Windows: Delete Lockscreen Background Image

By Xah Lee. Date: .

Faak Windows. Say you by accident made your bedroom photo or back account screenshot into a lockscreen. (it happens often) Windows keeps a copy of it in directory that you cannot access, even as admin. No way to delete or even know what it holds, of past photos that was accidentally made into lockscreen background.

Here's how-to.

The lockscreen background image is stored in a folder at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\SystemData\user_SID\ReadOnly . the user_SID is your account id, it looks like this S-1-5-21-dddddddddd-dddddddddd-dddddddddd-1001 where the d are digits.

It's a protected folder. You can't access it even if you are admin. You have to change the folder to be own'd by you.

First, open the folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\ then try to open SystemData You can't. You have to make that folder own'd by you. Right click on folder to show properties, pick Security tab, click change owner.

Windows 10 SystemData properties 20210608145612
Windows 10 SystemData properties
Windows 10 change owner 202106
Windows 10 change owner 202106
Windows 10 select user 2021-06-08
Windows 10 select user 2021-06-08

You get a pop window that's incomprehensible talking about object.

Windows 10 select user or group 2021-06-08 8Zg9D
Windows 10 select user or group 2021-06-08

But just type your login name, then click on the check name. It'll add the machine name in front. Then say ok.

Now, proceed to open the directory. Windows will still first say you can't, but just ok thru it.

Do above whole again to open the subdirectory. Till you see this

Windows 10 SystemData 2021-06-08
Windows 10 SystemData folder
Windows 10 SystemData 2021-06-08 xjmKK

now, you can see what windows stole your bedroom bank photos and prevent you from seeing the fact.

No telling how far back history it's keeping. You dunno how far that a b c d goes.

Now, you probably want to delete them. But you can't. Unless you go thru the set ownership pain again for each folder or file. Best just goto the windows lockscreen setting and pick random garbage photos. Then come back to check the old has been pushed off. By the way, when you come back to the folder, you may notice you no have permission again, because windows has reset the permission. You do this all over again faak windows whoever extreme idiot did this.