From Windows Wallpaper Wiki
Image information
Originates fromTool of NA (in collaboration with Microsoft)
PhotographerJoe Picard
ArtistBradley G. Munkowitz
Others in § Credits
Windows information
SoftwareWindows 10 versions 1507-1809
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2019
Original filenameGmunk_Final_RGB_2
File typeJPEG (.jpg)

Hero, also internally referred to as img0, is the default wallpaper of Windows 10 versions 1507 to 1809 (including Windows Server versions 2016 and 2019). It depicts a blue Windows logo with light shining out of it. It was primarily designed by Bradley G. Munkowitz (better known as GMUNK) via the creative production company Tool of NA, while the wallpaper was produced as a large team consisting of 34 people, including photographer Joe Picard. It was replaced with a simplified wallpaper from version 1903 onwards (and in Windows Server 2022).

Nine other resolutions of the wallpaper (up to 4K) are stored in %SystemRoot%\Web\Wallpaper\4K.


While Windows XP and 8 had their default wallpapers as nature photos, and Vista, 7 and 8.1 as graphic design pieces, Hero's creation process was more ambitious. Microsoft hired graphic designer Bradley G. Munkowitz (GMUNK); him and Microsoft assembled a large team to produce the wallpaper, consisting of both external contractors and in-house Microsoft employees. The team took pieces of black cardboard and acrylic, and cut the Windows logo into them, and layered them on top of each other. A projector beamed light through a small window onto the logo, which gave the logo the illusion of depth as the light refracted from the acrylic. Smoke was also present to give the wallpaper a "dark, moody" feel.[1]

While it is not CGI-rendered, the image is not a single untouched shot either, contrary to popular belief. Over 3000 images in roughly 9K resolution were captured using a Phase One camera system by photographer Joe Picard. The best shots were selected by GMUNK in conjunction with Windows Brand Team directors Ryan Vulk and Christopher Ashworth, and were combined during post-production.

Although the effort put into this wallpaper has been widely recognized, the wallpaper itself has received a mixed reception. It has been frequently compared to GMUNK's work in the film Tron: Legacy,[2][3] and criticized for its dystopian feel.


There are several variant of this wallpaper; the sign-in screen in Windows 10 versions 1507 and 1511 feature a variant of the desktop wallpaper with a darker Windows logo. This was removed in version 1607, as the sign-in screen background matches the one used by lock screen background instead. An earlier version of the wallpaper with the full constructed set visible, different lighting reminiscent of natural sunlight and extra lens flares was included as a placeholder for the dark Bloom image in Windows 11 self-host builds 21370 through 21380.

A variant of the Hero wallpaper is included in Windows 10 S, a feature-limited edition of Windows 10 designed primarily for low-end devices in the education market, which only allows the installation of apps from Microsoft Store; system settings are locked to only allow Microsoft Edge as the default web browser with Bing as its search engine. With Windows 10 version 1803, Windows 10 S became a mode (called "S mode") available in Home, Pro, and Pro Education editions, and as such they do not use the wallpaper.

Later version

Image information
Originates fromPartially commissioned by Microsoft
ArtistBradley G. Munkowitz
Windows information
SoftwareWindows 10 versions 1903-22H2
Manganese, Iron, Cobalt (until 21390 (co_release); decoy for Windows 11)
Windows 11 builds 21370-21380
Windows Server 2022
Resolution1920x1200 (Windows 10 versions 1903-22H2)
3840x2400 (Cobalt builds 21376-21390)
File typeJPEG (.jpg)

A new version of the Hero wallpaper was introduced in the May 2019 Update (also known as version 1903), featuring a lighter background to coincide with the then-new light mode theme; this replaced the previous version altogether rather than having both versions correspond to light or dark mode respectively. GMUNK was also involved in this version, and stated that it was created under the same methodology as the previous version.[4]

It is included in 1920x1200 like the other wallpapers, along with versions in additional resolutions included. Cobalt builds 21376 to 21390 replaced the main version with a 3840x2400 version, the same resolution used for the wallpapers seen in Windows 11 build 21380 onwards. A light purple variant of this version is present as the default wallpaper for Windows 10 virtual machines hosted on the Windows 365 cloud service.

Pride 2019 theme

In 2019, Microsoft released a downloadable theme titled Pride 2019, which features 19 wallpapers based on this version, albeit with colors of various pride flags superimposed into the Windows logo.

Pride 2020 Flags theme

Following the Pride 2019 theme, another theme called Pride 2020 Flags was released the following year, which instead changes the background colors to those of the corresponding pride flags. These feature a smaller Windows logo compared to the regular wallpaper. GMUNK is known to have been involved with these, as he is credited in the file names.


The following people are credited on GMUNK's website for the wallpaper:

  • Creative Director: GMUNK
  • Managing Director, Live Action: Oliver Fuselier
  • Managing Partner, Digital: Dustin Callif
  • Executive Producer: Robert Helphand
  • Head of Production: Amy DeLossa
  • Producer: Mary Church
  • Associate Producer: John Stern
  • Production Supervisor: Liz Welonek
  • Asst Production Supervisor: Shae Horton
  • Photographer: Joe Picard
  • Photo Assistant: Aaron Fee
  • DIT: Jonathan Boweback, Jordan Livingston
  • Lighting Technician: Frank Stzalkawoski
  • Swing: Mark Otewalt, Tom Cloutier
  • Art Fabricator: Don Bies
  • Asst Art Fabricator: Anna Bies, Jon Berg
  • Projectionist: James Hurlbut
  • Laser Technician: Adam Labay
  • Capture Tech: Clark Higgins
  • Craft Service: Laura Ulsh
  • Office PA: Luis Perozo
  • Production Assistant: Jose D. Oldenburg
  • Production Assistant: Kevin Wood
  • Production Assistant: Cait Wilson
  • Production Assistant: Zach Towner

The following are listed as part of the Windows Brand Team:

  • Senior Producer, Windows: Laura Foy
  • Creative Director, Windows: Chris Ashworth
  • Designer, Windows: Austin Taylor
  • Motion Designer, Windows: Ryan Lewis
  • Designer, Product: Ryan Vulk
  • Senior Director: Anne Gallucci

Chris Raykovich, who served as the wallpaper director and UI designer of Windows 10, also claims to have worked on the wallpaper with the team, but is not listed in the credits.


  1. Munkowitz, Bradley G. (2015). "Windows 10 Desktop". GMUNK.
  2. Thurrott, Paul (June 25, 2015). "Microsoft Announces Windows 10 Hero Image". Thurrott.com.
  3. Wilson, Mark (June 25, 2015). "Windows 10 Goes Full Sad Nerd With Its New Wallpaper". Fast Company.
  4. Correspondence between GMUNK and a user here in 2020.