How to Fix Spotlight Not Working in Windows 11? [Ultimate Guide]

If your computer has stopped showing new images on the lock screen, that indicates that the Windows Spotlight is not working. In this blog, we will tell you how to fix Windows Spotlight in Windows 11 using various methods.

Have you ever wondered how those amazing pictures appear on your Windows 11 lock or login screen? It’s all thanks to the Windows Spotlight feature! It automatically brings you stunning photos from Bing every day, along with fun facts and tips to make your screen more exciting. But there might be times when Spotlight stops working and shows a boring blank screen instead. Don’t worry, in this blog post, we’ll help you fix it and get back to enjoying those beautiful images. Let’s get started!

But before we dive into the solutions, if you are someone who likes to customize your screen, you might be interested in checking out our guide on how to change the screensaver on Windows 11.

Common Reasons Why Windows 11 Spotlight Stops Working

Spotlight feature not working on Windows 11 is a common issue that many users have reported.

Windows 11 Spotlight

There are several reasons why Windows Spotlight may not work as intended on Windows 11.

  • Poor Internet connection: Slow or unstable internet can disrupt Spotlight’s functionality.
  • Spotlight cache issues: Corrupted or outdated cache files may cause problems.
  • Metered network connection: Limited data plans can restrict Spotlight features.
  • Antivirus or firewall interference: Security software may block Spotlight.
  • Inconsistent asset folder: Corrupted folder can lead to issues.
  • Disabled background apps: Some apps need to run in the background for Spotlight.
  • Outdated or corrupted drivers: Drivers can affect Spotlight’s performance.
  • Corrupted or missing system files: Essential files can cause Spotlight problems.


Wondering how to fix this issue? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we have listed a bunch of troubleshooting solutions that you can use for resolving this issue.

Let’s get started.

Also read: How To Fix Windows 10 Spotlight Images Not Working?

What is Windows 11’s Lock Screen Spotlight?

Windows 11 brings together a wide array of new features and performance improvements, and the lock screen spotlight is one of them. Each time you restart your device, the lock screen spotlight displays a new background image of a pretty landscape or location. So, you can use the “Windows Lock Screen Spotlight” feature to refresh this image or even choose a custom background as per your preference.


Windows 11 displays these breathtaking locations from different parts of the world on the lockscreen itself and most of these images are fetched from Bing.


Although, if you’re seeing the same image while you restart your device, it may indicate you’ve encountered the “Lock Screen spotlight not working” issue. Here are a few workarounds that you can try for retaining your Windows 11’s lock screen.

Also read: How To Personalize Windows 10 Spotlight Lock Screen

How to Fix Lock Screen Spotlight not Working Issue on Windows 11?

If you’re seeing the same image while you restart your device, it may indicate you’ve encountered the “Lock Screen spotlight not working” issue. Here are a few workarounds that you can try for retaining your Windows 11’s lock screen.

#1 Check Your Internet Connection

The lock screen spotlight may not function on your device if there’s no Internet connection. So, the first thing that you can try is to check whether your PC or laptop is connected to a WiFi network.


Microsoft fetches the background images from Bing and hence if the Internet is not working, your device may get stuck on a monotonous lock screen background.

Connect your device to a stable network connection and then reboot your device to check whether it fixed the issue.

#2 Turn OFF Metered Connection

A metered connection sets a data limit on your connection. Windows 11 also allows you to set up a metered connection on your WiFi or ethernet network as it allows you to effectively manage your data consumption. To make sure that your device hasn’t hit the maximum limit, we will try to temporarily turn off this feature to check whether it helps in resolving the lock screen spotlight not working issue. Here’s what you need to do.

Open Settings> Network and Internet. Tap on “WiFi.


Now select your WiFi network’s name.


In the advanced settings window, turn off the “Metered Connection” feature.


Also read: Everything You Should Know About Spotlight Search

#3 Adjust Date and Time Settings

Incorrect or misconfigured date and time settings can also mess with lock screen preview on Windows 11. To adjust the date and time settings on Windows, follow these quick steps:

On the bottom-right corner of the Taskbar, right-click where the date and time are displayed. Select “Adjust date and time”.

Enable the “Select time automatically” option. Also, make sure you select the precise time zone using the drop-down menu.


And that’s it!

Once you’re done, reboot your device and check whether the issue persists.

Also read: How To Check For Software Updates on Windows PC?

#4 Manually Enable Spotlight via Settings

Open Windows 11’s Settings, select “Personalization”. Tap on “Lock Screen”.


Select the “Personalize your Lock screen” option and then tap on “Windows Spotlight”.


#5 Enable Lock Screen Spotlight via PowerShell

Tap on the search icon placed on the Taskbar, type “PowerShell”, right-click on it, and select “Run as Administrator”.


Copy and paste the following command in the Terminal window and then hit Enter to execute it:


Get-AppxPackage -Name Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}

After executing this command, exit PowerShell, reboot your Windows 11 PC and see whether it fixed the issue.

#6 Run System File Checker

Windows 11 Spotlight not working may also be caused by corrupted or missing system files. System files are essential files that are required for your operating system and other software to function properly. If your system files are corrupted or missing, they may cause various issues on your PC, including Windows 11 Spotlight not working. To fix this issue, you need to run System File Checker, which is a built-in tool that scans and repairs any corrupted or missing system files on your PC.

Here’s how to run System File Checker:

Press Windows + X keys and select Windows Terminal (Admin) from the menu.

Windows Terminal

Type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press Enter key. This will use Windows Update to provide the files that are required to fix corruptions. Wait for the process to complete, which may take some time depending on your PC’s condition.


Type sfc /scannow and press Enter key. This will scan all protected system files and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache. Wait for the scan and repair process to complete, which may take some time depending on your PC’s condition.

protected system files

Restart your PC and check if Windows Spotlight is working.

#7 Disable Your Antivirus or Firewall

Windows 11 Spotlight not working may also be caused by your Antivirus or firewall software. These security software can sometimes block or interfere with Windows Spotlight, preventing it from downloading or displaying the images. If you have antivirus software installed on your PC, you may need to disable it temporarily or add an exception for Windows Spotlight.

Antivirus or Firewall

If Windows Spotlight is working, you can re-enable your antivirus or firewall software and add an exception for Windows Spotlight by following the instructions from your software provider.

Frequently Asked Questions About Windows 11 Spotlight

Q1: Is Windows 11 Spotlight available for Windows 11?

A: Yes, Windows 11 Spotlight is available. It displays stunning Bing photos daily with fun facts and tips on your lock or login screen. You can enable/disable it in Settings > Personalization > Lock screen.

Q2: How do I turn off Windows 11 Spotlight?

A: To turn off Spotlight, go to Settings > Personalization > Lock screen. Under Background, select Picture or Slideshow instead of Windows Spotlight.

Q3: How do I reset Windows 11 Spotlight?

A: To reset Spotlight, switch to Picture or Slideshow under Background in Settings. Then, delete files in %localappdata%\\Packages\\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\\LocalState\\Assets and rename settings files in %localappdata%\\Packages\\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\\Settings. Restart your PC and select Windows Spotlight again.


Windows spotlight not working in Windows 11 can keep you from viewing the new background images and tips on your lockscreen. However, it doesn’t indicate a bigger issue but it is a good decision to fix the “Lock Screen spotlight not working” issue on Windows 11. While the Spotlight images not working can point to the driver-related issues, system file corruption or third-party app conflicts. You can use any of the above-mentioned resolutions to retain the lock screen on Windows 11. 

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  • comment_avtar
    Jim Hagmann
    I would really like to know why Microsoft keeps breaking existing features, when it sends out software updates. This lock screen issue is not the first breakage… I used to work in IT, we had to do extensive testing before we moved our changes to production.

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Dheeraj Manghnani
      Hi Jim, Microsoft is trying to improve the user experience with every update and upgrade. They have a vast R&D team that takes care of these changes. However. there are millions of PCs using Windows OS and each PC is different from the other millions. Hence, issues do arise and Microsoft fixes them by releasing patch updates every 2nd Tuesday of the month.

      2 years ago

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