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By now, you’ve probably heard of the Windows Spotlight feature in Windows 10, which you can find out more about here. For those who are unfamiliar with Windows Spotlight, it is a feature that was initially introduced with Windows 10 and allows you to display handpicked images on your lock screen. When activated, the function automatically assigns a pre-selected group of photos that have been handpicked by Microsoft as the default.
The Windows Spotlight function automatically changes the background of your Windows 10 lock screen and provides suggestions and tips on a regular basis on the lock screen, all without your intervention.
Before the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, there was no reliable or accurate way to determine the location of a Windows Spotlight photo. After taking user comments into consideration since the beginning of Windows 10, Microsoft has now introduced a means to determine where Windows 10 Spotlight pictures were shot.
As long as you’re running Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update (version 1607 or higher), you can just hover the mouse cursor over the “Like what you see?” text in the upper right corner of your lock screen to find out where the current Windows Spotlight photo was taken. It’s as simple as that!
You can also click on Like it (which shows when the mouse cursor is hovered over Similar to what you see) if you like the current backdrop picture on your lock screen. This will allow you to view similar pictures on your lock screen in the future.
How and where to find Windows 10 Spotlight Pictures?
Your lock screen will display beautiful photographs courtesy of Microsoft if you have the default Spotlight function enabled in Windows 10. Some of these high-quality photographs are of nature, while others are of famous places from around the world, such as New York and Paris.
However, what if you encounter an image you like and want to save a duplicate of it on your laptop instead of rotating the image? These Windows 10 lock screen photos are buried deep within a hidden directory, but with a little digging, you can uncover them, save them, and even use them as desktop wallpaper if you so like.
Here’s where you can find the images for Windows 10’s Spotlight lock screen:
- In File Explorer, select View.
- Select Options. A window titled Folder Options will appear.
- Navigate to the View tab.
- Click Apply after selecting “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.”
- Navigate to This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Users > [YOUR USERNAME] > AppData > Local > Packages > Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager cw5n1h2txyewy > LocalState > Assets
You’ll be presented with a slew of file names that make no sense and have no extensions. There’s no easy way to tell which are beautiful photos and which are icons, but you should click on items with larger file sizes.
- Transfer the most recent large files to a different folder.
- Rename the files and append the suffix.jpg to the end of their names.
- You should now be able to open the images in any image viewer or editor of your choice.
How to save Windows 10 Lock Screen or Spotlight Images?
- The above-mentioned folder will contain a collection of files containing random strings of numbers and letters. To save them for later, copy and paste them into your Pictures folder.
- Open PowerShell in the location of your Windows spotlight images.
- Still in File Explorer, click the “File” button in the upper-left corner, then select “Open Windows PowerShell > Open Windows PowerShell.”
- You may have noticed that, despite having saved your Windows Spotlight images, you are unable to open them at this point. This is due to the fact that they lack the jpg file type. To fix this, we can use PowerShell to run a simple command that appends “.jpg” to the end of each file.
- Enter the command ren **.jpg into PowerShell. This converts all Windows spotlight images to JPEG format.
- Turn on the dimensions sorting filter.
- While our Windows Spotlight images are included, so are many other Windows assets. We must sort them by image dimension to find only our Windows 10 lock screen backgrounds. But first, we must enable the dimension filter.
- In File Explorer, right-click the empty column next to “Size,” then select “Dimensions.” If the option isn’t available, click “More…” and select it from the list.
- Sort the Windows Spotlight background images by size.
- Now, in File Explorer, go to the “View” tab and then press “Sort by” in the middle of the ribbon. Tick “Dimensions” and “Descending” to have the images with the highest resolution appear at the top.
- Remove the other images.
- Look for all images with a resolution of 19201080 or higher and either select and copy them to a new folder or delete all other images with a low resolution.
- Locate the desired lock screen image.
- View your images in the extra-large icon view to quickly scan through them for the one you want. Set it as your desktop background, email it to a friend, or do whatever you want with it.
How to save Windows 10 Lock Screen (Spotlight) Images Automatically?
If you have followed the steps above, you would have realised that you would not want to repeat the process on a regular basis. We recommend the Dynamic Theme app instead if you want to save a Windows Spotlight background every day.
- Once installed, Dynamic Theme will begin downloading your Windows Spotlight image on a daily basis. But first, you must enable this option.
- After you’ve installed Dynamic Theme and downloaded a few Spotlight images, it’s time to launch the app. Click “Start,” then type “Dynamic Theme,” and then select the top result.
- Press the “Daily Spotlight image” heading in Dynamic Theme’s sidebar. Then, in the main pane, check the box next to “Automatic save of daily Windows Spotlight image in the folder of your choice” and choose the default save location for your spotlight images.
- We must enable Dynamic Theme for the lock screen in order for it to function. Press the Start button, then, above the power button, click the settings cog in your Start Menu.
- Click the ‘Personalization’ button.
- In the sidebar, select “Lock screen,” then “Slideshow” as your background, and then “Add a folder.”
- Navigate to your Windows Spotlight Images folder, click it, and then select “Choose this folder.”
- Examine your lock screen photo albums.
- It should now say “Windows Spotlight Images” under the heading “Choose albums for your slideshow.”
- You can now enjoy your Windows Spotlight images without fear of them disappearing anytime soon.
Where does Windows 10 store its default wallpaper?
The default desktop wallpapers for Windows 10 are kept in the C:WindowsWeb folder. In most cases, this folder comprises subfolders called after various wallpaper themes (such as “Flowers” or “Windows”) or resolutions (such as “4K”).
In case you’ve misplaced your way back to this folder in Windows Settings, here’s how to recover it.
To begin, click Windows Settings and select Personalization > Background. Click on the “Browse” button, which is located just below the area that says “Choose Your Picture.”
There will be an open dialogue box displayed. C:Windows is the path to the file. Enter web into the address box at the top of the page and press enter. Alternatively, you may just go to this folder from the C:drive.
The folder that appears in the open dialogue box will be changed. After that, you may browse through the subfolders to choose the image you want to use as your desktop backdrop and click on it. When you’re finished, click “Choose Picture” to open the file you just selected.
Additionally, you can open File Explorer and navigate to C:WindowsWeb, then copy the default image files to a more convenient location—such as the Pictures folder in your User account—if you so desire. You will be able to locate the wallpapers more simply in the future as a result of this.
The problem with hidden wallpapers
When installing Windows for the first time, the wallpaper selection in Settings > Personalization > Background points to the default wallpaper files on your computer. After that, you may easily switch between them by utilising the Browse option on your computer.
Alternatively, if you choose to utilise a series of your own wallpapers stored in a custom place and then return later to change the wallpaper, the defaults will have been pushed out of the top-five most recently displayed photos as thumbnails in Settings. Even worse, when you select “Browse,” Windows will not remember where the default wallpaper files were stored, making it impossible to find them afterwards. You’ll have to track them down again.