I have these automatically changing wallpapers active on my work laptop (not activated by me) and I think the vast majority is at least high quality, some are brilliant and a few I just adore.

What is the source of these images?

I'd definitely like to download or even buy some of them.

  • 4
    Are you referring to the pics in this folder: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets ? (they don't look like picture files but right-click any of the bigger files in that folder and choose "Open with" Windows Photo Viewer.
    – n8te
    May 11, 2017 at 7:02
  • That's a lot of files ... I'll go through them during my lunchbreak. Could you formulate your response as an answer, in the meantime? Then I can accept it as a solution if it's what I need.
    – Spikee
    May 11, 2017 at 7:23
  • 1
    Are you referring to desktop wallpapers or lock screen backgrounds?
    – Salman A
    May 11, 2017 at 9:05
  • 1
    @SalmanA: The latter. They get automatically updated.
    – Spikee
    May 11, 2017 at 9:07

3 Answers 3


The lock screen wallpapers can be found in the following directory:


When you navigate to that directory you will see a lot of files that don't look like picture files, as seen in the following screenshot:

folder containing lock screen pics

Right-click on any of the bigger files in that folder and select Open with and then select Windows Photo Viewer and you'll see that it is one of the Windows lock screen wallpapers.

enter image description here

  • Apparently it's only a subset, not the entire history, but that works!
    – Spikee
    May 11, 2017 at 10:57
  • 2
    Why do MS programmers not understand that such 'encrypted' files will be found inside file system in this very popular OS... That's just a comment.
    – Vyacheslav
    May 11, 2017 at 17:32
  • 10
    @Vyacheslav because they're not "encrypted", it was just convenient for MS developers to name cached images this way. I don't think they were trying to hide them.
    – Spc_555
    May 11, 2017 at 17:45
  • 4
    This way they also won't show up in any searches you do as the indexer won't recognize them as images, thus not polluting your search results.
    – R-D
    May 11, 2017 at 22:08

Alternatively you can use SpotBright to download the images used for the lockscreen to a custom location. This has the added advantage that they are downloaded as image files with an extension.

You can also specify if you only want the landscape or also the portrait versions. This will allow you to also use them as a desktop background. Spotbright is a free Windows Store app.


Source of the images depends on your choice in settings.

Lock Screen Setting:

enter image description here

  • When you select "Windows Spotlight" in Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen, the images will be downloaded from Microsoft Server by backgroundTaskHost.exe and saved in "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets". You can view those images with changing extensions. Command:: ren *.* *.jpg
  • When you select "Picture", the images will be choose from "C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Theme1" folder which are preinstalled.
  • Also lock screen images are saved temporarily in "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData"

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