Every time you create a new user account in Windows, it will set a default user account picture. In Windows 10 the default picture is a very generic wireframe user icon on a dark grey background. Users can update the user account picture from the control panel or the Settings app.
If you don’t like the default user account icon, you can change it to the icon or picture of your choice. You can even standardize the default user account icon by preventing users from changing it.
Change Default Account Picture
Windows stores the default user account icon in the PNG format within a system folder in a variety of sizes. By replacing these default pictures with the icon of our choice, we can change the default account picture.
1. First, download the picture or icon of your choice that is at least 512px x 512px. Make sure that the width and height are the same. Now, create five copies of the icon and resize and rename them as follows:
- 448 x 448 – user.png
- 192 x 192 – user-192.png
- 48 x 48 – user-48.png
- 40 x 40 – user-40.png
- 32 x 32 – user-32.png
2. Once you are done, launch File Explorer and go to the “%ProgramData%\Microsoft\User Account Pictures” folder. Here you will see all the default user account icons.
3. Rename “user.png,” “user-192.png,” “user-48.png,” “user-40.png,” and “user-32.png” to “user.png.bkp,” “user-192.png.bkp,” “user-48.png.bkp,” “user-40.png.bkp,” and “user-32.png.bkp” respectively. You can ignore the “user.bmp” file.
Note: If you don’t want to go through the renaming process, you can simply delete or replace them. But if you do that, you might not be able to restore the default icons when needed. You can simply copy the icons from another system though.
4. After renaming, copy and paste the earlier resized and renamed icons into the “User Account Pictures” folder. This is how it looks once you are done.
5. Finally, restart your system.
From now on, whenever you create a new user account or when a user doesn’t set the user account picture, the modified custom icon will appear.
Prevent Changing Account Picture Using Group Policy
If you don’t want users to change their user account picture, you can block that option using the Group Policy editor.
1. Open the Start menu, search for “gpedit.msc,” right-click on it and select the option “Run as administrator.”
2. In the group policy editor go to “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel -> User Accounts.” In the right panel double-click on the “Apply the default account picture to all users” policy to open it.
3. Select “Enabled” in the policy properties window, and click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
That is all. Once the system is restarted, users will no longer be able to change the default account picture.
If you want to revert back, select either the “Disabled” or “Not configured” option in the policy properties window.
Prevent Changing Account Picture Using Registry
If you don’t have access to the Group Policy Editor, you can do the same thing via Registry Editor.
1. Search for “regedit” in the Start menu, right-click on it and select the option “Run as administrator.”
2. In the Registry Editor go to the following location:
3. In the right panel right-click and select “New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.” Name the new value as “UseDefaultTile.”
4. Double-click on the value, set the Value Data as “1” and click on the “OK” button.
If you want to revert back, either change the value data to “0” or delete the value.
Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences regarding using the above method to change the default user account picture in Windows.