Windows 10 is the most aesthetically pleasing version of Windows to date. Nowhere is this statement more clear than the operating system’s support for beautiful wallpapers, themes, and background images.
Most themes and wallpaper images are easy to find and reuse (see our article on how to find wallpaper images in Windows 10 ).
However, there is one source of images that is harder to trace, known as Windows Spotlight images. These background images are a selection of stunning photos handpicked by Bing that are automatically downloaded to your Windows 10 profile and appear on your screen when your profile is locked.
Here is where to find Windows Spotlight lock screen images in Windows 10.
How to enable Windows Spotlight
To find and get these beautiful wallpapers from Bing, you must have Windows Spotlight enabled. The option is active by default, but at some point it could change due to system settings.
If you don’t have it activated, here’s how to do it:
Click in the search field on the Windows 10 taskbar and type “lock screen”, then press Enter and the lock screen settings app will launch.
In the Background dropdown, you have several options. If your background is different from Windows Spotlight, change it. There are a few other options here, including toggles for which apps can show quick or detailed statuses, and the option to hide or show the Windows desktop background on the login screen.
One clarification: there is a difference between the “login screen” in Windows and the “lock screen” of Windows. The Windows Spotlight feature discussed here refers to the lock screen .
You can quickly test the Spotlight feature by locking your computer (keyboard shortcut: Windows Key + L ). Depending on the speed of your internet connection, it may take a while for the new Windows Spotlight image to download as Windows must fetch a copy from Bing’s servers. If you already have Spotlight enabled, Windows will capture these images in the background ahead of time, but there may be some delay if you’ve just enabled the feature.
When previewing the new Windows Spotlight background images on the lock screen, you may sometimes see a text box asking if you like what you see. You can hover or click on the box to answer yes (I like it!) or No (Not a fan). Once you’ve chosen your preferences, Windows and Bing will use this information to personalize future images to suit your tastes, similar to how users can rate custom song playlists on services like Pandora or Apple Music.
Where to Find Windows Spotlight Lock Screen Images
Once Windows Spotlight is enabled, it will start collecting various images. So where do you find them on your computer?
Microsoft hides these images very well, so you’ll have to do some digging to get to them. Here’s how to find them:
- Open File Explorer (type “Explorer” in the search box if you’re having a hard time finding it) and go to the View tab .
- Find and click ” Options ” at the far right of the File Explorer ribbon toolbar (you may have to adjust the File Explorer size to see it). Click Change folder and search options .
- In the Folder Options window that appears, select the View tab .
- In the Advanced Options list , click the Show hidden files, folders, and drives button .
- Click Apply to save your changes, then click OK to close the Folder Options window.
- In File Explorer navigate to: This PC > C: > Users > [your username] > AppData > Local > Packages > Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy > LocalState > Assets .
At this point, you should see an Assets folder with many files without any extensions. These files are Windows Spotlight lock screen images listed in various sizes and formats.
If you plan to use any of the Windows Spotlight images on your desktop or laptop, you will need the desktop versions of those images. These are usually the images with the largest file size. Here’s how to identify the correct wallpaper files.
- Switch File Explorer to Detail View .
- Make sure the Size column is enabled to help you identify the correct images.
Copy and paste the desired images
Now we need to sort through this hodgepodge of data you just found. The files are JPEG images with unique names. Here’s how to get photos.
- Choose one or two large files (usually over 400 KB).
- Copy the selected files to your desktop or to another folder on your PC.
- Change to the directory where you pasted the files.
- Select one file and press F2 on your keyboard to rename it and add the “.jpg” extension at the end.
After renaming the file and adding “.jpg” at the end, you should be able to double-click the file to open it in Windows Photos or your preferred image viewer.
Downloading Windows Spotlight Images Using an Application
The Windows 10 Store contains several apps specifically for downloading and getting Spotlight wallpapers. Applications simplify the process without unnecessary and complicated steps.
Some good options include:
Both apps will allow you to quickly and easily download Spotlight images on Windows 10. However, these apps can get a little buggy, so you might be better off following the manual solution outlined earlier in this article.
Use the Website to Download Spotlight Images
The Windows 10 Spotlight Images site has over 2,000 Spotlight images archived, with more added daily, making it a great option for users who want to download Spotlight images without having to do the work themselves.
Frequently asked Questions
Here are answers to your other questions about Windows Spotlight lock screen images.
How to disable Windows Spotlight screen lock?
You can disable the Windows Spotlight lock screen by following the steps above and choosing a different background.
To do this, just follow this path: Lock screen settings > Lock screen > Background dropdown . Select Image or Slideshow .
Can I customize the Spotlight lock screen?
Absolutely! You can add or remove your emails, calendar and more. All you have to do is go to your lock screen settings (shown above) and click on the app icons in the background dropdown. Then add or remove the apps you want to see on the lock screen.
You can choose your calendar, email, Pandora, weather, and more.
Do you have any other suggestions or tips for accessing these beautiful pictures? If you do, share your ideas with us in the comments below!