How To Fix Windows Spotlight Lock Screen Picture Won’t Change on Windows 10?

Windows Spotlight is a feature that downloads and sets Bing images as the background on the lock screen automatically. But it has been observed that Spotlight is not an ideal Windows feature and sometimes you may encounter problems. For instance, you may see the image being stuck in the lock screen for a long time, or the feature may suddenly stop working. Users enjoy the Spotlight feature but according to recent reports, Spotlight pictures on the lock screen are not switching anymore.

Windows Spotlight

What Causes Windows Spotlight Lock Screen Picture Won’t Change?

From the deep observations, it is concluded that there are many things that may cause Windows Spotlight to stop working. Some of the key reasons are listed down below:

  • Windows Update Crash: As soon as Windows Update Service stops, it also stops loading new Bing images for the lock screen background. Thus, causing a problem.
  • Corrupt Files: Technical authorities have reported that this error may arise as a result of corrupted image files or corrupted Windows Spotlight system files. Corrupted files give rise to freezing the screen or image getting stuck.
  • Background Apps Execution Disabled: Windows Spotlight is one of the backgrounds running applications in Windows. Therefore, it’s only logical that if the background apps execution is disabled, Windows Spotlight won’t be able to run its processes. This will ultimately cause the problem under consideration.

Solution 1: Reset Windows Spotlight

Performing a complete Windows Spotlight reset (cleaning assets and settings) proved to be helpful for many users in the online community. Follow the steps given below to perform a complete Windows Spotlight reset:

  1. Click Start > Settings.
    Opening Windows Settings
  2. Click Personalization. This will open settings for features including Background, Colours, Lock Screen, etc.
    Opening Personalization Settings
  3. Click Lock screen, make sure Windows Spotlight is not selected and change the option to Picture or Slideshow under Background. Now the background on the lock screen will be either a picture or a set of pictures, depending upon the option you selected.
    Changing Lock Screen Settings
  4. Press Windows + R keys together on your keyboard. This will open Run dialog box.
    Opening Run Dialog Box
  5. Copy-paste the following location address in the command space and click OK. This will take you to a hidden system folder named Assets where all overwritten settings of Windows features are available.
    Navigating to Assets Location
  6. Press Ctrl + A keys together on your keyboard to select all files, right-click and select Delete to delete all the files.
    Deleting All Files
  7. Similarly, open the following settings directory using Run dialog box. This will take you to another system hidden folder named Settings where Windows Content Management files are available.
  8. Right-click settings.dat, select Rename and change the name to settings.dat.bak. Windows will now draft stock settings file automatically which will now be free of any amendments or alterations.
    Renaming Settings.dat File
  9. Similarly, change the name of roaming.lock to roaming.lock.bak and restart your PC. The same phenomenon will be observed in this case.
  10. Repeat the first two steps, click Lock screen and select Windows spotlight under Background. Now the background on the lock screen will be set according to Windows Spotlight feature.
    Changing Lock Screen Settings
  11. Press Windows + L keys together on your keyboard to lock your PC. Windows Spotlight feature should now be working fine.

Note: If everything worked as expected, go back to the Settings folder using Run dialog box and delete the backup files (settings.dat.bak and roaming.dat.bak) to get rid of extra junk.

Solution 2: Register Windows Spotlight Using Windows PowerShell

Registering Windows Spotlight using PowerShell proved to be helpful for many users online as it disregards any configurations being made in the past and resets the feature registry settings. Follow the steps given below to re-register Windows Spotlight using Windows PowerShell:

  1. Click Start > Settings.
  2. Click Personalization. This will open settings for features including Background, Colours, Lock Screen, etc.
  3. Click Lock screen and select Windows spotlight under Background. Now the background on the lock screen will be set according to Windows Spotlight feature.
    Note: If you do not enable the feature now, you are most likely to get an error while running the command in Windows PowerShell.
  4. Click Start, search Windows PowerShell and select Run as administrator.
    Running Windows PowerShell as Administrator
  5. Copy-paste the command given below and press Enter. This will reset the Windows Spotlight feature. This command will enable Windows to re-register the Windows Spotlight feature as well as performing a complete reset. Windows Spotlight will get as new as it is on fresh Windows copy.
    Get-AppxPackage -allusers *ContentDeliveryManager* | foreach {Add-AppxPackage "$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode -register }
    Running Command in Windows PowerShell
  6. Restart your computer. Windows Spotlight feature working fine now.

Solution 3: Enable Windows to Run Background Apps

As discussed previously, Windows Spotlight is one of the backgrounds running applications in Windows. Therefore, such applications must be allowed by the user to run in the background without a problem. Many users found this solution helpful as they had disabled applications to run in the background. Follow the steps given below:

  1. Click Start > Settings.
  2. Click Privacy. This will open privacy settings for devices, applications, their diagnostics, etc.
    Open Windows Privacy Settings
  3. Click Background Apps and enable Let apps run in the background.
    Allowing Background Apps to Run
  4. There will be a list of applications under Choose which apps can run in the background. Scroll down and enable Settings. This should finally fix your problem. This will allow Windows to run its utilities and services in the background (Windows Spotlight is a background service of Windows 10).
    Note: You can go through the list and disable any other application to run in the background as desired.

    Enabling Settings to Run in Background

Solution 4: Turning off Metered Connection

The metered connection is a setting present in Wi-Fi or network settings which flags a specific connection as metered. In this protocol, windows minimize data usage by disabling some of its applications and features. This also applies to Windows Spotlight as it also downloads images regularly. We can try disabling the metered connection on your device and check if this solves the problem.

  1. Make sure that you are connected to your desired network with a working internet connection. Press Windows + S to launch the search bar of your start menu. Type “settings” in the dialogue box and open the first result which comes forth.
  2. Select the option of “Network and Internet” from the list of options available.
  3. Once in the Network and Internet settings, click on “Change connection properties” present under the subheading of Network status.

  1. Click the checkbox of “Set as metered connection” to disable This will remove your network from the list of networks flagged as metered connections. Restart your computer and check if Windows Spotlight started working as expected.

Solution 5: Disabling Mail and Calendar from Lock screen

Windows syncs with your live account and fetch information regarding your email and calendar. These utilities can be shown on your lock screen and by default, these are enabled. It is possible that there is some problem with the synchronization process and your utilities are not updating. Because of this updating error, spotlight also refuses to load new images. We can try disabling these utilities from your settings and check if the problem still persists.

  1. Press Windows + S and type “weather” in the dialogue box. Open the first result which comes forth.
  2. Once the weather has opened, click on the settings icon present at the bottom left side of the screen.

  1. Navigate to the General tab and scroll down. Here you will find a setting named “Launch Location”. Make sure it is set as “Default Location”. Once you have made the necessary changes, exit the weather application.

  1. Press Windows + S and type “lock screen” in the dialogue box. Open the first option which comes forth.

  1. Once in the lock screen settings, click on the Mail icon present under the heading of “Choose apps to show quick status”. Navigate to the very top in the option and select “None”. Do the same for Calendar. Now uncheck the option which says “Show lock screen background on the sign-in screen”. After making the changes, press Windows + L to check if Spotlight started working again. If it didn’t, restart your computer.

Note: If step 5 doesn’t work, you can also remove weather information from your lock screen by choosing the option “None” after clicking the weather icon present under the subheading of “Choose an app to show detailed status”. Repeat solution 1 after implementing all the changes and check if this solves the problem.

Solution 6: Disabling Proxy Settings

If you use proxy settings for your work or university, it is possible that this is causing the issue. Proxy settings provide another path for the internet to work. This implementation is mainly done in institutions or workplaces that don’t allow full internet access or monitor it. Windows Spotlight doesn’t download images on a proxy server. You can try disabling the proxy server, get a working internet connection without proxy and check if this solves our case.

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the search bar of your start. Type “proxy” in the dialogue box and select the first result which comes forth.

  1. Press LAN Settings button present at the near end of the window.

  1. Uncheck the box which says “Use a proxy server for your LAN”. Press Ok to save changes and exit.

  1. Now check if the problem got fixed.

Solution 7: Creating a local account

It is possible that the problem you are facing is because of some error in your profile or the administrator hasn’t granted you access. If you are the owner of this computer and still can’t make spotlight work correctly, we can try making a new local account and check if this fixes anything.

  1. Open an administrator account. Type Settings in the start menu dialogue box and click on Accounts.

  1. Now click “Family and other users” options present at the left side of the window.
  2. Once inside select the menu, select “Add someone else to this PC”.

  1. Now Windows will guide you through its wizard on how to create a new account. When the new window comes forth, click “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information”.

  1. Now select the option “Add a user without Microsoft”. Windows will now prompt you to make a new Microsoft account and display a window like this.

  1. Enter all the details and chose an easy password which you can remember.
  2. Now navigate to Settings > Accounts > Your Account.
  3. At the space beneath your account picture, you will see an option which says “Sign in with a local account instead”.
  4. Enter your current password when the prompt comes and click Next.
  5. Now enter username and password for your local account and click on “Sign out and finish”.
  6. Restart your computer and check if spotlight works as expected. If it does, you can easily move all your personal files and settings.
  7. Now navigate to Settings > Accounts > Your Account and select the option “Sign in with a Microsoft Account instead”.

  1. Enter your username and password and click Sign in.

An alternative for Spotlight: Dynamic Theme

If all the above methods don’t work, try updating your Windows using Windows update. If still the issue persists, you can download Dynamic Theme from the Windows store. It serves as an alternative but fulfills the same purpose.

  1. Open windows store by pressing Windows + S and type “store”. Once the store is opened, type in the search bar for “Dynamic Theme”. Open the first application in the results.

  1. Download and install the application. Once the application is installed, open it.
  2. Click on “Lock screen” from the left navigation pane. Click on the background drop-down select from the list of options. You can choose Bing or Windows Spotlight for images which will rotate similar to the application by windows.

  1. You can also download Windows Spotlight images right to your computer by changing the settings. Navigate to “Daily Windows Spotlight image” and select the option after scrolling down.

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Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.