Windows 10 Anniversary Update breaks Spotlight feature

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies -- AI and DNA computing in... Read more
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Many users are complaining the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is displaying only a blank blue screen instead of  regular Spotlight wallpapers. Although no picture is displayed, users get the same output and are asked if they like the picture.

General workarounds such as disabling and enabling the Spotlight feature work only for a limited time. After a few minutes, the blue screen appears again. While this is not a critical issue, it can be quite annoying for some users who want to see a different picture every time they lock the screen.

Users are complaining the Anniversary Update breaks Spotlight

Spotlight is broken.  I get a blank blue screen with the normal output asking if I like the picture, etc.  If I go to Lock Screen Settings and change it to another option (Picture of Slideshow) then change it back then it starts to work again a few times.  Then it just goes back to the blank blue.

According to user reports, this issue can also manifest through a black screen replacing the Spotlight feature. While Microsoft’s Support engineers haven’t offered any explanations as to why this issue occurs, but users believe the bug is related to Cortana’s use of the lock screen.

How to fix Spotlight issues in the Anniversary Update

Solution 1 – Run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter

  1. Go to Control Panel > Find and fix problems
  2. Go to System and security > Run maintenance tasks > click on Next

run maintenance tasks anniversary update

3. Wait for the process to complete.

system troubleshooter anniversary update

Solution 2 – Clear the Assets folder in File Explorer

1. Disable Windows Spotlight > go to C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets

2. Empty the Assets folder. Your screen will be black until you reactivate Windows Spotlight.

assets folder anniversary update

3. Enable Windows Spotlight > lock the screen. The Windows Spotlight pictures should now be visible.


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Avatar Janet

Windows Spotlight used to show additional features such as: the place name if it was a geographical type of photo and also allowed me to “See what’s beyond this photo”.

Not only do I not have these options anymore, but Spotlight won’t change photos unless I force it.

Thank you for your future help,


Avatar Matt

None of these solutions worked for me. Spotlight is not working for 3 of the 4 local user accounts (all 4 setup identically), also search from the Start menu is not working for the same 3 users.

Avatar Pirate983

Following Solution 2 worked for me. I don’t use Spotlight and was causing my Sign-In screen to keep defaulting to us Spotlight pictures even though it was not enabled. Deleting the files in Solution 2 resolved the problem 🙂

Avatar Martin Fabian

As already mentioned… this is not (only) a Spotlight issue. I do not have Spotlight enabled, only a single lock screen picture which shows fine in the Settings > Lock screen tab, but still I get the plain blue lock screen.

Avatar LF Martins

It is not only Spotlight: I have disabled it to use Cortana on lock screen and sometimes I also see just a blue background… =/