Configuring a Logon Banner on Windows XP

Logon banners have long be used in various operating systems to display a message that users much agree to prior to granted access to the logon screen. This message often includes legal information forcing the user to agree to terms of use, or displays news or updated information about the network via a custom message configured by an administrator.

While more common to office environments, a logon banner can also be useful in the home, allowing you to configure messages that other users must agree to. For example, you could configure a message stating that the system should not be rebooted, that only authorized users are allowed to log on, or effectively whatever message strikes your fancy. Once configured, the message will be displayed in a dialog box. For details on configuring your own logon banner, see the stepped procedures below.

Step 1:Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open text box, type regedit and then click OK. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. This is the key from which a logon banner message and caption are configured.

Step 2: Double-click on the LegalNoticeCaption value. In the Value data field, type the message that you want to appear in the caption bar of the window, such as “Security notice for all XP users”. Treat this value like a heading or title for your message. Click OK to save it.

Step 3: Double-click on the LegalNoticeTest value. In the Value data field, type the message that you ultimately want users to read and agree to. This might be a simple message, or a more detailed message that includes a variety of different information. Click OK, and then reboot to view the message.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.