Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 Tip: Enable an Alternate Lock Screen Background

Posted on January 30, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

As you may know, Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 ships with a number of attractive new lock screen backgrounds. But here’s how you can unlock a hidden “Threshold” lock screen.

The weird thing about this, and the reason why I’ve held off on publishing this tip for a few days, is that what you see for available lock screen backgrounds in WTP2 actually varies from PC to PC. And I can’t explain why. Furthermore, while you can usually find lock screen background in the hidden folder C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows, that doesn’t appear to be the case with WTP2. I haven’t found them yet, but will keep looking.

Anyway. You can find the interface for customizing your PC or device’s lock screen in Settings, Personalization. Again, not sure why, but the lock screen designs I see here vary a bit from PC to PC. For example, on my desktop (which was upgraded from Windows 8.1), I see this as the default:

preview-ivy

But in a VM clean install, I see the following:

preview-vm

Regardless of the default, you can also choose to display a picture, and Microsoft supplies several new background images for the lock screen.

lock-screen-bgs

But you can enable a different Window default lock screen background too. To do so, open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Authentication\LogonUI\TestHooks. Then, change the value of Threshold from 0 to 1.

regedit

Ensuring that your lock screen background is set to Windows Default and not a picture, lock the screen (WINKEY + L). Voila.

threshold-lock

OK, a third bit of weirdness around the WTP2 lock screen. Sometimes it looks like this, with the notification icons on the right. Sigh.

lock-screen-huh

Thanks to Andrew Koontz for the tip!