Bulk Change Cisco Phone Background in CUCM

Posted by

Issue: How to bulk change Cisco phone background image in Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM).

Cisco Unified Communications Manager 8.x, 9.x and later.

Dependencies: Correct image specifications. For example, if you are uploading background image for Cisco 9900 series phone it must conform to its dimension and color depth.


1. Upload the full size version to Cisco Unified Communications Manager. No need to include the thumbnail and update the List.xml.

Go to Cisco Unified OS Administration > Software Upgrades > TFTP File Management > Click on Upload File > Browse to the full size version image and save it in the correct directory. Using Cisco 9900 series phone as an example, image should be uploaded to Desktops/640x480x24. If you have different phone model, I suggest you consult your phone administration guide.

Note if you have a cluster of CUCM, you must upload it on all CUCM servers.

2. Restart TFTP service.

Go to Cisco Unified Serviceability > Tools > Control Center – Feature Services > Select the server > Select Cisco TFTP and restart.

Note if you have a cluster of CUCM, you must restart the service on all CUCM servers.

3. Apply the new phone background to phones.

Go to Cisco Unified CM Administration > Device > Device Settings > Common Phone Profile > Select Standard Common Phone Profile > Uncheck Enable End User Access to Phone Background Image Setting (this disallow users to change phone background image). Under the Background Image enter the filename of full size version image and check the Override Common Settings box next to it.

This is a very common requirement for any UC deployment where customer ask you to change phone background image on all or group of phones. There are third-party softwares out there you can use to accomplish this job, however it requires you to spend money or it allows you to use the software but with limited functions.


  1. I have not the option “Background Image text field” for select the backgrount to send…. anybody knows or have a trick..?

  2. Please not am new to voip. I have fortigate 40b and want to enable incoming and outgoing ports so that cisco phone can work. Please advice on how to enable this ports which I already have.

    1. Hi Morake,

      Fortinet has a guide on how to allow VoIP signalling ang media across Fortigate. Similar concept can be applied to SCCP.


  3. Using CUCM 8.5. This does not exist, “Under the Background Image enter the filename of full size version image and check the Override Common Settings box next to it.” Any suggestions?

  4. Hi Rejohn,

    I am looking to do this for the first time in CUCM 10.0. I followed your instructions to the letter on my own phone first and it didn’t seem to want to take it. I tried doing one more reset about an hour after the last thing I changed and all of a sudden it worked. I’m trying to do the same now on some 7945’s and it’s not applying the change. Do I just need to wait for it to fully download the image or what?


    1. I encountered this issue before. What you have to do is duplicate the default Standard Common Phone Profile and rename it to whatever you want. Then apply this new profile to 7945s IP Phones.

  5. I tried the original “Head-Line” style instructions and it does work for the Cisco 8945 telephones. It did not work on the 7965 or 7970 telephones. Any Suggestions ?

    1. Make sure you follow the background requirements of Cisco 7965 and 7970. Links provided below for your reference.



  6. Hello Rejohn,

    You said you’ve checked this on CUCM 8.6 and you can see Background Image configuration option.

    On our system we have version and I don’t see it…
    We are using 7942, 7961, 7962 an 7975 phones.

  7. Just letting you know that this does not work with older phone loads. We had for example version 9.3-1 but found when you upgrade to 9.4-2 it works just fine then. To do this office by office if you like by using batch phone update and per device pool. Also need to make sure the phone load is not hard coded in your phone records.

    1) Go to Common Phone Profile as stated above make a copy of that and name it something else ‘uncheck’ the box for user ability to modify background and add in the new background image name, which by the way you need to call the same name under the different directories on your Call managers .

    1b) Test on a few phones manual changing to new device pool and reseting if it does not work try to upgrade to a new phone load like 9.4-2 and try once you feel comfortable that its working then you can do the following.

    2) Use the Bulk phone update tool look for device pool or office you want to do,
    3) Assign all those phones to new ‘common device pool’ you created ‘check’ the box next to it to be updated
    4) check the box at top to do automatic reset after the change has taken place.

Leave a Reply

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