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Setting Windows10's Lockscreen Image

When Windows 10 finishes booting up, it displays what’s called a “lockscreen” image. When you click on that image, or strike any key on your keyboard, you’re prompted for login credentials. By default Microsoft displays lockscreen images from a pool it maintains. It also asks users to like or dislike its choices, so it can improve upon them. But what happens if you want to use the lockscreen for status or app information? Or if a user emphatically dislikes some lockscreen image or images? No problem. Setting Windows10’s lockscreen image is easy, if you know how.

Personalization Handles Setting Windows10’s Lockscreen Image

You can pick a slideshow or a static image to replace the rotating collection of default MS choices through the Settings app. Click Personalization, then Lock Screen, then Background to produce this array of choices:

Here’s what those choices are about:

  • Windows spotlight: this is the rotating collection of default images, some of which are truly stellar. You can download the excellent $0.99 Spotbright application from the Windows Store. It lets you grab and view these images independently. Otherwise, they are something of a pain to find and view on your own.
  • Picture: a single image of your choosing, obtained via a file system browse after choosing this option.
  • Slideshow: a rotating collection of images, which you also specify by browsing your filesystem, and then choosing a photo album (a collection of images) among which the lockscreen on display will rotate

On Choosing Window10’s Lockscreen Image Setting

Why might you choose one of the three options shown above over the others? It just so happens that only the Picture option also lets you choose an app which shows status info. The default is the Calendar app, which if synched with your personal appointments and so forth shows you what’s happening today. This also allows Cortana access without logging in. That means you can use Cortana directly from the lockscreen.

I learned all this — and more — recently when my wife asked me to keep some images she found unpleasant from showing up on her Windows 10 lockscreen. This subject is covered in more detail in Lance Whitney’s excellent PC Magazine story entitled “How to Use and Tweak your Windows 10 Lock Screen.”