How to remove Evaluation Copy watermarks in Windows 10

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Most Windows Insider builds of Windows 10 displays a watermark in the lower right corner of the screen right above the system tray area. It reads “Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview. Evaluation Copy. Build xxxxx”.

Some users may find the information useful, as it reveals the build number of the operating system but winver displays the same information on the about screen that it spawns.

Others may dislike the watermark for cosmetic reasons as it is always there sitting on top of the desktop background or plain irritating.

The watermark displays the edition of the operating system and the current build. Thankfully though it is rather easy to get rid of the watermark so that it is not displayed anymore on the desktop even if you are running an Insider copy of Windows 10 or a test version, for instance the 90-day Enterprise version of Windows 10.

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While you can remove the watermark manually from the system, it is generally not recommended as you need several tools for that and manipulate core system files manually in the process.

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A better option is the free program Universal Watermark Disabler which does all the heavy lifting for you. Download the program from the Winaero website and extract it on the local system after the download finishes.

You may want to create a backup first before you run the program. It manipulates the files basebrd.dll.mui and shell32.dll.mui in the background, so backup those files at least.

You find them in the folders C:windowsbrandingbasebrden-US and C:windowssystem32en-US. You may need to replace the locale with yours.

Run the program afterwards. It displays the edition, build api and registry information. All you need to do is click on install to remove the evaluation copy watermark from the desktop.

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You may receive information that the build you are executing the program on is untested. I have tested it with the latest build 10525 and it worked just fine. Please note that it kills the explorer.exe process during operation and asks you to sign out to complete the process.

When you sign in again, you will notice that the watermark is gone.

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Universal Watermark Disabler ships with an uninstall option. If you run the program again, you will notice the uninstall button that it displays. If you use it, it will restore the original files so that the watermark is displayed again on the system.

You may need to run the program again after updates to new builds as they may restore the watermark image on the operating system.


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How to remove Evaluation Copy watermark in Windows 10


Martin Brinkmann


Find out how to remove the evaluation copy watermark from Windows 10 Insider Preview and test systems.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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