How to enable Spotlight desktop wallpapers on Windows 11

Windows 11 now changes wallpapers automatically to get a fresh desktop experience every day, and here's how to enable the feature.

Windows 11 desktop Spotlight
Windows 11 desktop Spotlight
  • To enable Spotlight on Windows 11, open Settings > Personalization > Background and choose the “Windows Spotlight” setting. 
  • If you’re using the “Themes” settings page, select the “Windows Spotlight” theme.

UPDATED 11/24/2023: On Windows 11, Spotlight is a feature that changes the desktop background image automatically every day with panoramic images from around the world, and in the guide, I’ll teach you the steps to complete this configuration.

If the feature sounds familiar, it’s because this is the same feature available for the Lock Screen, which Microsoft has adapted to change the wallpaper automatically to keep the desktop fresh.

In this guide, I will teach you how to set dynamic background images on your Windows 11 desktop through the Settings app from the “Background” and “Themes” settings pages.

Enable Spotlight desktop from Background

To enable Spotlight on the desktop on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Background page on the right side.

  4. Under the “Personalize your background” section, select the Windows Spotlight option.

    Enable desktop Spotlight

Once you complete the steps, the first desktop wallpaper will automatically be set on the desktop, and the background image will change during the day.

You will also see the “Spotlight” icon on the desktop that lets you change the image quickly. You can use this feature by right-clicking the icon to bring up the interface, allowing you to view and switch between four images.

Windows 11 Spotlight viewer
Windows 11 Spotlight viewer

The thumbs-up and down options allow you to rate the images so that future photos will be more tailored to your liking. The “Learn more” option will open Microsoft Edge on the page with information about the image.

Enable Spotlight desktop from Themes

To enable the Spotlight desktop wallpapers from the Themes settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Themes page on the right side.

  4. Under the “Current theme” section, select the Windows Spotlight theme.

    Themes settings enable Windows Spotlight

After you complete the steps, the Spotlight wallpapers should appear on the desktop. (The theme has the camera icon on the top-right.)

It’s important to note that starting with version 23H2, Windows 11 will turn on Spotlight automatically when using a solid color or the default bloom wallpaper after an upgrade. If you turn off the feature, the system will respect your settings and won’t try to enable Spotlight after a feature update.

Update November 24, 2023: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He's also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, 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+ & Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, and LinkedIn.