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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hack Your XP Login Screen

If you're really into bland stuff, the default Windows XP login screen is right up your alley. But I want my computer to greet me with gusto, so I have some serious plans for my own login screen. As far as I'm concerned, that dull default XP password-prompter has got to go.

On tonight's episode of "The Screen Savers" I'll show you how to turn that yawn-inducing XP login screen into a devil-may-care thrill ride of customizable excitement! For free! Can I get a what-what from my peeps in the back of the club?

Back up your files first

To change your XP login screen, you need to make changes to a file called "logonui.exe," which you can find in the c:\windows\system32 folder. Before you do anything, make a copy of logonui.exe in your System32 folder and rename it "logonui.bak."

If you don't see logonui.exe in your System32 folder, perform the following magic trick.

1. Go to Tools > Folder Options.
2. Select the View tab.
3. Under the Advanced Settings header, make sure the button is selected next to "Show hidden files and folders." Also make sure the box is unchecked next to "Hide protected operating systems files."

Once you've located the file, open logonui.exe in your favorite resource editor. If you're still looking for a resource editor, I recommend Resource Hacker or ResBuilder.

Once you open logonui.exe in a resource editor, you'll see the breakdown of bitmaps and text info associated with the file. As you can see, there are a lot of individual images to edit.

Now you've got two options.

Option No. 1: the hard way

You can build your own login screen from the ground up by creating your own images to replace the default bitmaps. Once that's done, you can save the file as a new executable with a name such as "new_logonui.exe."

I went over this process in my Hack Your XP Boot Screen Windows Tweak, so visit that page for a step-by-step tutorial.

Option No. 2: the much, much easier way

If you don't want to go through all those steps, use a premade login-screen theme!

You can download them from a variety of online sources, but my favorite is ThemeXP. Click the Logins link in the left navbar for thousands of login-screen choices.

Once you download the Zip file and unzip it, select the executable (.exe) file. You replace the original logonui.exe file with this file. You can further edit this new file with your resource editor, if you want to.

Finalizing your new login screen

However you decide to edit logonui.exe, you'll need to save your changes by overwriting it with your new file. Just restart in safe mode with command prompt.

1. Reboot your machine and press F8 before your boot screen kicks in. This will bring up a menu screen with a choice called "Safe mode with command prompt." Select it and press Enter.

2. Log in as administrator.

3. At the command prompt, type "cd c:\windows\system32" (without the quotes) and press Enter.

4. At the command prompt, type "copy new_logonui.exe logonui.exe" (no quotes) and press Enter. Make sure you use the actual name of the new logonui.exe file.

5. At the command prompt, type "yes" (no quotes). Press Enter to overwrite the original file.

6. At the command prompt, type "shutdown -r" (no quotes). Pressing Enter will then restart your computer.

Now when you boot up, you should see your new settings! Take that, boring old login screen!

Ah, the joy of absolute power.


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hi, can anyone of u plz tell me how to "HACK" a web site PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ or teach me how to hack a website becz i like to do it to my friend and have some fun..... (if u can send it to my mail and the steps clearly plz this is serious )


hi, can anyone of u plz tell me how to "HACK" a web site PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ or teach me how to hack a website becz i like to do it to my friend and have some fun..... (if u can send it to my mail and the steps clearly plz this is serious )


Help, my login screen has been altered (maybr by a virus) all I get now is a blank screen eith an arrow even in safe mode. How do I reset it to the default? I have copied loginui from another computer (XP) but it made no difference


Thanks 4 ur tutorial!


Nice tuts! Can u plz tel me which lines to look for n wat to edit 4changing the position n size of the password panel n the user icon b4 it.also the shutdown button.can u xplain in detail plz

Saad Khan

SOMEONE HELP PLEASE!!! omg i think i messed up, and now the logon screen converted back to the little login box. it wont change back watever i do. i checked the user options in the settings, but it wont turn back. i also tried using the command prompts. nothing will work. some one help me fix it please!

Mark Williams

Hi, was following your tutorial on the logon screen. When I type "copy homers brain.logonui.exe" it says it can't find the file! I put the file in System32, I know it is there, can't figure out why it can't find it. Any suggestions? Thanks.


its great


how do i hack a windows xp user account??
plez help me


could someone please tell me how to bypass the login screen of the windows xp. i forgot my password and this will help megreatly.thankyou


Hey Sarah,
Cool mod, but would this work for the logon screen if you're on a network and you just get that logon screen after you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete?

Also how can you change the position where the logon screen appears. By default it appears in the middle of the screen, how can you make it to "disappear" or position it to one of the corners or something?
Thanks in advance


i want hack my xp and make own login screen how plz


i wanted to change the screen where windows installation screen how can i do that and can i add my own wording?


Word of warning... The majority of the downloads at ThemeXP are packed full of spyware. It seems that all the 123456.exe style files are purposely loaded with spyware, though they don't really make it clear to the user. The files that are *.ZIP seem to be OK. I just really, really, hate spyware, so I thought you might like to know they do it with all their "wrapped" files (as they call it).

Otherwise, good instructions :)

Ana Banana

Thanks so much! I kept on changing the login screen in Style XP but that didn't work! This did work though so thanks! =]

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  • Hi, I'm Sarah Lane, and I've been posting a mishmash of stories, images, videos, and links here since 2003. Read more about me >>

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