A new way to display the Windows version on your desktop

Desktop Version windows 8

I have discovered a new hidden trick in Windows 8 which allows you to display the Windows 8 edition, build information and Windows folder right on your desktop, at a glance without opening System Properties.

In previous versions of Windows, starting with Windows 95, one could add the PaintDesktopVersion DWORD value at the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

In case you never heard about it until now, the following image shows what the old value does:

PaintDesktopVersion Windows 8

Windows 8 introduces yet another value, which overrides the PaintDesktopVersion value. It additionally displays your Windows installation directory below your Windows edition and build version.

This new DWORD value DisplayVersion is located at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

When it is set to 1, your Desktop will show the following information in the bottom right corner:

DesktopVersion In Action

For most users, the Windows directory shown will be C:\Windows.

I have no idea why Microsoft added another value, I guess they use it for debugging purposes.

You can download ready-to-use registry files from here:

Click here to download ready-to-use scripts


6 thoughts on “A new way to display the Windows version on your desktop

  1. M5

    Actually this type of watermark (with the Windows directory) is used in some Windows 2000 Betas IIRC

    1. Killian

      And if you aren’t activated………

  2. mohibul islam

    This is awesome post, Buddy! I’m knowing from this great posting…

  3. Cedric Brown

    On Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, the version is displayed as follows :
    Windows 10 Pro
    Build 14393.rs1_release.160715-1616
    Is there any way to tidy this up to show, say :
    Windows 10 Pro
    Build 14393
    or is it Windows which looks after the display ?

  4. Joe

    I have Win 10 PRO 1909 installed. This option shows the wrong build and version when used.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is a bug in Windows 10 version 1909.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *