5 Ways to Fix Windows Spotlight Not Working on Windows 11

Check out these expert-recommended solutions

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
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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... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
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Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Many users have expressed dissatisfaction with Windows 11 Spotlight not working as expected.
  • The common reasons to experience issues with Spotlight are corrupt images and system files.
  • You will be stuck on the same image if you don’t have an Internet connection.
spotlight not working

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Windows Spotlight is a terrific lock screen tool that downloads and installs a new picture for Windows 11 PCs in seconds, but many reported that it’s not working.

Though this feature is usually flawless, the images in Windows Spotlight can sometimes become frozen. And, fixing it is not as complicated as it appears.

However, before we delve into the actual solutions, let’s first understand what causes the error, an important aspect when troubleshooting.

Does Windows 11 have Windows Spotlight?

Yes, Windows Spotlight is a built-in feature in the recent iterations of the OS and is available on Windows 11. The feature automatically downloads and displays images of landscapes, historic locations, and similar kinds on the lock screen.

You can use it to brighten up the lock screen while you take in the breathtaking sights of the world’s most beautiful and distinctive locations.

On top of that, you can mark whether you like a particular image or not. Then, depending on your preferences, Windows Spotlight will show you more or fewer images of that kind.

Why is Windows Spotlight not working in Windows 11?

The fact is that seeing the same picture every time the screen is locked might become monotonous after some time. In addition, depending on how severe the problem with Windows 11 Spotlight is, you may not be able to see any images on the locked screen at all.
spotlight error windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working

Common reasons for experiencing troubles with Spotlight include a bad Internet connection, faulty image or system files, driver problems, or an outdated Windows update (amongst other things).

The photos displayed on the Windows 11 lock screen or login screen while using the Spotlight function are typically obtained from Bing daily. Therefore, your screen will remain frozen on that exact image unless there is an active Internet connection.

Windows Spotlight and other critical processes must be activated to run in the background of the Windows 11 computer for it to function correctly. This includes Microsoft Store, Microsoft Edge, and the Settings apps.

If essential programs are not running, it is possible that Windows Spotlight images will not be working in Windows 11.

Microsoft’s servers must be able to access your location from the regional language settings to provide you with tailored background images.

If the regional language settings on your Windows 11 computer are incorrect, Spotlight will be unable to download the proper background photographs for the lock screen.

How do I fix Windows Spotlight if it’s not working on Windows 11?

1. Check your network connection

The photos displayed on the Windows 11 lock screen or login screen while using the Spotlight function are typically obtained from Bing daily.

Your screen will remain frozen on that exact image without an active Internet connection.

Check to see if Spotlight has begun altering the photos on the lock screen once you are sure the Internet connection is fast and steady.

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If the problem continues after this, you should attempt a different solution.

2. Make sure the metered connection is off

  1. Click on the Search button, type in Settings, and click on the most relevant result.
    start settings windwos 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  2. Now, go to Network & internet, then click on WiFi.
    network wifi windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  3. Now, click on your Network properties.
    wifi name properties windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  4. Next, turn off the Metered connection.
    metered connection windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working

3. Make sure the date, time, time zone, and region are correct

  1. If your date or time isn’t set correctly, right-click on them in the bottom-right corner, then select Adjust date and time.
    adjust date and time windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  2. Make sure the Set the time automatically option is turned on, then select your correct Time zone from the dropdown menu.
    time zone windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  3. Next, click on Language & region.
    language and region windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  4. Under the Region section, check whether the Country or region is set to your current location.
    region selection windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working

4. Disable and enable Spotlight

  1. Click on the Search button, type in Settings, and click on the most relevant result.
    start settings windwos 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  2. Select Personalisation from the left panel, and then click on the Lock screen on the right.
    personalize lockscreen windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  3. Next, choose Picture from the Personalize your lock screen menu.
    choose picture lock screen windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  4. Once done, again click on the menu, and this time, select Windows spotlight.
    choose spotlight windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working

If Windows Spotlight is not working and there’s a blue screen instead, re-enabling the feature should do the trick.

5. Re-register Spotlight using PowerShell

  1. Click the Search icon, type powershell, right-click on the relevant result, and select Run as administrator.
    powershell windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working
  2. Click Yes in the UAC prompt that appears.
  3. Type or paste in the following command, then press Enter:
    Get-AppxPackage -Name Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}
    getapp command windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working

Once you have finished the steps outlined above, you must restart your computer to complete the process. And it should fix things if Windows 11 lock screen wallpaper is not changing.

How do I turn off Windows Spotlight?

If you want to restrict the use of Windows Spotlight, you can do so in four different ways:

  • Manually turn off Windows Spotlight locally
  • Turn the feature off using Registry
  • Disable Windows Spotlight features using Group Policy
  • Deactivate it using Intune
    spotlight turn off  windows 11 lock screen spotlight not working

The first two approaches outlined above are labor-intensive and need you to work on a local computer at your leisure. Therefore, it is not recommended to have many PCs in your setup.

To disable Windows Spotlight on business-managed devices, you must use either group policy or Intune (MEM) to accomplish your goal.

Windows Spotlight is activated by default on devices running the Windows 11 operating system. On the other hand, it may be turned off manually on each computer. However, the manual way may be inconvenient if you have many machines.

Using the Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy, enterprise administrators can block users from accessing the Windows Spotlight background when using their handsets.

How do I reset Windows Spotlight on Windows 11?

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings, select Personalization from the navigation pane, and click on the Lock screen on the right.lock screen
  2. Now, choose Picture from the Personalize your lock screen menu.picture
  3. Next, press Windows + R to open Run, paste the following path in the text field, and click OK:%LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\Settingspath
  4. Rename the roaming.lock file as roaming.dat.back, and the settings.dat file as settings.dat.back.
  5. Once done, restart the computer.
  6. Now, head back to the Lock screen setting and select Windows spotlight from the Personalize your lock screen menu.windows spotlight

This will reset the feature and should fix things in case you see a Windows 11 Spotlight black screen.

Our readers reported issues with the lock screen slideshow as well. If you think you might be experiencing the same problem, find out how to fix Windows 11’s lock screen slideshow.

Although we’ve all had some time to familiarize ourselves with Microsoft’s latest operating system, users are discovering new features daily. The Windows 11 3D parallax effects are one feature, so check them out.

User feedback has shown that the live desktop has also proven to be a prevalent feature. Thus, you might be interested in learning how to set a live wallpaper in Windows 11.

That should be the end of it. As you can see, there are some straightforward and more complex solutions. Try them out in the above sequence to find which works best for you.

Leave a comment below to tell us about your experience, including which strategy you applied and which Windows 11 feature you found the most useful.

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