The Windows Spotlight brings to you some really amazing images that are worth storing in a safe location. At present, Windows 10 doesn’t have a GUI option to save the Spotlight images; this has to be done manually.
The images are stored in one of the sub-folders several levels underneath the Local App Data folder, that too with random file names and no file extension.
.. which expands to:
This location is not meant to be used as a permanent storage area, as the images you see today in that folder wouldn’t be available there for ever. If you really like the Spotlight images, move them to a safe location – on a daily basis. And to preview them after moving to the destination folder, .JPG extension is to be added to these files. Image viewers such as IrfanView and Windows Photo Viewer can preview the files (via Open with…) even if no extension is added; but adding the extension is suggested.
In the folder where you’ve moved the Spotlight images, click the File menu, and select Open command prompt. Typing the following command would add the JPG extension for all files:
REN * *.JPG
The Windows Spotlight store folder also contains images that are not wallpapers, such as logos or tile images of smaller dimensions, that need to be filtered out. Files with size less than 400 KB are _probably_ not wallpapers; you can preview before clearing them out. [Hint: Sort the listing by Size column.]
Portrait vs. Landscape Images
The Windows Spotlight store folder can contain images for PC as well as for mobile; you may sort the files using the Dimensions column (a column setting that you need to add by right-clicking the Column Header in the folder, and clicking More..), move the Portrait images to a separate folder, and Landscape ones to another folder.
Backup Spotlight Images Using Script
The copying as well as the sorting stuff can be automated by a Batch file, and a PowerShell script made available at this GitHub link, authored by Hashhar (via Windows Central Blog). The batch file does the copying & renaming part, and the PowerShell script does the moving task according to image orientation. Both these scripts can be scheduled or placed in the Startup folder so that it’s run at every logon, and you don’t miss a single Windows Spotlight image. These scripts are coded to store the Spotlight images to the user’s Pictures\Spotlight directory, but you can modify the path by editing the files using Notepad.
SpotBright Gets ’em All, from the Server
SpotBright a 3rd party app created by T. Partl, a CS student from Germany, is available at the Store for free download. This app can download ALL available Spotlight images directly from the server for you. However, there is no option to preview the images before downloading, and as all images are Hi-Res, you might want to consider the carrier charges if that applies. As a side note, Windows doesn’t download Spotlight images if you’re on a metered connection. [Download: SpotBright Free*]
*Certain features of the SpotBright app, such as “notify when new pictures arrive” work only if you buy the Pro version.
(The featured image you see in the article top right is a miniature of the Spotlight image that appeared today. Source: Windows Spotlight, clicked by shoval avitov, as specified in the file meta.)