How to save Spotlight images on Windows 11

Did you like an background from Spotlight on your desktop? Here's how to find and save those images on Windows 11.

Spotlight images
Spotlight images
  • To find and download Spotlight images on Windows 11, open the “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets” location path on File Explorer, copy the large files, and convert them to “.jpg” images through Command Prompt.
  • These instructions should also work on Windows 10.

UPDATED 11/7/2023: On Windows 11, you can find and save the images from the “Spotlight” feature, and in this guide, I’ll show you the steps to complete this task. Spotlight (or “Windows Spotlight”) is a feature that allows you to show different background images on the desktop throughout the day, similar to the Spotlight feature available for the Lock screen.

The feature works by automatically downloading images from the cloud that Windows 11 then uses to refresh the background, depending on how the feature is configured on your computer from the “Personalization” settings section in the Settings app.

The only caveat about this feature is that if you come across a wallpaper you like, it’s impossible to save it or permanently set it as your background. However, if you see an image you like, there’s a way to find and download it when you know the exact path to the cached files.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to find and download Spotlight images on Windows 11. It also works for Windows 10.

Important: You must have Spotlight enabled and already showing images on the desktop before you can use these steps.

Download Spotlight images on Windows 11

To save Spotlight images used on the Windows 11 desktop, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 11.

  2. Copy and paste the Spotlight images location path into the address bar and press Enter:

  3. Click the Sort menu, select More, and choose the Size option.

  4. Select the files over 200KB (more or less).

  5. Right-click the selection and choose the Copy option (Ctrl + C).

    Spotlight images download location

    Quick tip: You can preview the images by right-clicking, choosing the “Open With” option, and a supported application, such as “Paint,” “Microsoft Edge,” etc.
  6. Open to the Pictures folder.

  7. Click the New menu and select the Folder option.

    File Explorer create new folder

  8. Confirm a name for the folder (for example, Spotlight) and open it.

  9. Click the Paste button in the command bar (Ctrl + V).

  10. Right-click inside the folder and select the Command Prompt (or Windows Terminal) option.

    File Explorer open location in Command Prompt

  11. Type the following command to convert the files to “.jpg” image files and press Enter:

    ren *.* *.jpg

    Convert Spotlight images into .jpg

Once you complete the steps, you can use the images to set them as more permanent backgrounds for the desktop through the “Background” settings page or in the Lock screen using the “Lock screen” settings page.

Update November 7, 2023: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes. It also adds an instructional video.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].