How to Find Windows 10's Spotlight Lock Screen Pictures

  • MORE

If you have Windows 10's default, Spotlight feature enabled, your lock screen shows gorgeous images courtesy of Microsoft. Some of these high-quality photos are nature shots while others are pictures of great cities around the world. The pictures rotate several times a day, but what if you see an image you like and want to keep a copy of it? Windows keeps these photos buried deep in a hidden directory, but with a bit of digging, you can find them, save them and even use them as desktop wallpaper.

 Here's how to find Windows 10's Spotlight lock screen images:

1. Click View in File Explorer.

screenshot (97) 475152

2. Click Options. A Folder Options window will appear.

screenshot (98) 675109.5

3. Click the View tab.

screenshot (99) 335403

4. Select "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and click Apply.

screenshot (100) 336403

5. Go to This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Users > [YOUR USERNAME] > AppData > Local >  Packages > Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy > LocalState > Assets

screenshot (102)

You'll be presented with a plethora of file names that make absolutely no sense and show no extensions. There's no great method of telling which ones are beautiful photos and which are icons, but you're better off clicking on items with larger file sizes.

6. Copy the most recent large files to another folded (ex: pictures).

Copy to pictures folder

7. Rename the files and add the files suffix .jpg to the end of their names.


You should now be able to view the pictures in any image viewer or editor you want.

One more thing: keep in mind that Microsoft adds and removes these at its whim. If you see one you like, pounce on it and make a copy before it goes away, possibly forever.

Customize Windows 10

Author Bio
Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman, on
Add a comment
  • Hildo Says:

    Thank you! Your clear instructions were very helpful.

  • Hao Dong Says:

    Hi, Andrew E. Freedman, Thank you for your article, I appreciate it!

  • HANSEN LYE Says:

    Thanks for the clear instruction. I am very pleased.

  • Richard Moore Says:

    Enjoy the pictures.Where is the marvelous small city on the waterfront? Spain? Italy?

  • Haley Says:

    Thank you! What is the reason for hiding these? I wonder... Share the beauty, I say!

  • Harry Says:

    Very weird thing has happened to my computer since I started copying the files.
    I created a short cut on my desktop to that folder, & now there are never any files that should have been there with the images.
    I go to another new computer & those image files are there.
    Even after I delete out all of my files & copy the files from the other computer, when I come back in the morning, they are all gone & just some blank or meaningless images are there.

  • Harry Says:

    I saved the folder as a shortcut, but it appears that Microsoft realized what I was doing, & now the images are GONE!

  • Yizhuang Says:

    Thank you! It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • justin Says:

    This worked wonders amazing all these beautiful pictures were hiding on my computer

  • brady Says:

    i think this is an outdated method. I only found 3 landscape pictures. mostly game icons

  • Lone Wolf Says:

    Wow - - this worked just as he said it would. However, I took it a little further because I was searching for a specific PIC that I'd seen long ago (within 3 yrs, but was not there). . .

    I Dupe'd every file down to 1-KB, not to waste my own time, but as a practice of this skill. Now at about 100-Kb & less, they are images of links like for Patraeon (sp?), twitter, etc. So they really were junk, but I wanted to actually see what they'd pull up & simply deleted them after changing the suffix to '.jpg'.

    Also added a blurb in front of each PIC, "Portrait" & "Landscape" respectively. That way I can make screensavers for my P.C. & my Cell Phone, if I so choose. THANKS FOR SHARING THIS TIP SIR!

  • Rick James Says:

    I think Linda Williams just had a stroke. SIMMER DOWN LINDA!

  • phani Madiraju Says:

    Really great job.I like the way you have presented the information.

  • Simen Stenvik Granly Says:

    Great! Thanks :) Beautiful pictures.

  • Blaine Says:

    Good tip, but I had a minor facepalm on your first step. It's funny how much people complain about changes Microsoft has made to Windows over the years, while they ignore how they can save time by learning how to use those changes...

    Take a look at the first image in your detailed instructions on how to show hidden files and folders. Notice that checkbox labeled "Hidden items"? Yeah, you could have just checked there. No need to go into the Options panel at all. Since this is a Windows 10 specific tip, too, you don't need to show people the old way "just in case." If they have Spotlight, they have Windows 10.

    Also, you can get to the AppData folder for the current user easily by typing %APPDATA% into the Explorer address bar, then clicking the up arrow to go up one directory level. Might also save some folks a little time.

  • Sayyed Ehsan Taheri Javid Says:

    Thank you for share, it helped.

  • Mohan Tyagi Says:

    Thanks it helped me get what i wanted.

  • Rae Perez Says:

    Some of the files were .png - if you follow the steps, and the files steps in the comments, then open in the free IrfanView it will tell you if the file extension is wrong and offer to re-name it for you.

    Also set up this folder to 1-way sync with something like GoodSync and it will automatically update the pictures. It will be easy to tell which ones are new because they won't have file extensions. You can leave GoodSync in the system tray to autorun.

  • Mr Mark Says:

    Fantastic. Usually articles like these aren't helpful and full of ads but this got me exactly where I wanted. Unfortunate that they are added and removed often, I missed saving some of the better ones.

  • Will Arends Says:

    Awesome tip, thanks. These photos are great.

  • Johnny Webb Says:

    There is no ASSETS in the LocalState folder...

  • David Says:

    IMO this is the best (and most accurate) Windows tip I've seen yet. I took the images and made a 'screen saver' on my 70" TV. OMG amazing.

  • Fredrik sæbø Says:

    thank you so much for the tutorial!! It worked perfectly :)

  • Darrell Says:

    Worked perfectly! Thanks for the info! I love some of these pics!

  • Deanna Says:

    Great tip, found them easily! Thanks!

  • Bob DeMott Says:

    The picture is not stored there so is there another place that Windows 10 may have put the picture?

  • Andrew Hillier Says:

    Thanks for the info .... great help!! :)

  • dantheman Says:

    Thanks for the pictures location. It would be neat to find a database of the text that goes with them (like where the photo was taken). I did find that you can at least get this information for the most RECENT one displayed by exporting the following registry key:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Lock Screen\Creative]

  • ashish Says:

    Thanks for sharing it ,you saved my time

  • tanggle Says:

    Wow great information. you saved my time. thanks a lot!

  • alice Says:

    Thanks a lot!

    For renaming I use trid (trid * -ae).

  • Moshe Says:

    Let's say there are 65 files like there are in my folder. Don't rename them all manually, do it the easy way. From the Assets folder Click File > Open Windows Powershell. Then at the prompt type: xcopy * *.jpg
    That will make a copy of every file with the .jpg extension added to its name. Copy the ones you want to a different folder, then at the Powershell prompt type: del *.jpg
    That will remove all the copies in the Assets folder and leave the directory just as it was before.

  • Ab Cd Says:

    Thanks a lot! I am wondering if I can find where photos are taken?

  • paul h Says:

    Exactly what I needed. Works perfect. Make sure to follow the last step of adding the suffix .jpg when renaming the file. I had what I needed in 3 min. Thank you Andrew.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Article is "spot on". Well done.

  • RicoViking9000 Says:

    Will changing it to PNG make it higher quality?

  • mesraym Says:

    i love this how you do it but i have one problem i can not update my os system if you can help me please do help me

Back to top