How to Download Windows 10 Spotlight / Lock Screen Image

If you’re using Windows 10, you’ve probably noticed that the lock screen often shows a really nice wallpaper that’s automatically selected from Bing and automatically sized for your desktop. If you have a high-resolution screen, this feature will work especially well.

On a 4K or WQHD (2560×1440) display, high-resolution images look absolutely amazing. The feature is called Windows Spotlight, and it’s an option in Windows 10’s Lock Screen settings dialog box.

The only problem is that there’s no easy or quick way to download the images to your computer. Nor is there any way to use the Windows Spotlight feature for your desktop wallpaper. You can choose from slideshowbut it requires you to point to a folder with pictures.

In this article, I’ll show you how to get those images from Windows Spotlight onto your computer, which you can then include in slideshow preferences for your desktop wallpaper.

If you are not sure what Windows Spotlight is or if it is not already enabled on your computer, you can click start and type lock screen to display this dialog box.

Lock screen settings

As you can see, the lock screen image is really nice and changes about every two days. Fortunately, all the images displayed on your computer are actually already stored on your system, although not very user-friendly.

Find the Windows focal image

The first step is to find all the images stored on your Windows 10 system. To do this, you need to open Windows Explorer and click View navigation.


Go ahead and check both out File name extension and Hidden items the boxes. Once you’ve done this, navigate to the following folder below, using your own user account in place of the username.


You’ll see a bunch of files in this folder if you’ve been using Windows Spotlight for a while. Go ahead and click Size column to sort items by file size.


The reason I mention sorting by size is because some files in the folder are less than 50 KB and not wallpapers. You can just ignore those files. Now what you want to do is create a new folder somewhere else on your drive that you will use for the wallpaper.

Select all files larger than 100KB or more and copy them to a new folder. To copy, select the files, then hold right-click and drag the images into a second Explorer window.

copy wallpaper

You will notice that it will say “Move to Wallpaper”, you can ignore this since you are holding the right click button on your mouse. However, when you release it, you’ll get another dialog box that says the files could be harmful to your computer.


You can obviously skip this as these are files already on your computer. The reason why the messages appear is because they are being moved from a hidden folder protected by the system. Click OK and then you will be able to choose Copy here.

To make the images viewable, you have to right click on them to rename them. Since you don’t know what the photo will look like, just give it a name. You will also have to add the file extension. All images will be .PNG or .JPG, so try them out in that order.

rename file

After you rename the file, go ahead and double-click the file to see if it opens in your default photo viewer program. If true, you should go. If not, try another file extension. You’ll start seeing previews of the images in Explorer when you rename them. Some still have the default image placeholder icon, but the images load fine.

images are loaded

That’s all there is to it. It’s not the simplest procedure, but it’s risk-free and fairly straightforward. I recommend turning on Spotlight for a couple of weeks and then taking all the pictures. The only downside here is that the folder contents change frequently and it doesn’t save every image ever displayed. It will delete some and replace them with newer images, so you may have to repeat this process every few months.

Other ways to get featured images

If you feel like it’s too much work for those images, you have a few other options. First, you can spend a dollar and get SpotBright Appallows you to download Spotlight images in just two clicks.


The second way is even easier. Someone was nice enough to find each image used in Spotlight and post it on Imgur. There are at least More than 200 pictures in this album and they are all full HD resolution images. Using this site, you have the advantage of downloading more Spotlight images than you will find in a hidden folder.


The third way is to use a clever PowerShell command. Even if you are not very technical, it is easy to run and it will save you a lot of manual work. Just create a folder on your desktop called Photo and then open PowerShell by clicking Start and typing power.


Now just copy and paste the following command into the PowerShell window and press Enter:

Get-ChildItem -Path $env:localappdata\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets | Copy-Item -dest {"$home\desktop\pics\" + $_.BaseName + ($i++) +".jpg" }

powershell command

Open Photo folder on your desktop and voila! All images from LocalState / Assets folder should be there. You will need to delete useless files, but if not, it will save you a lot of time. Interesting!

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