New Windows 11 Update Brings Windows Spotlight Wallpapers to the Desktop

Posted on May 25, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Windows, Windows 11 with 21 Comments

Microsoft is getting ready to make Windows Spotlights wallpapers available as a new option to personalize your background on Windows 11. The company has been testing Windows Spotlight on desktop with Windows Insiders for a couple of weeks, and the option is now available for non-Insiders in the KB5014019 optional patch released yesterday.

“Windows spotlight on the desktop brings the world to your desktop with new background pictures. With this feature, new pictures will automatically appear as your desktop background,” the company explained in the release notes for the patch. Windows Spotlight wallpapers can already be displayed on the lock screen on Windows 11 and Windows 10, and Microsoft actually deserves credit for picking up a usually beautiful new image each day.

After installing yesterday’s optional patch for Windows 11, you can turn on Windows Spotlight on your desktop by going to Settings > Personalization > Background > Personalize your background, and then choosing Windows spotlight. Windows Spotlight will add a desktop shortcut on the top right corner of your screen, which will let you learn more details about the current picture, rate it, or switch to another one.

Yesterday’s optional patch for Windows 11 also addresses an issue that causes file copying to be slower, and there’s also a fix or bug that fails to maintain the display brightness after you change the display mode. If you don’t want to install this patch, all bug fixes will be included in next month’s Patch Tuesday update.

In case you missed it, Microsoft also announced at its Build 2022 conference yesterday that it has finalized development for Windows 11 version 22H2. The Windows 11 build 22621, which was first released to Beta channel Insiders two weeks ago will be the final build, and Microsoft already released ISOs for it. However, the company will continue to update this build before it becomes generally available, and we don’t yet when Windows 11 version 22H2 will start rolling out to all users.

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Comments (21)

21 responses to “New Windows 11 Update Brings Windows Spotlight Wallpapers to the Desktop”

  1. Craig Hinners

    I hope this obviates the need for the Bing Wallpaper app. The fact that you had to download a separate wallpaper changer (instead of it being built into the OS), which wasn’t even available from the Store and updated outside of the Store’s built-in update mechanism (how very MS), and which dumped yet another useless static icon in your “tray”/notification area/taskbar corner (or whatever it’s called today) always bugged me. Not to mention the endless popup ads for it on every consumer-oriented MS web property, even when you already had it installed.

    Curious to see whether this automatically disables or uninstalls Bing Wallpaper so that you don’t have dual wallpaper changers stepping on each other.

    • stephencwll

      Yeah I had the Bing App but it was somewhat annoying in some ways so got rid of it. This Spotlight looks much better.

  2. stephencwll

    Just uninstalled this update the day after I installed it. Spotlight worked great but there was a lot of slowness on the computer. Process Monitor looked dodgy too and was "tripping". Everything is back to normal after uninstalling it.

  3. WaltC

    I don't know how life could be possible without Windows Spotlight Wallpapers...;) /s Just trying to imagine daily computing without the bedrock, under-the-hood improvement of WSW is difficult. Who needs practical desktop functionality like a moveable taskbar--when you have these new Wallpapers? You can really see where Microsoft's Win11 development time is going these days.

  4. payton

    I have always liked the Spotlight pictures and it is nice to have the option to put them on the desktop. As Paul said, MS does a great job with most of them.

    But with three monitors, it would sure be nice if I could continue having different pictures on each one rather than having the same picture on all three, regardless of how good a pic it is.

  5. winner

    Oh look! New lipstick!

  6. sadsteve

    Nope, something I'll be turning off when I switch to Win 11 in late 2025.

  7. robinwilson16

    I wonder how this compares to the Dynamic Theme app which was always better than Bing as you did not need to put up with a toolbar.

    That provided the option of Windows Spotlight and Bing images and I used to wonder why Microsoft provided two. I normally had Windows Spotlight on the lock screen and the Bing image on the desktop. So this seems more limited as only provides the spotlight option and only affects the desktop.

    It's still a good move forwards though.

  8. stephencwll

    Installed, turned it on, love it. One of the better features in Windows 11 at last.

  9. SherlockHolmes

    Things we dont want and havent asked for .....

  10. ggolcher

    I would use this in a heartbeat, except it places a spotlight widget in the desktop thats very distracting

    • stephencwll

      Where? I don't see one anywhere.

      • sharps

        Top-right corner “Learn about this picture”.

        Bing wallpapers is annoying because I don’t want to see the word bing every time I look at my desktop.

        • michael

          Funny, I don't see it either. Perhaps you have Bing wallpaper rather than Windows Spotlight? Nothing I see identifies the image.

  11. navarac

    Still more pushing of eye candy rather than concentrating on more important functional elements of the OS.

    • hrlngrv

      Few complain about bugs in wallpaper changers, if they even notice bugs. What's for a developer not to love?

  12. will

    When this was part of the 11v2 insider builds it was a nice feature, but it had not controls to change the duration or frequency of the wallpapers.