How-To

How to Save Windows 10 Spotlight Lock Screen Pictures

The Windows 10 Spotlight feature provides beautiful backgrounds on your Lock Screen. These images are wallpaper worthy, too. Here’s how to find and save them.

Windows 10 includes a limited collection of desktop backgrounds to choose. And, the Windows Spotlight feature, previously limited to Windows 10 Home, became available in the Pro edition via the November Update.

It provides a travel log of stunning background images taken from around the world on your Lock Screen. Many of these are desktop worthy, too. Here’s how you can find and collect those pictures.

Spotlight

Find Windows Spotlight Lock Screen Pictures

Windows Spotlight Images are not stored in the most obvious of places. First, open your user folder, press Windows key + R then type: %userprofile% and hit Enter.

run

When File Explorer opens up, you’ll need to turn on Show hidden files and folders. Click the View tab then check the box: Hidden items within the Show/Hide group.

show hidden files and folders

The AppData folder will now appear in your User folder. Open it then navigate to Local > Packages > Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy > LocalState > Assets.

The images will appear as blank files, select all of them Control + A then copy with Control + C. Create a new folder in your Documents folder or on the Desktop then paste the files with Control + V.

local state

Open the folder containing the blank Files, click File menu > Open Command Prompt > Open Command Prompt as administrator.

Rename to Jpg

Type the following command: Ren *.* *.jpg then hit Enter. This batch command will convert the blank files to JPEG images and make them visible.

batch rename

Your mileage might vary, though. I don’t know if it’s because I am using a limited data plan, why I don’t have many of these Spotlight images stored. Some of the files will be asset images, used as resources for app icons; you can delete what you don’t need.

spotlight wallpapers

You can periodically check the folder for new images. If you want an easier way to obtain new wallpapers for your desktop, check out our article on how to download and install Windows Themes.


26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Charlie Wilburn  

    I extracted these files from a Windows 10 Home and a Pro version (both have the November update applied) and although both had some pictures (more on the Home edition), neither had the beautiful pictures shown on the lock screen. The pictures we want are probably buried somewhere in similar fashion to these but this is not the location.

    • Andre  

      I notice that’s the only showing up every morning for the past few weeks now. I don’t know what happened to the others. If you find them, please do share in the comments. Thanks!

  2. Three Lock screens showed up on my laptop after following your steps. Others converted were either “junk” or were reported as “corrupt” and couldn’t be opened.

  3. @My own reply:I just found this: Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\Web. There, you’ll find separate folders labeled Wallpaper and Screen. The Screen folder contains more images for the Windows 10 lock screens.

    • Ah, nice. Thanks for the tip Ziggy! mmmm…. looks like there are also 4K images in there as well. Interesting.

    • captain0chris  

      Thank you, was looking for that one picture of a biplane over some islands and finally found it where you point!

    • That was the first place I looked. Those images have been there since I installed the RTM.

  4. John  

    when I pusch File\Command Prompt\Open Command Prompt as administrator\it only shows up as
    C:\users\slick\Documents\Preview>Spotlight wallpaper does not appear.I have them saved in Documents.

    • Abdullah Hyyan  

      no worries !!! just right click on any file. Go to re name. Keep the previous name of file and just add at the end .jpg
      you’ll get the image !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Great tip! Found this article after looking for a way to save some of the Windows Spotlight lock screen pictures.

    However, you can skip the first couple steps by navigating to “%localappdata%” from the Run command. No need to turn on show hidden files either.

    Another useful power tip is to sort all the asset files by size and copy only the ones greater than 400 KB.

    Hope that helps. Cheers!

  6. I don’t understand yet …

  7. Aimee  

    Thanks for this! My dad saw a photo on the lock screen that he wanted to save as his desktop background and it was a lot more complicated than I realised. Thanks for the step-by-step guide, worked perfectly =)

  8. John  

    Thank you for the help. I honestly did not think this would work but to my surprise it did.

  9. Pratik K Patel  

    Great Juggad!
    Thanks

  10. Steph  

    Thank you, worked like a charm 🙂

  11. aX  

    That’s awesome ! Would like to know how you figured how to convert the blank files to jpg! Thanks

  12. @aX If you follow the steps in this article to open the Command Prompt and type in the “Ren” command, that’s how you “convert” the files.

    However, the word, “convert”, is a misnomer; the files are actually in JPEG format already but they’re just missing the JPG extension. This command adds it back so that Windows can recognize the files as such.

    Good luck!

    • Nigel  

      when I run the command “ren *.* *.jpg” it says that ” *.* ” doesn’t exist

      • Edward  

        I am getting the same error now but it worked like a charm about 2 months ago.

  13. That was the first place I looked.

  14. Sam  

    Can someone tell me if these “spotlight images” are automatically 4k res when you connect a new 4k display? Does Microsoft know to send 4k res images?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hyacin  

      They are not. Apparently 4K is not supported at all, which is a real shame as they are typically very stunning photos which would really show off a shiny new 4K monitor.

  15. Arlene  

    I don’t have the Open Command prompt. I only have Open window and open powershell.. ??? Help!

  16. Rhys  

    It looks like the “Open command prompt” has been replaced by “Open Powershell” in a recent windows update. I have been able to rename the files using the following steps

    Open the folder containing the blank Files, click File menu > Open Windows PowerShell > Open Windows PowerShell as administrator.

    Type the following PowerShell command to rename the files
    dir * | Rename-Item -NewName {$_.BaseName + “.jpg”}

  17. Jim  

    THE WAY I DO IT ON MY LAPTOP, WINDOWS 10: 1. Open File Explorer and paste: %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets 2. Hit Enter on keyboard. 3. The Spotlight background photos in the list that will appear have larger file sizes. Just copy them to your desktop, right click “rename” and add “.jpg” and they will open as a photo. The top ones in the list are the most recent. You may need to only copy one or two to find the one you want. You can then use it as your permanent background image if you want.

  18. Tyler  

    I tried to figure this out for a while, but couldn’t find good instructions until I found this. Thanks so much!

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