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Windows Spotlight
Developer(s)Microsoft
Operating systemWindows 10, Windows 11 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 the operating system. 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

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]

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

Photo locations

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

Africa

Antarctica

Asia

Europe

North America

Central America

South America

Oceania

Other pictures

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References

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