Log-on screen changer

Replace the Windows log-on screen with your own images with this free utility.

Windows 7 and Vista let users change the log-on screen's background image, and there's no shortage of free tools to make the job easier. Many such tools automatically resize images to fill the screen, a shortcoming that limits their usefulness with wide-screen displays. Windows Logon Screen Rotator not only offers Center and Fill settings but also randomly rotates an unlimited number of images as your Windows log-on screen.

Windows Logon Screen Rotator's interface is Spartan but attractively rendered, with three tabs: Images, Monitored Folders, and Settings. Aside from a Web link to the developer's site, the only other controls are buttons to view or change the current log-on screen image. Before we could change images, though, we had to add some, which we did by right-clicking the Images field and selecting Add Image from the pop-up menu. We browsed to a folder and imported several dozen images into the program, and then clicked the Settings tab. Here we could set the size of image previews (which required a reboot) and change interval as well as whether to stretch or center images. We selected Center and clicked Change Now. The program notified us of the change; when we clicked View, our first new log-on image was displayed, correctly oriented and undistorted, but unfortunately a bit too large, and the image was truncated at top and bottom. We typed in our password to test the new log-on screen, and our desktop reappeared normally; none of our open windows had been closed while the log-on screen was visible, and we lost no work.

We were pleased that Windows Logon Screen Rotator proved not only capable of correctly orienting images but also of using very large files. We simply had to choose smaller images or resize the big ones. The PDF-based manual includes screenshots and does an excellent job describing how to use the program. We think better access to the manual from the interface would be nice, and the full range of image-sizing options: Fit, Fill, and Center. Beyond that, it's the best log-on screen utility we've tried.

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