Flashback to 2004: In the early prototype stages of “Windows Longhorn” (the codename for Windows Vista) Microsoft showed off many beautiful design concepts and visuals for the new explorer, the sidebar, media player and especially the new logon:
Unfortunately, this neat little logon box never made it into the final product “Vista”. This is why, today, we’re bringing you 3 modern and transparent versions of this logon box from back in the day.
This will beef up your logon/logoff and lock screen. Trust us, we’ve had many people complement us on this new design or even ask us what kind of Windows version we’re using!
Change the logon box
To get that special Longhorn-style logon box, you’ll need to replace a system file – no worries, we’ll guide you through this very safely. If you also want to change the background picture of your logon (and not just the transparent box), we’ve also got a guide for you. Ready?
- Like with any other change to the registry or system files, it’s wise to create a system restore point before you proceed. If anything goes wrong, you could always use “System Restore” to go back easily. To create a restore point, click on the Start orb and right-click on “Computer”. Go to “Properties” and select “System protection”. Hit “Create” to create a system restore point.
- Download and install “Unlocker“. This tool is capable of renaming (or even deleting) files that are otherwise protected by Windows or blocked by other programs. In our case, we use it to replace the file that’s responsible for the logon box of Windows 7 with the modified versions you see above.
- Now here comes the fun part: You can actually choose between the following three different Longhorn-style logon boxes:
Default Windows flag
(Update: New Download Links here)
Embedded Windows flag
No Windows flag
(Update: New Download Links here)
- Download the logon you favor the most, just make sure you pick the right version for your Windows platform (32-bit or 64-Bit). Before you proceed, make sure that you’re your programs are closed and all files are saved. You also need to know that, during the process, the Windows-Explorer will automatically restart, meaning that your desktop icons and the taskbar will be momentarily not visible. Next, open up the “C:\Windows\System32″ folder and look for the “authui.dll” file. Tip: After you’ve entered the folder, simply start typing in “authui.dll” – Windows will automatically select the file:Next, right-click on it and start “Unlocker”.
Go to “No action” and select the “Rename” option. Rename the file to “authui_backup.dll”, so you’ll be able to go back to the original design using “Unlocker” the same way!Hit “OK” and click on “Unlock All”. This will instantly rename the file.
Now here comes the important part: Copy the “authui.dll” you downloaded earlier and copy it to the “System32″ directory! Now, during this process, it’s important to know that “Windows-Explorer” now restarts.
- That’s it! You’ve backed up the old logon box with the new modified one. Want to test it out? Simply “lock” your computer (WINDOWS-Key + L) or log off.
Note: Since we’re changing an important system file here, it’s important to know that authui.dll might be replaced by the original Microsoft file during future Windows updates. In our tests, this happened after Windows 7 Service Pack was installed. If it happens on your system, just repeat the steps above to get the new Logon back. However, if you experience any kind of trouble during a future update (e.g. Windows Update or Service Pack), it’s best to revert to the original file that you backed up in Step 4.
Tell us: How do you like the new logon box? Hit the comments to tell us what you think!