on mine……is there any other way

    • There is a method involving editing the resgistry. I will be updating the article today with the fix. Please stay tuned

  • I tried all three methods and still no progress.

    • Are you using Windows 8 professional ?
      Is this a clean Install of Windows or did you upgrade from Windows 7 ?

      Please answer the question above. Also are you using any antivirus software ? if yes, which one ? This is very essential.

      • Hi Shantanu,
        I did tried also the 3 steps above but it didn’t work for me too.
        I cant remember when is the last time I change the Lock Screen Picture and Account Picture. But now, I’m no longer able to change them anymore.

        I also tried “Refresh your PC without affecting you files” but it doesn’t work either.

        I’m using Bitdefender Internet Security 2013. I have the same setup on my desktop and my laptop. Only my laptop facing this issue.

        • Hi,

          Replying to all the comments. I am trying to reach a working solution for this problem. Please check back this page soon as I am hoping to have a work around soon.

          An Update with this issue : This problem seems to arising with a specific set of hardware & more specifically graphic /display adapters. I would urge all you people, to please share you computer configuration ( make / Model ) etc. This will enable me to further help you with your specific system.

          Regards

          Shantanu

      • Same issue, tried all the 3 methods…… Windows is activated…. And it was a clean install….

  • i tried all three. running windows 8 pro. build 9200. no antivirus software installed yet.

  • I did some digging and found someone else’s fix that worked for me:

    The lock screen is stored in:

    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\S-1-5-18\ReadOnly\LockScreen_Z

    You need to turn on the Show Files and Folders option from Folders Options in order to see it.

    Here’s how to change the sign out screen:

    go to folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows
    Right click on SystemData ->Properies->Security->Advanced->Change
    Enter your user name (You must be in Administrators group), then click on Check Names->OK
    Place a tick on “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects”, click Apply ->OK, Yes->OK->OK->OK

    Go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\S-1-5-18\ReadOnly\LockScreen_Z

    You will see 2 images of the Seattle Space needle in this folder, To view these 2 images.

    Right click on it->Properties->Securities->Edit->Add
    Enter your user name, Click on Check Names->OK->OK->OK

    Replace these 2 images with whatever images you want.

    IMPORTANT: After swapping the images, Right click on image->Properties->Securities->Edit
    Make sure SYSTEM is in the user list with permission shown below:
    (If SYSTEM is not in the list, you have to add it to the list using the 2 steps above)

    • Hey Jaymz… it worked for me !!!! thanks

  • i am using win 8 enterprise i am also unable to change my lock screen,start screen and account picture.

    Can you help me………..

    Thanks

    • Are you using a Microsoft Account for login ?

  • can i remove admin login password ?

    • How does your question apply to the above article in any way?

  • i have the same problem..i just update my pc through windows update then the next thing i see i cannot change my lockscreen, starscreen and account picture

  • windows 8 Build 9200

  • Hi, I am using windows 8. I have activate the windows and used all three methods mentioned above but having the same problem that unable to change lock screen, account picture and background color of menu.
    In 1st step mentioned above I didn’t found “ Force specific default lock screen image” in personalization dialogue box.
    In 2nd step: I performed mentioned steps but it was already on “user default folder”
    In 3rd step their is no effect on anything.
    What I should do now Kindly guide?

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