Find the Actual Location Where a Spotlight (Lock Screen) Image was Shot

If you’re struck by the awesomeness of a Windows Spotlight (lock screen) image that recently appeared on your screen, and need to find the geographical location where the image was actually shot, here are some options.

Hover the Mouse over the Camera icon

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (v1607), you can see the actual place or location of the current Spotlight image. All you need to do is hover the mouse pointer over the camera icon or Like what you see? text in the Lock Screen. It shows the location if available:

spotlight image hover location

File Properties

As we saw in the article how to Backup Windows Spotlight images, the spotlight images are actually JPG files, and the EXIF metadata in each file can contain some information about the image. It’s a good idea to check the file’s Properties, Details tab. Open the Assets folder, and copy the items to a folder on your desktop. The Assets folder is located at:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets

Add the .jpg extension for the files and preview them. Then right-click on a file for which you want to get more information, and choose Properties and click the Details tab. This is today’s spotlight image that showed up in my system, and I really wanted to know the actual location where it was shot.

spotlight location taken

I previewed them all, and selected the appropriate file and viewed the Properties.

spotlight location taken

The Subject field had the exact details I needed.

Hallstatt, Upper Austria, is a village in the Salzkammergut, a region in Austria. It is located near the Hallstätter See (a lake). At the 2001 census, it had 946 inhabitants.

Hallstatt is known for its production of salt, dating back to prehistoric times, and gave its name to the Hallstatt culture, a culture often linked to Celtic, Proto-Celtic, and pre-Illyrian peoples in Early Iron Age Europe, c.800–450 BC. Some of the earliest archaeological evidence for the Celts was found in Hallstatt.

Note that the location information may not be available for every spotlight image. If the file properties doesn’t have enough information, you may try a reverse image search.

Reverse Image Search

Using Google Reverse Image search you can use a picture as your search input, to find related images from around the web. If what you’re looking for is a popular landmark, Google most likely tells you the exact location of the image. Well! It did, in this case. I tested with all the tags removed before uploading, and Google found the location perfectly and showed some visually similar pictures.

spotlight location taken



Bing Visual Search

You can also do a reverse image search (or Visual image search) using the Bing image search engine.

Find the Actual Location Where a Spotlight (Lock Screen) Image was Shot

With Windows 10 version 1903 and higher, you can search for similar images using the Photos app. Open the Spotlight image or (any other image for that matter) using the Photos app. Right-click on the image, and click Search for similar images on Bing.

Find the Actual Location Where a Spotlight (Lock Screen) Image was Shot

Here you go! You’ll see the location name, and the exact pages which use the image.

Find the Actual Location Where a Spotlight (Lock Screen) Image was Shot

Let’s reverse search another Windows Spotlight wallpaper image. This time Bing (as well as Google) display the exact name of the spot.

Find the Actual Location Where a Spotlight (Lock Screen) Image was Shot

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

18 thoughts on “Find the Actual Location Where a Spotlight (Lock Screen) Image was Shot”

  1. I’m not computer literate at all. could you please write down the address to find the location of windows 10 spotlight pictures simply .just the address. i’m real sure the address is in the information you got. but it makes no sense to me . the pictures are of a few places I would very much like to visit. The address would be appreciated thank you

  2. Microsoft should just surface these properties when you hover over the “like this image” bit. I am going to look for a third party who actually meets use wants.

  3. “Image locations are shown if you have Windows 10 v1607.”

    Waited to observe lots of beautiful and interesting Spotlight images but no info. on both my laptops unfortunately (14393.576, fully updated). What’s the magic I’m missing here?

  4. Hello, I have a system version 1607 but nothing written in here is working for me. What should I do to get to know, where were the pics taken? Thanks

  5. “What doesn’t work? Image locations are shown if you have Windows 10 v1607.”

    No it doesn’t. I have 1607 build 14393.693 and no info.
    Only thing I get when hovering over the icon is two options: “Like it” and “Not a fan”

  6. I hover over the camera and only see “Like it” and “Not a fan”. My co-worker’s computer will show location if you do the hover thing, but not at my home computer. i have windows 10 v1607 os 14393.693, not see location of spotlight pic when i hover over the camera icon

  7. FYI,
    I did a little testing because I was wanting to find where this info is accessible from as well. If you have just started your computer, or restarted it, just signed out, this version of the lock screen does not have a “Like what you see” link.

    If however, I’ve already logged into my computer, and it then goes to the lock screen, that’s the only time I see the “Like what you see” link.

  8. Ken Wright’s answer solved my quandary….I’ll have to change my settings to make my laptop go to sleep just to find the location of the images. Which means I have to figure out how to do that, since I didn’t see it as an option when I changed my settings to require a password (even though I don’t need one). This is a lot of work for a curiosity.

Leave a Comment