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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Remove Old Images from the Lock Screen History of Windows 10

How to Remove Old Images from the Lock Screen History of Windows 10



Windows 10 lets you customize the look of the lock screen with personalized pictures in the Settings app. It also stores the last five images you have used. If you do not like one of the standard images in the history or you want to reboot, you can remove them from the suggested images.

Your lock screen history in the Settings app shows five images that Windows randomly picks from a hidden folder on your system. These images contain all the images you previously used as the lock screen background.

By default, Windows displays the five most recently used pictures so you can add new pictures to remove old ones from the suggestions. The problem is that these images still exist in the folder with locked images and sometimes Windows will get confused and not just show the latest images.

There is a possibility to remove these images. However, you have to jump through a few hoops.

The first tire involves finding the right folder. Windows stores all these images in the following location:

  C:  ProgramData  Microsoft  Windows  SystemData   User_Account_Security_Identifier   ReadOnly 

The User_Account_Security_Identifier part of this path is different for each. Each user account on the computer has a different Security Identifier (SID). To find yours, start the Command Prompt or PowerShell and type the following command at the command prompt:

  whoami / user 

Note: The SID is much longer as what is shown in the picture above. We have masked most of us because, well, it's a Identification

Now comes the second hoop you have to jump through. Once you have the SID, you can navigate to the right folder. However, the system data folder is protected by Windows. If you try to open it, you will see this message.

And if you click on the "Next" button, you will get it next.

To fix this, you must inherit the system data folder (making sure that you select the option to replace all child object permissions so that you also copy the subfolders). If you are unfamiliar with this process, it is not hard to do, but there are several steps to the process. Take a look at our guide to owning a folder in Windows, take ownership of the System Data folder, and then follow the steps here

RELATED: How to Take Ownership of Files and Folders in Windows

Now you know the folder you want and you have taken the system data folder; There is nothing left in your way. Open the folder and you will see some subfolders in it. Open the folder that corresponds to your SID, and then open the ReadOnly folder.

Now you should see a bunch of folders whose names begin with "LockScreen_" and end with different letters. Each of these folders contains an image in your lock screen history.

Open any folder to check the images in it. Each folder contains four different resolutions of the same image – the original and three miniature versions. If the image is one you want to get rid of, click on any folder to make sure it's the one you want to get rid of.

If the image is one you want to get rid of, make sure you save the "ReadOnly" folder and delete the folder containing the images you do not want. If you want to delete all previous lock screens, delete all folders "LockScreen_ x ".

That's all. After you delete the images from this folder, they will be removed from history in the Settings app. You may need to close and reopen the settings for it to be updated. Windows only displays its default images on the Settings page and creates additional folders in that SID folder as you add more lock screens.

It's a lot more complicated than it needs to be for such a small thing, but at least you can do it if you want.


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