Windows Spotlight Not Working? Fix it easily.

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Suddenly few days ago I noticed that Windows spotlight on my windows 10 laptop stopped working. I spent a lot of time to fix this issue. And in the end I found that it was a permission issue. This tutorial will help you to fix the errors associated with the Windows Spotlight. First of all lets know about the Windows Spotlight.

What is Windows Spotlight?

Windows spotlight is a Windows 10 feature to show the stunning / beautiful wallpapers on the login screen and lock screen.  It also display the location information and facts of the image. Occasionally Microsoft may show the text advertisement with it.  Don’t worry they are almost unnoticeable. This is an interesting feature to let Windows show you unique wallpapers changing automatically on the login and lock screen.

Windows Spotlight
Windows Spotlight option under lock screen in Windows 10

How to Enable / Disable Windows Spotlight

Windows spotlight can be simply enabled or disabled from the Settings.

  • Go to Settings-> Personalization->Lock Screen. 
  • Set the Background as Windows Spotlight.

You can enable the slideshow of your own photos available in the computer. Choose the slideshow option and add the folders which contain photos.

Windows Spotlight Errors & Fix

Many people found that Spotlight feature not working properly. Some people faced that it stopped working after a Windows update. Here are some common errors and fix of the Windows Spotlight.

1. Unable to select the Windows Spotlight option

some users found that they are unable to select the Windows Spotlight option from the drop down list.  It automatically get back to the Slideshow or Picture mode. In my Case this was the actual problem.

Solution

Check if necessary background apps are enabled & running

If this is the case then the first option is to check that necessary permissions are enabled and essential background apps are running.  In my case the settings app was disabled. Follow the below steps to fix it.

  • Go to Settings -> Privacy.
  • Click on the Background Apps on the left pane.
  • Make sure in the right pane Microsoft Edge and Settings are enabled. If not then enable them. These two service are necessary to run in the background to run the Windows Spotlight feature smoothly. If it does not fix this issue go to method 2
Enable Background apps in Windows 10
Make sure Settings and Microsoft Edge are enabled in background apps

2. Windows Spotlight not working properly? Lock screen stuck on a single image.

If the below type issues appear like slideshow on the lock screen stuck on a single image, Spotlight is not refreshing images. Images not showing at all, slideshow not changing images, A loading icon keeps revolving continuously etc. then to get rid all these issues reset and register Windows Spotlight feature.

Solution

Reset Windows Spotlight

To fix these all issues you need to reset / re-register the Windows Spotlight feature In Windows 10. Follow the below steps.

  • First of all check that the ‘Settings’ and ‘Microsoft Edge’ apps are running in the background. Refer method 1 for detail.
  • Go to ‘Users/username‘ directory and then browse AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\

Local AppData

  • Look for the Settings folder and delete everything in Settings folder.
  • Now browse LocalState\Assets and delete everything in Assets folder.
  • Now go run CMD as an administrator and run the below command in DOS. PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Command “& {$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage *ContentDeliveryManager*).InstallLocation + ‘\AppxManifest.xml’ ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest}”

Alternatively, you can do the above steps quickly by running the below commands in command prompt.

DEL /F /S /Q /A "%USERPROFILE%/AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets"
DEL /F /S /Q /A "%USERPROFILE%/AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\Settings"
PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Command "& {$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage *ContentDeliveryManager*).InstallLocation + '\AppxManifest.xml' ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest}"
  • Check weather error resolves or not. You can press Windows Key + L key to go immediately to the lock screen to see the preview.

If the problem is still persists then use DISM command and follow the above steps again.  Surely it will fix the issue. If it doesn’t then please leave your comments below that we can find some alternative fix.

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10 Comments
  1. Darren Woodford says

    I have followed all of the steps in this article including running the DISM command and SFC /SCANNOW followed by following all of the steps above but my spotlight image still never changes! 🙁

  2. Shazil Ali says

    These steps fix my issue, thanks. 🙂

  3. Manish Maurya says

    enabling edge in background apps along with settings fixed my issue. thanks

    1. Techexpert says

      Thanks for sharing this useful info. Spotlight is updating wallpapers through Edge browser.

  4. Sinh Luyen Long says

    I have followed all of the steps in this article including running the DISM command and SFC /SCANNOW followed by following all of the steps above but my spotlight image still never changes!

    1. Techexpert says

      Ok, we’ll help you to fix this issue.
      We suggest you to please update your Windows to make sure your Windows is up-to-dated.
      After that, double-check the “Microsoft Edge” and “Settings” are enabled in background apps settings. Follow the steps.
      Go to SettingsPrivacy.
      Click on the Background Apps on the left pane.
      Make sure on the right side pane Microsoft Edge and Settings are enabled. These two services are necessary to run in the background to run the Windows Spotlight feature smoothly.

      Please keep me updated about the issue.

      1. Giorgos says

        It seems that a lot of people have issues with spotlight last month. All the steps above dont fix the proble for me and 2 other friends of mine. It seems that 1908 Win version need another kind of fix for spotlight 🙁

        1. Techexpert says

          Thanks for letting us know about the issue. We’ll explore more about it in 1908 version and will update the post accordingly.
          Again thanks for letting us know.

  5. Xantippe says

    Bacground app “Settings” does not exist!

    1. PK says

      It should be. Please try to find it again. If unable to locate it then either try to apply latest windows updates or scan your system with an antivirus. Let us know if these methods do not work. We will research and try to find out the exact solution.

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