How to fix Windows spotlight not working?

by Linas Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to fix Windows spotlight not working?

Hello, I recently have updated my Windows to Win 10 version. Right now I have an issue with Windows Spotlight because it stops on one image and generally is not working. It seems that there is nothing that I can do to work permanently. I changed the path of the gallery with the registry but that worked for a day or two only. Can you suggest something?

Solved Answer

Windows Spotlight is a feature that allows Windows 10 users to download pictures and advertisements from Bing and display them on the lock screen. Users can mark if they liked the picture and want to see more or fewer images of the same type. However, people report that the lock screen is not changing for a long time or even not work for a while.[1]

Although Windows Spotlight feature adds color to your lock screen, this is not perfect and issue-free function like Windows 10 in general.[2] However, the operating system is not the reason this issue is a common one. Windows spotlight not working error appears out of a sudden, but there might be a few different reasons why the lock screen application stops working.

The issue is not related to recent Windows 10 bugs[3] but updating the OS may work as, at least temporary, fix for Windows spotlight not working. Enabled proxy settings or corrupted spotlight folder may be the reason, but you need to make sure for yourself since there are different situations and different solutions.

 How to fix Windows spotlight not working?

Fix Windows spotlight not working

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There are plenty of different reasons why users complain about Windows Spotlight, so are the solutions. As per usual, the Windows operating system can be affected by various malware that corrupts applications and processes. For that reason, you can start with a system check using Reimage that can even recover needed Windows files. Then, follow the suggested steps and try at last few methods.

Reset Windows Spotlight preferences

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  • Open Settings.
  • Click Personalization.
  • Choose Lock screen.
  • Use the drop-down menu and select Picture or Slideshow option.

Then, you should clear the assets and reset Settings:

  • Search for Run and type the following in the window:
  • Select all and Delete. This way you can clear all the old images.
    Delete assets folder

Reset Stoplight by:

  • Type the path to Run:
  • In the Settings folder, right-click the settings.dat and roaming.lock files separately. 
  • Change their names by adding .bak at the end.
  • Restart your computer.

Then repeat the steps of the first section and choose Windows Spotlight option from the drop-down menu.

Re-register Windows Spotlight

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  • Run the Command Prompt as administrator.
  • Type the following and press Enter after each:
    dism /online /cleanup/-image /restorehealth
    sfc /scannow
    Get-AppXPackage-AllUsers | Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation-like “*SystemApps*”} | Foreach {Add-AppcPackage-DisableDevelopmentMode -Register”$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml”}

Disable Mail and Calendar from the Lock screen

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  1. Press Windows + S and type weather in the search box.
  2. Once the weather has opened, click the Settings icon at the bottom.
  3. Locate the General tab and scroll down to find Launch Location. Make sure it is set as Default Location.
    Windows spotlight not working fix
  4. Search again for the lock screen
  5. Click Mail icon under the Choose apps to show quick status.
  6. Choose the None option and do the same with Calendar settings. 
  7. Uncheck Show lock screen background on the sign-in screen.
  8. Restart the computer and check if Windows Spotlight works normally.

Delete Spotlight Folder Contents

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  1. Locate to Settings.
  2. Select the heading Personalization at the top.
  3. Choose Lock Screen and select Picture from the drop-down menu.
  4. Exit the settings and go to the following file location. Replace user with your username.
  5. Delete all the contents in the folder and exit File Explorer.
  6. Go back to lock screen settings and turn on Windows Spotlight again. 
  7. Restart the PC.

Disable Proxy settings to fix Windows spotlight not working

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  • Search for proxy and press LAN settings when the window appears.
  • Uncheck the box Use a proxy server for your LAN.
  • Press OK to save changes.
    LAN settings

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Prevent websites, ISP, and other parties from tracking you

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A VPN is also crucial when it comes to user privacy. Online trackers such as cookies can not only be used by social media platforms and other websites but also your Internet Service Provider and the government. Even if you apply the most secure settings via your web browser, you can still be tracked via apps that you are connected to the internet. Besides, privacy-focused browsers like Tor is are not an optimal choice due to diminished connection speed.

Therefore, to stay completely anonymous and prevent the ISP and the government from spying on you, you should employ Private Internet Access VPN. It will allow you to connect to the internet while being completely anonymous, prevent trackers, ads, as well as malicious content. Most importantly, you will prevent the illegal surveillance activities that NSA and other governmental institutions are performing behind your back.


Recover your lost files quickly

Unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time while using the computer: it can turn off due to a power cut, a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) can occur, or random Windows updates can decide to reboot the machine when you went away for a few minutes. As a result, your schoolwork, important documents, and other data might be lost.

Additionally, you might also be attacked by malware that can corrupt your Windows or encrypt files with a robust encryption algorithm, and ask for a ransom in Bitcoin for the decryption tool. Cybercriminals might not deliver what they promised, however, so it is better to attempt alternative file recovery methods that could help you to retrieve at least some portion of the lost data.

Data recovery software is one of the options that could help you recover your files. Once you delete a file, it does not vanish into thin air – it remains on your system as long as no new data is written on top of it. Data Recovery Pro is recovery software that searchers for working copies of deleted files within your hard drive. By using the tool, you can prevent loss of valuable documents, school work, personal pictures, and other crucial files.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - IT professional

Linas Kiguolis is a qualified IT expert that loves sharing his excellent knowledge about problems in Windows and Mac operating systems. Linas’ insights often help other team members find quick solutions for visitors of UGetFix site.

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