Windows 10 has an extensive collection of lock screen photos, many of which have prompted a question here on Travel.SE.

Is there a website which lists the location of all of these photos? I imagine Microsoft has purchased an official license, so they should have a record about the photographer and the place where the photo was taken.


Windows 10 has added an update in the latest version allowing users to see where the photo came from. In the top-left corner of each lock screen there is now a short description of the location. Clicking the description opens a Bing search with the location's name.

enter image description here

In addition, the "Like what you see?" button now shows the location as well:

enter image description here

If you're unable to see the helpful tip, follow this guide from SuperUser. Finally you may try checking Wiki's article on Microsoft Spotlight which lists many of the previously used locations.

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    Not for all of them, sadly. But I've written a small PowerShell script that saves those images to a subfolder of Pictures which makes it a bit easier to use TinEye or similar services. – Joey Nov 16 '16 at 10:06
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    @Joey can you promote the comment to an answer (with a guide on how to use the script)? – JonathanReez Nov 16 '16 at 10:33
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    Well, it doesn't answer the question, but might be an interesting addendum for those images that don't have the overlay (yet). That's why I added it as a comment. – Joey Nov 16 '16 at 10:43
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    Today, my lock screen is a line of elephants with sand dunes in the background. It's captioned "Africa". Because, obviously, that's as much information as anyone could want. *sigh* They may as well go full 1910 and call it "The Dark Continent". – David Richerby Apr 9 '19 at 7:59

The vast majority of Windows' lock screen images and wallpapers come from Getty Images. This has been so since at least Windows XP...

If you find the same photo on that site, there is almost always more information, such as location, photographer's name, and usage rights.

But they don't have a search by photo, so you'll have to search using Google Images' photo upload.

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    Google Image fails to find the original Getty Image for most of the photos people were looking for here, unfortunately. – JonathanReez Jul 27 '16 at 19:49
  • @JonathanReez Google tells me that photo came from Travel Stack Exchange! :) But seriously, most of the questions I've seen here along these lines have had a photo from Getty Images. The one you've linked seems to be an exception. – Michael Hampton Jul 27 '16 at 19:52
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    Back when Google had "Google Goggles" (same is image search, I guess, but the app does the uploading transparently), I pointed the phone at a Win XP screen and the answer was "Windows XP screensaver." – WGroleau Sep 17 '16 at 18:59

My Themes folder was empty as well. However, this worked for me. In your file explorer, go to:


After adding '.jpg' to the filenames in that folder, you get a nice picture from Windows. If previewing the meta data doesn't help (because it's empty), just perform a google image search.

I wanted to know the location of the image below and was able to learn that it was taken in China.

hui hang trail china

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  • +1, the best part is when you rename the hieroglyphs to hieroglyphs.jpg you get an awesome picture! Pure magic. – gdrt Aug 8 '17 at 14:38
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    For anyone else, if your after an easier way to add the .jpg extension copy the files to a new folder, then open a command prompt line in that folder and use the command "Ren . *.jpg" (without quotes) to do it in one go. – skifans Jul 23 '18 at 16:15

You can find the description of the photo by going to C:\Users\username_for_your_computer\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes and then selecting the picture and going to its properties. It should contain information on where the photo was taken.


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    That folder doesn't contain any images for me. – Chris Jan 25 '17 at 16:35
  • You have to drill down into the "RoamedThemedFiles" folders. – Shawn V. Wilson May 25 '18 at 21:19
  • That directory doesn't even exist, for me. Replacing Local with Roaming gives a directory that exists but it doesn't seem to have anything relevang in it or its subdirectories. (Unless it's in a hidden subdirectory?) – David Richerby Nov 4 '18 at 17:12
  1. Do a reverse Image-Search on google.
  2. When the search results load, edit the automatic text to 'spotlight'. enter image description here
  3. Click on the item related to the site spotlight.it-notes.ru enter image description here
  4. The description of the image is given at the bottom of the image. enter image description here

Note: Some images are probably not listed in the site.

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Here is one: https://spotlight.it-notes.ru/

I've been looking for this a while myself. Another way is to drag the actual spotlight picture into Google images. These images are in this loacation:


You have to add a .jpg extension to these files

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Here you have it. I don't know if it lists all of them, but the list is pretty long and you can even download the images for free: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/18827/places-landscapes-wallpaper

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  • Wow. I want a script to download all those images! – CramerTV May 19 at 22:22

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