6 Fixes For Windows Spotlight Not Working in Windows 10

Windows Spotlight is an amazing feature for every Windows user. Each and every Spotlight wallpaper bring more glamour to your personalized digital hub. But sometimes this feature faces some issues or it stops working completely. You might find yourself facing various errors/issues such as:

  1. Windows Spotlight Lock screen image/wallpaper stuck on the same image.
  2. Can’t select Windows Spotlight options from Background settings.
  3. Windows Spotlight not working or stops entirely after a Windows update.

Don’t worry when you face some or all of these issues, because you will find solutions to these problems in this article. Just keep reading the following article and solve various issues plaguing your Windows 10 Spotlight feature.

What Is The Windows Spotlight?

Windows Spotlight or Windows Spotlight images is an in-built feature in Windows 10 that downloads images and advertisements from Bing automatically from the Internet and displays them on Windows 10 login screen and lock screen.

Windows users can mark their preference for the type of images they want to see. Sometimes these images also come with an advertisement link and location information of these images.

Windows Spotlight not working images

Windows Spotlight Not Working

Windows Spotlight is a good feature to personalize your computer, but sometimes Spotlight image stops loading or stops working entirely. So, what are the reasons behind “Windows Spotlight not working”? Just read the following article to know these reasons.

Reasons:

  1. Faulty Internet connection
  2. Corrupt Windows Spotlight pictures or system files
  3. Windows Spotlight service crash
  4. Incorrect Regional Language settings

How To Fix Windows Spotlight?

There are different methods to troubleshoot the “Spotlight not working” issue. Some Windows users’ spotlight feature doesn’t run properly for a very simple reason. For example, Background apps such as Microsoft Edge and Settings have stopped working or are disabled.

Regional Language settings aren’t properly set thus creating difficulties for Microsoft servers to set the preference of their user, etc. so different causes need different solutions. Let’s look at the different methods to fix “Spotlight not working” issues.

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Methods to fix Windows Spotlight Not Working

  • Enable Some Necessary Background Apps
  • Restart Windows Spotlight
  • Clean-Up All The Lock Screen Data/Images Of Windows Spotlight
  • Reset Windows Spotlight Using  Windows Powershell(Admin)
  • Troubleshoot Using System Maintenance Troubleshooter
  • Choose The Correct Regional Language In Windows Settings

Method 1- Enable Some Necessary Background Apps

The Windows Spotlight feature doesn’t work properly because some essential background apps aren’t running. In some cases, users might find that Microsoft Edge and Settings apps are disabled in their system. So it is necessary to enable these apps. 

Step 1- Open Settings app in Windows 10(Open Windows Start menu and click on the gear symbol)

Step 2- Navigate to Privacy-> Background apps.

Step 3- Enable the Settings app or Microsoft Edge app if they are in a state of disability.

Most users can see the Windows Spotlight feature working again after completing this simple operation.

Method 2- Restart Windows Spotlight

Restarting Windows Spotlight works for most Windows users to fix the “Windows Spotlight not working” error. Before that, you have to check whether the Microsoft Edge app and Settings app are running or not(As shown in Method 1). Follow the step-by-step guide to complete this process. 

Step 1- Open Settings on your Windows 10. You can do this by clicking on the Windows icon and selecting the Settings option or you can press “Windows + I” on your keyboard.

Windows 10 Settings

Step 2- Click on the “Personalization” option and open the “Lock Screen” tab/screen.

Windows 10 Personalization

Step 3- In the Background section, change the option “Windows Spotlight” to either one of “Pictures” or “Slideshow”.

Step 4- Now close the Settings and all other windows and Restart the computer.

Windows 10 Lock Screen Background

Step 5- After restart is completed, repeat the process from Step 1 to Step 3 to revert the Background choice back to “Windows Spotlight”.

Step 6- Restart the computer again and you can see the spotlight lock screen errors have been resolved.

Method 3- Clean Up All The Lock Screen Data/Images Of Windows Spotlight

One reason Spotlight stops working on your computer is that some or all of the Spotlight files in the assets folder are corrupt. To solve this issue, you need to manually erase all the files in the Assets folder and make some tweaks in the Spotlight Settings files. The locations of the Spotlight Settings and Assets folder are:

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Assets folder- %USERPROFILE%/AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets

Settings folder- %USERPROFILE%/AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\Settings

Step 1- Disable The Windows Spotlight Feature

  • Open Windows Settings(Click on the Windows icon and select the Settings option, or press Windows + I keyboard shortcut).
  • Click on “Personalization”, then select “Lock Screen” from the left side of the screen.
  • Under the Background section, change “Windows Spotlight” to either “Picture” or “Slideshow”.
  • Restart your computer for the change to take effect.

Step 2- Cleaning Spotlight Assets

  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keyboard shortcut(Alternatively you can open the Run dialog box from the Power menu).
Opening Run dialog box using Windows Power Menu
  • Copy the following path to open spotlight assets location: 

%USERPROFILE%/AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets

Input the spotlight Assets location in Run dialog box
  • Erase all the data in the folder(Press CTRL + A to select all files, then press SHIFT + DEL).

Step 3- Reset Windows Spotlight Settings

  • Open the Run dialog box(Press Windows + R keyboard shortcut).
  • Copy the following path and press Enter: 

%USERPROFILE%/AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\Settings

Input the Spotlight settings location in Run dialog box
  • In the Windows spotlight settings folder, rename two files settings.dat and roaming.lock by adding “.bak”. It will be changed into “settings.dat.bak” and “roaming.dat.bak”.
Renaming 2 files in Spotlight settings folder
  • Restart your computer.

Step 4- Enable The Windows Spotlight Feature

  • Open Settings app in Windows 10.
  • Navigate to Personalization-> Lock Screen.
  • Under the Background section, select the “Windows Spotlight” option from the scroll-down options.
  • Restart your computer.

Method 4- Reset Windows Spotlight Using  Windows Powershell(Admin)

If none of the above methods works for your computer, then you can try to reset the Windows Spotlight service. To do this you just need to follow some very simple steps and execute a command in Powershell(admin). This process might seem very cumbersome to some Windows users, but following this method can definitely solve most users’ Spotlight issues.

Step 1- Disable the Windows Spotlight.

  • Open Windows Settings on your computer(click on the Windows icon and select the Settings option, or press Windows + I).
  • Navigate to Personalization-> Lock Screen.
  • Under the Background section, select either “Picture” or “Slideshow”.
Lock Screen Background wallpaper options
  • Restart your computer.

Step 2- Press Windows + X to open the Power Menu and select Windows PowerShell(Admin).

Opening Windows PowerShell(Admin) using Windows Power Menu

Step 3- Input the following command in the Powershell window and press Enter: 

Get -AppxPackage -allusers *ContentDeliveryManager* | foreach {Add- AppxPackage “$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopementMode -Register}

Input the command for resetting Spotlight service in Windows 10

Step 4- Restart your computer.

Step 5- Enable the Windows Spotlight feature.

  • Open Windows Settings.
  • Navigate to Personalization-> Lock Screen.
  • Under the Background section, select the “Windows Spotlight” option from the scroll-down options.
  • Restart your computer.

After completing the above process to reset Windows spotlight, the Spotlight service should start working again.

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Method 5- Troubleshoot Using System Maintenance Troubleshooter

Windows System Maintenance Troubleshooters automatically detect & fix common Windows maintenance errors such as unused icons, broken desktop shortcuts, disk volume errors, incorrect system time & date, etc. 

Step 1- Open Control Panel and navigate to Troubleshooting-> View all.

Troubleshooting in Control Panel window
Troubleshooting section in Control Panel

Step 2- Click on “System Maintenance”.

Troubleshooting-> View All

Step 3- Click Next, then select the “Try troubleshooting as an Administrator

Troubleshooting System Maintenance
Select "Try troubleshooting as an Administrator" in System Maintenance
System Maintenance detecting various issues for troubleshooting

Step 4- Click “Finish” after the troubleshooting process is done.

Method 6- Choose The Correct Regional Language In Windows Settings

Windows Spotlight downloads Bing images along with their date, location, and advertisements(if any). Sometimes Microsoft servers will face problems when selecting personalized images according to the location in your regional language settings. Follow the steps written below to correct your Regional Language settings on your computer.

Step 1- Open Windows Settings on your computer(Click on the Windows Start Menu icon and click on the Gear symbol).

Windows Settings Home page

Step 2- Click on the “Time & Language” option.

Step 3- Click on “Region” on the left side of the screen.

Windows Settings Time & Language section

Step 4- Set the regional language according to your preference. If the language is already selected, then select another one and reselect the preferred language again.

Step 5- Restart the computer for the settings to take effect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Windows Spotlight Not Working?

Windows Spotlight stops working due to various reasons such as bad network connectivity, changes in Lock Screen background settings, corrupt cache files, or Spotlight service has crashed. Also, some of the important background apps such as Microsoft Edge and Settings are not running properly.

How Do I Reset Windows Spotlight?

Disable Spotlight service first from the personalization section in Windows settings, then execute the following command to re-register windows spotlight in Windows Powershell(Admin), and enable Windows Spotlight in Windows settings: 
Get -AppxPackage -allusers *ContentDeliveryManager* | foreach {Add- AppxPackage “$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopementMode -Register}

How Do I Enable Spotlight On Windows?

A Windows user can enable Windows Spotlight by following the given steps:
Open Windows Settings.
Navigate to Personalization-> Lock Screen.
Under the Background section, select the Windows Spotlight option from the scroll-down list.
Restart the computer. 

How Do You Fix A Stuck Window Spotlight?

Fixing a stuck windows Spotlight can be done by following these methods:
Restarting the Windows Spotlight service.
Erasing all corrupt spotlight files or assets and reset Windows spotlight settings.
Resetting Spotlight service using Powershell.
Check & enable some necessary Background apps.
Check & correct the Regional Language settings.