How to Remove Old Lock Screen Images From Settings Page in Windows 10?

When you open the Lock Screen Settings page, it shows the thumbnail images of last five lock screen images used. This post tells you how to remove old lock screen picture thumbnails from the history.

To remove a thumbnail image from the Lock Screen Background page, click the Browse button and select the wallpaper you want. Or you can use the wallpapers from one of the sub-folders under C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper. Repeat the step 4 more times and you’ve replaced the existing listing with your preferred items.

Quick Tip: You don’t always need to browse/select a wallpaper image five times. To remove one particular item from the listing, click the remaining four items once, so that the unwanted one is pushed down to the 5th position. Now, click the Browse button and select an image. This clears the unwanted image from history.

Lock Screen Background – History Location

If you’re curious to know where the history is stored, read further. When you select a background picture for the lock screen, the image is copied to the following folder, which is very well protected using NTFS Permissions.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\{SID}\ReadOnly

Where {SID} is the user account Security Identifier (SID). You can find your user account SID by typing the following command in Command Prompt:

whoami /user



The SystemData folder has tight security (NTFS), and even Administrators can’t view the folder contents by default. However, by typing the full path (with your SID) of the target folder in Explorer, you can see the contents of the folder, which usually contains these subfolders:

  • LockScreen_A
  • LockScreen_B
  • LockScreen_C
  • LockScreen_D
  • LockScreen_E

and so forth…

Each folder stores multiple dimensions of your lock screen images… Logically there should be 5 folders, one for each thumbnail image you see in Settings, but in my case there were around 7. May be a reboot will clear the extra ones, which I haven’t tested.

There again, the ReadOnly folder and subfolders are owned by SYSTEM account and you only have read access by default.


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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.

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