How to Save Windows Spotlight Images to Your Desktop

Windows Spotlight Hero

Are you tired of seeing the same old desktop wallpaper every day? Windows Spotlight offers a refreshing solution by displaying a variety of beautiful images on your screen. But did you know that you can save these stunning wallpapers to your Windows 10 or 11 desktop? This tutorial walks you through the process of finding and saving Windows Spotlight images and shows you how to download them directly from an app.

Good to know: need even more options? Check out these cool 4K desktop backgrounds for Windows.

What Is Windows Spotlight?

Windows Spotlight is an automatic feature that downloads and presents a collection of stunning images on your lock screen. These images exhibit a range of global landscapes, famous landmarks, and captivating scenes.

In addition to the visuals, Windows Spotlight offers helpful tips, intriguing facts, and valuable information tailored to your preferences and activities. This feature adapts and delivers a customized experience over time by studying your usage patterns.

Although the images change automatically, you have the option to like or dislike a particular image, allowing Windows Spotlight to refine its recommendations based on your tastes.

Good to know: even if Windows Spotlight images are often stunning, they aren’t the only Microsoft-fueled picture collection that can knock your socks off. You may also want to try using the Daily Bing Wallpaper as your desktop background.

Save Windows Spotlight Wallpapers via File Explorer

Windows Spotlight images can be a bit elusive, but don’t worry, as we’re here to help you uncover the hidden folder where they reside.

  1. Start by opening File Explorer on your PC.
  1. Copy and paste the following path into File Explorer’s address bar and press Enter:
Navigating to address in File Explorer.
  1. You’ve now accessed the hidden “Assets” folder containing Windows Spotlight images.
Accessing hidden "Assets" folder via File Explorer.
  1. You’ll likely notice white thumbnails with lengthy, alphanumeric filenames in the “Assets” folder. These files include not only Spotlight images but also smaller pictures and non-image files. To simplify things, sort them out.

If you don’t see any files in this folder, it’s either because Windows Spotlight has been off for a while and no wallpapers have been downloaded or you have hidden files set to invisible.

To solve the first issue, leave Windows Spotlight on for a few days, and images should start accumulating. If you see a picture you like on your lock screen, its image file will be in the “Assets” folder. See the FAQ below if you don’t know what disabling or enabling Windows Spotlight entails.

To solve the other issue, consult our guide on how to reveal hidden files in Windows.

Sort and Save Spotlight Images

  1. With the “Assets” folder open, click the “Sort” menu in the File Explorer ribbon.
Clicking on "Sort" menu in File Explorer ribbon.
  1. Choose “More,” then select “Size.”
Clicking on "More" and then "Size" in File Explorer from "Sort" menu.
  1. The files will be sorted in descending order based on their size, with the largest ones listed first.
  1. It’s best to focus on files larger than 300KB, as anything smaller is unlikely to be a Spotlight image. Select all of these files.
Spotlight images listed according to size in File Explorer.
  1. Right-click the chosen files in the “Assets” folder and click the Copy icon.
Copying Spotlight files from File Explorer.
  1. Create a new folder on your PC where you can conveniently access Windows Spotlight images for use as wallpaper. You can name this folder “Windows Spotlight” or anything else you prefer.
Creating new folder in File Explorer.
  1. Paste the files you’ve copied into the new folder.
Pasting files with File Explorer.
  1. Right-click each file and select the Rename icon, then add “.JPG” to the end of the file to change its file type.
Changing extension for files in File Explorer.
  1. If the file is indeed an image file, you can open it with an image viewer or editor of your choice.
Opening image with image viewer in Windows.

You can easily locate, sort, and save Windows Spotlight images for your enjoyment by following these steps.

FYI: if you have multiple monitors, you don’t have to use the same wallpaper on all of them. You can use different wallpaper on each screen.

Download Windows Spotlight Images Directly from an App

If you prefer to download Windows Spotlight images directly from an app, there are several options. One such option is Spotlight Wallpaper, which we are demonstrating in this tutorial.

  1. Open the Microsoft Store on your computer.
Accessing Microsoft Store on Windows.
  1. Search for “Spotlight Wallpaper” in the search bar.
  1. Click “Get” to download and install the app.
Spotlight Wallpapers app view in Microsoft Store.
  1. Once you open the app, you’ll find a gallery of all the Spotlight images that have been used on your PC under the “Spotlight” section.
Gallery view in the Spotlight Wallpaper app.
  1. Click on any of the images, then press the little icon in the lower-right corner to download it to your PC.
Options to download image and more in Spotlight Wallpaper app.
  1. You can also set the image as wallpaper or your lockscreen directly from the app by clicking on the next icon.

Some apps will scan your computer for wallpaper, but others simply cut out the middleman and download the wallpaper directly from Microsoft’s servers. This can be handy if your own computer hasn’t cached many of the wallpapers yet.

Note: even when downloading apps from a reputable source, such as the Microsoft Store, always have a good antivirus package installed to make sure you don’t accidentally download malware.

Other Methods to Save Windows Spotlight Wallpaper

Another method to save Windows Spotlight wallpaper is to use the Run command.

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type the following in the window and hit Enter:
Typing command in "Run" window.
  1. This will take you to the folder where Windows Spotlight images are stored. From there, the subsequent steps are the same as the Explorer-based method outlined above.
  2. Go to a website like Windows Spotlight Images, where images are collected by their asset code names, ready to be downloaded and used as wallpaper and screensavers.

Tip: need an image with a transparent background for one of your projects? These are the best websites to find such images.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Windows Spotlight images as my desktop wallpaper?

Yes. Save the image to your computer, right-click on your desktop, select “Personalize,” and choose the saved image as your wallpaper. Just remember to change the file name extension to .JPG as described above, or you won’t see the image as an option.

Can I disable Windows Spotlight?

Yes! Click “Settings -> Personalization -> Lock screen,” then select “Picture” or “Slideshow” from the menu next to “Personalize your lock screen” instead of “Windows Spotlight.” In our experience, Windows Spotlight stops downloading new images when it’s disabled, so the next time you turn it on, you may not see any new photos for a while.

How often do Windows Spotlight images change?

Windows Spotlight images change every few days or so. The frequency of the changes depends on various factors, including location and device activity. In our experience, the image changes daily, but it can take a while for a selection to accumulate in your assets folder.

Image credit: Windows 10 Spotlight. All screenshots by Sydney Butler.

Sydney Butler
Sydney Butler

Sydney Butler is a technology writer with a background in Psychology who has written for a wide variety of technology outlets including How-To-Geek, Online Tech Tips, Helpdesk Geek, 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, and many more. He has 25 years of technology troubleshooting experience as a technician and user-education practitioner.

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