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Microsoft is testing new default wallpapers for clean Windows 11 installations

The default Windows 11 wallpaper combined with its dark variant

Every clean Windows 11 installation uses the new default wallpaper called "Bloom." Although this picture (and its dark variant) is just a few months old, Microsoft is already thinking about replacing it with something different. The company wants to use Windows Spotlight as the default desktop background.

Recently released in the Dev channel, build 22598 swaps the "Bloom" background in favor of Windows Spotlight and its dynamically changing backgrounds. Microsoft wants to test this feature on clean installations and systems that upgrade to build 22598 with the default Windows 11 background.

Windows Spotlight pulls various images from Bing to give users a fresh desktop background every day. Windows 10 allows setting Spotlight as the lock screen background, and in Windows 11 22H2, this feature also includes desktop wallpapers. When enabled, Windows Spotlight places a new icon on the desktop for users to toggle between images, like or dislike a picture, and get more information about the current one.

A button on the Windows 11 desktop that lets you learn more about the current Windows Spotlight imag

Besides supplying users with a constant flow of beautiful wallpapers, Windows Spotlight works as a nice way for Microsoft to push Bing ads. Clicking the "Learn about this picture" button on the desktop launches Edge (of course) and Bing.

Microsoft is currently testing Windows Spotlight as the default wallpaper in Windows 11 build 22598 (alongside 4K images in Windows Spotlight), which means the company might reverse its course and switch back to the OG "Bloom" wallpaper. Note that Windows 11 build 22598 will not force-change your custom background unless you use the default Windows 11 wallpaper.

Tip: If you use Windows 10 and want Windows Spotlight as your desktop wallpaper provider, we recommend a free app called Dynamic Theme (it is also much more reliable than built-in Windows Spotlight).

What do you think about Microsoft's decision to use Windows Spotlight as the default desktop background?

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