This program can retrieve Windows Spotlight images by requesting the Microsoft Spotlight API. SpotlightDL can also define images as wallpaper and system-wide lockscreen image.
It is useful in the following use cases:
- Download the whole Spotlight library with maximum image resolution and metadata
- Define Spotlight images as wallpaper, not only on Windows 10 but also on previous versions
- Define Spotlight images as global lock screen on Win7/8/10, removing the ads on Windows 10
- Chain SpotlightDL with your own scripts and apps by taking advantage of the url mode
How to use
SpotlightDownloader.exe from the Windows command prompt and see usage.
The download/url modes should also work on Mac/Linux using the Mono framework.
A few Batch files are offered for ease of use for common tasks:
spotlight-download-archive: Download many images to a SpotlightArchive folder
update-archive-and-wallpaper: Feed the Archive and use one image as wallpaper
update-archive-and-lockscreen: Feed the Archive and use one image as lockscreen
update-wallpaper: Randomize desktop wallpaper (using a fixed-size cache)
update-lockscreen: Randomize system-wide lockscreen (using a fixed-size cache)
restore-lockscreen: Restore default system-wide lockscreen
generate-manual: Generate a text file with command-line usage
If you wish to periodically update your wallpaper or lockscreen, you can schedule one of the provided script by following these instructions.
How it works
The Spotlight API is located on the following endpoint:
Where the expected arguments are:
pid: Public subscription ID for Windows lockscreens. Do not change this value
fmt: Output format, e.g.
rafb: Purpose currently unknown, optional
ua: Client user agent string
cdm: Purpose currently unknown,
disphorzres: Screen width in pixels
dispvertres: Screen height in pixels
lo: Purpose currently unknown, optional
pl: Locale, e.g.
lc: Language, e.g.
ctry: Country, e.g.
time: Time, e.g.
The JSON response contains details for one or more image(s) including image url, title, sha256, ads, etc.
Global lock screen
The global lock screen images for Windows 8 and 10 are stored as
SpotlightDL backups each image as
imgXXX.jpg.bak if it does not already exists, then overwrite this file.
The lock screen image cache, located at
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\S-1-5-18\ReadOnly\LockScreen_*, must be cleared for the change to take effect.
SpotlightDL gets around NTFS permissions on these folders being locked down to TrustedInstaller
by setting the local
Administrators group as new owner of the relevant files and folders, and granting full control to this group.
Then, programs running as administrator can overwrite the lockscreen image and clear the cache.
Windows 7 support is also implemented through the OEMBackground feature:
Then the image has to be placed in
Windows 7 enforces a limit of 250 KiB so SpotlightDL will recompress the image to the highest quality fitting in that limit.
Basically, you can use it or its source for any project, free or commercial, but if you improve it or fix issues, the license requires you to contribute back by submitting a pull request with your improved version of the code. Also, credit must be given to the original project, and license notices may not be removed from the code.