Windows 11’s lock screen slideshow not working? Try these fixes

Loredana Harsana
by Loredana Harsana
Windows & Software Expert
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was on top of the world and... Read more
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  • In Windows 11, it is not uncommon for the lock screen slideshow to encounter issues.
  • It requires a custom lock screen slideshow setup if the default configuration doesn't work.
  • You can also create a slideshow of images in folders that you want to display.
lock screen windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
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Due to the large number of processes that must run in the background to make it happen, the lock screen slideshow or Windows Spotlight may stop working for no apparent reason at times.

Windows 11, like Windows 10, allows you to customize the lock screen by displaying a slideshow of personal images. Despite the fact that Windows Spotlight retrieves images from the Bing search engine, the Slideshow feature retrieves images from your local hard disk.

Many factors could be at play when the lock screen slideshow stops operating on Windows 11, and we’ve compiled a list of all the alternative options you might want to consider.

Why is Windows activation important?

Activation helps verify that your copy of Windows is genuine and hasn’t been used on more devices than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow.
activate windows windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

The activation process is distinct from the installation one, which requires a product code to proceed. It also differs from post-installation registration in another way.

A licensed copy of Windows and a specific computer system are linked together through the process of Windows activation.

In principle, creating such a link should prevent the same copy of Windows from being installed on more than one computer, as was previously allowed with older versions of the operating system.

So, what exactly happens if you don’t activate your Windows 11 operating system? It’s true that nothing bad happens. There will be virtually minimal disruption in system functionality. The only thing that will be unavailable in this situation is personalization such as the slideshow one.

How do I fix the lock screen slideshow in Windows 11?

Note icon
NOTE
Make sure that Windows is activated before attempting any other option, as failing to do so would prevent any slideshow from appearing.

1. Set the lock screen slideshow manually

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open Windows Settings and go to Personalization, then to Lock screen.
    personalize lock screen windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. On the right side, you will see a drop-down button named Picture. Expand the list and select the Slideshow option.
    picture windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

Images from the Pictures folder are automatically gathered when the program starts. In other words, you may want to include some images there in order for them to be displayed in the lock screen slideshow.

2. Check your images

By default, Windows 11 include some photographs in the Pictures folder, allowing you to create a slideshow on the lock screen by selecting Show Slideshow on Lock Screen from the Start menu.

Although this is the case, if any of those photographs are accidentally destroyed, you may find yourself in this situation from time to time.

As a point of reference, this Pictures folder is the Library folder that appears when you first boot up your computer or create a new user account in Windows.

3. Re-add folders and images

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Windows Settings panel and go to Personalization, then to Lock Screen.
    personalize lock screenwindows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Click on the carrot arrow to expand the Personalize your lock screen drop-down menu and remove from the list the folders with pictures, by clicking on the Remove button next to them.
    remove windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Next, click on the Browse button and choose the folder with images.
    browsewindows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

At the end of the process, restart your computer to see if it has resolved your problem.

4. Don’t turn off screen after slideshow

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Windows Settings panel and go to Personalization, then to Lock Screen.
    personalize lock screen windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Click on Advanced slideshow settings to expand it, navigate to Turn off the screen after the slideshow has played for and select the Don’t turn off option.
    advanced menu windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

When the slideshow is over, Windows 11 automatically turns off the screen in order to conserve energy. By following the methods outlined above, you can avoid the need to conserve energy.

5. Open Power Options

  1. Press the Windows key + S and search for Control Panel. Click on the most relevant result.
    control panel windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Go to Power options and click on the Change when the computer sleeps option.
    sleeps  windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Select Change advanced power settings.
    change-advanced  windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  4. Expand the Desktop background settings then Slide slow, expand the list, and select the Available option.
    available windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

When using a laptop, it is possible to enable or disable the slideshow depending on your power plan in order to conserve battery life. That being said, it can be causing the problem at hand with Windows 11.

6. Check indexing settings

  1. Press the Windows key + S and search for indexing options. Click on the most relevant result to open it.
    index option windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Press the Advanced button and switch to the File Types tab.
    advanced windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Look up the PNG and JPG options and make sure that both of them are ticked. If not, check the boxes next to them and click the OK button to save the changes made.
    png windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

Windows may fail to index a specific path or folder or kind of file as a result of malware, virus, and other malicious software.

Alternatively, if the photos you’ve chosen are PNG or JPG and Windows 11 isn’t indexing those file formats, you may experience problems.

7. Check lock screen blocking in Registry Editor

  1. Press the Windows key + R , then type regedit and press Enter.
    regedit windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then to Software and Policies. Go to Microsoft, then to Windows followed by Personalization.
    hkey windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. You may find a REG_DWORD named NoLockScreenSlideshow. If so, right-click on it and select the Delete option.

8. Allow lock screen slideshow in GPEDIT

  1. Press the Windows key + R , then type gpedit.msc and press the Enter button.
    gpedit windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration, then to Administrative Templates. Go to Control Panel followed by Personalization.
    comp adminsitrative windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Double click on the Prevent enabling lock screen slide show setting and select either Not Configured or Disabled option, followed by the OK bottom.
    prevent enabling windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

If you have this option selected, you will be unable to change the lock screen slideshow on Windows 11. As a result, it is necessary to double-check the settings to ensure that they are correct.

Confirm the removal, then restart your computer to make the changes take effect. Check to see if the slideshow is now functioning properly.

What does the Windows Spotlight feature do?

Using the Microsoft Bing site as an example, Windows Spotlight will display your photographs and allow you to vote on which image should be used as the lock screen background on your computer’s Windows 11 operating system.
spotlight windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
This enables Windows Spotlight to customize the appearance of the lock screen based on the preferences of each individual user.

The Windows Spotlight service may also learn from the apps and services that you use, and over time, it can provide recommendations about which apps you should try out or which features of the Windows 11 operating system you should take advantage of.

The images typically depict identifiable, well-known locations such as famous historical or natural landmarks and rarely show any human beings. Location information is occasionally provided, while photo credits are typically not.

If you were paying attention to the Windows slideshow and enjoyed it, you might be interested in learning how to set a live wallpaper in Windows 11. The live aspect of the desktop has proven to be extremely popular among users.

Using the themes and skins that Microsoft Windows 11 provides, you can further tailor your desktop experience even more. Check out the top ten greatest Windows 11 themes and skins to download, all of them are available for free download.

Alternatively, if you miss how the previous user interface looked like, you can make Windows 11 look like Windows 10 again.

Let us know in the comments section below which approach worked best for you, as well as which feature of Windows 11 you enjoy the most.

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