Here’s how to enable New Windows Spotlight UI in Windows 11

Starting in Windows 11 Build 25197, the operating system includes a new user interface for the desktop Spotlight. When you click the "Learn more about this picture", it opens a pop-up at the bottom of the screen with details about the image. Besides, it allows switching the wallpaper, and even use Bing to find similarly looking desktop backgrounds. As it is a hidden feature, we will learn how to enable it.

Windows 11 Build 25197 was released yesterday with several updates to the user interface. First of all, Microsoft has officially announced the animated icons in the Settings app. Second, the released marked the return of the tablet-optimized taskbar, though the latter was actually introduced in a previous build as a hidden feature. Finally, Microsoft has reworked the system tray appearance. So in Build 25197 it has rounder corners for tooltips and hover selection of icons.

As it often happens to Dev channel builds, there are hidden gems in Windows 11 Build 25197. Windows Spotlight for Desktop has got a new pane that shows advanced info about the current wallpaper and switch them with ease.

In the leftmost corner the pane allows switching between the stock Windows background images. Next to it, there are details for the currently applied wallpaper. Finally, there is a strip of other Spotlight images to which you can switch from the current one.

In the right corner of the new Spotlight panel you can spot a few options to find more info about the images, find similar wallpapers, and other "related content".

Finally, you can collapse the panel using the button with the down arrow, so it will become a tiny line.

As mentioned above, it is a hidden feature as of Windows 11 Build 25197, so you need to activate it manually using the ViveTool app. Do the following.

Enable New Windows Spotlight UI in Windows 11

  1. Point your web browser to this GitHub page and download the ViveTool zip file.
  2. Extract the downloaded archive to the c:\ViveTool folder.
  3. Right-click the Start button and select Terminal (Admin).
  4. In either Command Prompt or PowerShell tab of Terminal, execute the following commands, one by one.
    • c:\ViveTool\vivetool.exe /enable /id:39710659
    • c:\ViveTool\vivetool.exe /enable /id:40268500
    • c:\ViveTool\vivetool.exe /enable /id:39880030
  5. Restart Windows 11.
  6. Now, open Settings (Win + I) and open the Personalization > Themes page.
  7. Select the Windows Spotlight theme.
  8. Close the Settings app and right-click the "Learn more about this image" desktop icon.

You are done! Windows 11 will now open the new Desktop Spotlight flyout.

Tip: You can also set Windows Spotlight as your desktop background instead of changing the theme. For that, head up over Personalization > Background and select Windows Spotlight from the Personalize your background box.

That's it.

Via @XenoPanther and @PhantomOfEarth

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