Windows Spotlight

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Windows Spotlight
Windows Spotlight.png
Lock screen of a Windows 10 laptop showing an image from Windows Spotlight
Operating systemWindows 10 by Microsoft
PredecessorWindows 8 metro style lock screen
TypeLock screen slideshow service

Windows Spotlight is a feature included by default in Windows 10 that downloads pictures and advertisements automatically from Bing and displays them when the lock screen is being shown on a computer running Windows 10. Users are occasionally given an opportunity to mark whether they wish to see more or fewer images of a similar type, and sometimes the images are overlaid with links to advertisements. In 2017, Microsoft began adding location information for many of the photographs.

Technical Details[edit]

Windows Spotlight's Images are provided by Windows' Content Delivery Manager. New ones are shown every 1-2 days. The current spotlight image can be found at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\<User's SID>\ReadOnly\LockScreen_O, while the current and all previous images can be found in %localappdata%\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets. If the Content Delivery Manager has no new picture to offer after you dislike the current one, Windows Spotlight falls back to a default static image.

This default fallback image can be changed by editing the group policy setting Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization > Force a specific default lock screen image, although this setting only affects Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Enterprise.[1]

A different approach is to manually replace the image located at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\<User's SID>\ReadOnly\LockScreen_W, although it should be said that it cannot be replaced by a normal image. If you're doing this you should copy the images from one of the following folders:[2]

  • ..\LockScreen_A
  • ..\LockScreen_B
  • ..\LockScreen_C
  • ..\LockScreen_D
  • ..\LockScreen_E
  • ..\LockScreen_F
  • ..\LockScreen_G

These Folders represent the images you can set in Settings > Personalisation > Lock screen when you choose Picture in the "Background" dropdown-box.

Photo locations[edit]

The images typically depict identifiable, well-known locations such as famous historical or natural landmarks. Location information is occasionally provided, while photo credits are typically not. The following subjects have been featured (alphabetical by continent):





North America[edit]

Central America[edit]

South America[edit]


Other pictures[edit]



  1. ^ greg-lindsay. "Configure Windows Spotlight on the lock screen (Windows 10) - Configure Windows". Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "Changing the Default Lock Screen Image - Windows 10 Help Forums". Retrieved June 15, 2021.

External links[edit]