[Windows 8] How to change Lock screen background and how to add app notifications on Lock screen [Guide]

Start screen and Lock screen are two new big things in Windows 8. As you already know, Start screen is the place of live tiles and other desktop app icons; it plays the role that Start menu did in previous Windows versions. In addition, the new operation system has Lock screen, like a mobile phone. There are many things that can be show on Lock screen and in this article will show you how to customize it, plus the Start screen too.

How to Change Lock Screen Background

Like many other platforms, Windows 8 allows you to change its Lock screen background. To do this, you need to open “PC settings” by bringing up Charms menu (Win + C or swipe/click on the right edge of your screen), then clicking on “Change PC Settings” and then choosing “Personalize”.

Once PC Settings has opened, on the right side you will see the preview of your Lock screen; below it are five recent backgrounds you have used so far. From here you can either pick one of the recent backgrounds you used to select your own photos as the background. To do this, you just simple click “Browse” button and then select what picture you want. It is as easy as that.

You should know that there will be a thin transparent black layer placed over the photo you select in order to make the texts are easier to read on the Lock screen. In my experience, you may want to choose a dark picture to set as background rather than a light one because the texts will be more readable while they are always white even though Windows 8 puts that thin black layer over your photo.

How to display app notifications on the Lock screen

The Lock screen is not only the place to show up your beautiful photos but it can also provide short notifications from your apps. The best part is you can choose which apps are allowed to display notifications on the Lock screen. Windows 8 allows seven different apps to show a quick notification and one app to display its detail status on the Lock screen. For example, quick notification for Mail app only shows the number of new emails while the detail status of Calendar app provides you with what event is going to happen with its time and location.

To modify apps notifications on the Lock screen, you need to go back to the same “Personalization” screen I talked about earlier when explaining how to change the Lock screen background. If you forgot, let me remind you — this can be done by bringing up Charms menu (Win + C or swipe/click on the right edge of your screen), then clicking on “Change PC Settings” and then choosing “Personalize”.

Once you are at the “Personalize” screen, click on “Lock screen” and scroll to the bottom to the “Lock screen apps” section. You click on the big plus button under “Lock screen apps” then choose the app that you want to display its notification on the Lock screen. When picking apps, you need to remember that these apps always run in the background so they will regularly consume power (which is a concern if you are on a tablet).


Isn’t the Lock screen so much better now that you have customized it? Enjoy!

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  • Kiana

    Okay, so I don’t know what happened. I can’t change my lock screen and when I go into PC settings, there’s just a large gray rectangle. My lock is the flag of Ireland and I want to change it but it won’t let me. And when I go to change it, my current lock screen won’t appear it’s just white but all my previous lock screen pictures appear and when I attempt to change it, I just get the spinning wheel of death. What do I do? I just want to change my lock screen!

  • kharis

    i cant change either my app background,profile pic or the start screen in my win8ProN.Whats the problem?plz help

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  • Hassan Iqbal

    Hi. In system properties, it says that windows is not activated. But when I click on view details in windows activation, it says that windows currently running on your PC is activated. But another thing is that it keeps a message in the bottom right corner of the screen that “Activate Windows. Go to PC settings to activate Windows”. Help please.

  • hi sir iam back with promblem sir now i am using window 7 32 bit i am gotting blue error it is showinf unexpected shutdoen it shows this eror
    Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
    OS Version: 6.1.7600.
    Locale ID: 1033

    Additional information about the problem:
    BCCode: 1000007f
    BCP1: 00000008
    BCP2: 801DF000
    BCP3: 00000000
    BCP4: 00000000
    OS Version: 6_1_7600
    Service Pack: 0_0
    Product: 256_1

    Files that help describe the problem:
    C:\Users\My HP\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-30014-0.sysdata.xml

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  • adeeb

    How do I lock some of my personal information

  • anas

    after I activate my windows 8, still I can’t change my lock screen image and start screen image

  • vineet chauhan

    thakyou sir that you help me but it cant happen its not working still thre browse option camera option is still inactive plz you can eork with me on tea viewer you gave me day and we will have team processs thaks hope you will hepl again thaks youe fan and frnd

  • Hoàng Tú

    @vineet chauhan:
    Sorry Vineet for the late, here is another solution I found out. It’s related to Registry so make sure you back up the Registry before starting.

    Open Registry by pressing Windows + R then type “regedit” and press OK. In Registry Editor window, navigate to this path:


    If you don’t have “{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}” key yet, you can create it by right clicking on the empty space then choose New -> Key and name it “{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}” (without the quotes).

    After that, you will see the property “(Default)” on the right, you have to double click it and set it value to “Other Users” (without the quotes) in the Value data field. Then restart your Windows.

    Hope this can help you.

    Have a great holiday!

  • vineet chauhan

    not worked all are nnot configured i tried all solution but nothig

  • vineet chauhan

    itt doest work still it is inactive all the option are nt configured i one by one enabled disabled but no effect another solution plz

  • Hoàng Tú

    @vineet chauhan:
    You can try this solution. Open Group Policy by pressing Windows + W and enter “group policy” to the box then choose “Edit group policy” result.
    In Group Policy Editor window, you have to navigate to this path: Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalize. On the right side, there will be two settings are “Prevent changing lock screen image” and “Prevent changing start menu background.” You should see that their value in the “State” value. If their values are “Enabled,” you need to double each of them then choose “Not configured” or “Disable.”
    Hope this can help you. Please let me know if it doesn’t work. Thank you.

  • vineet chauhan

    i have activated window 8 enterprices but the features tto chage pictures such as lock scrred i locked the browse option down to it is not working but i have activated can you help me i will thakful to you from heart plz

  • Ankit
  • Hoàng Tú

    Can you explain more detail on it?

  • Aaron

    @Hoàng Tú: Hello my windows 8 is activated but still cant change those features. Any other ideas?

  • Hoàng Tú

    Have you activated your Windows yet? You can’t change these things until your Windows is activated.

  • arbi

    i can’t change my acoount picture, lock screen, and start screen. it seems locked. how to unlock this feature?