If you use Windows 10, or the older Windows 8.1, you’re familiar with the Windows lock screen. This is the screen where you log in to your account, either during startup or after locking your computer. Aside from the log-in area, the lock screen’s main features is the eye-catching background image that changes regularly.
However, it looks like in Windows 10, Microsoft might be starting to use the lock screen image for advertising. A number of people are reporting seeing a lock screen image of a newly released game called “Rise of the Tomb Raider” with a link to buy it in the Windows Store. If lock screen advertising doesn’t sound like something you want, there are a few ways to take control.
Be default after a recent update, the image for the lock screen is pulled from a service called Microsoft Spotlight. To help it pull images you like, Microsoft has a way to tell Spotlight what kinds of images you do and don’t want to see.
On the lock screen, simply click the “chat” icon near in the upper-right corner of the screen and select “I want more!” or “Not a fan.” Depending on which one you choose, Microsoft will show you more images or fewer images like the current one.
It isn’t clear if that system will work on advertisements, or if Microsoft is even going to start pushing more advertising through Spotlight. Still, if you just don’t want to mess with it, or want to see your own images on the lock screen, you can change where the images come from.
Log in to Windows and go to Start>>Settings. In the Settings area, click “Personalization” and then choose the “Lock Screen” area in the left column. In the right column where it says “Background,” click the drop-down menu and either select “Picture” or “Slideshow.”
Picture lets you choose a single picture from your hard drive to display. Slideshow lets you choose several pictures or an entire folder.
Note that if you do switch to Picture or Slideshow, you’ll want to turn off the option that appears called “Get fun facts, tips, tricks and more on your lock screen.” Otherwise, you’ll see random text showing up on your lock screen.
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.