The lock screen in recent versions of Windows is the first screen you see when you turn on the computer or lock your account. Turn it into something useful, such as a slideshow for your photos!
The lock screen normally displays photographs selected by Microsoft and there are often some very nice ones, but they aren’t your photos, they are someone else’s. Like many features in Windows 10, it can be customised and you can choose to display your own photos on the lock screen.
This is great for personalising Windows and for showing off your best photos, even if only to yourself. You can show pictures of your family, friends, pets, holidays, or if you are a keen photographer, your best work. It’s great fun.
Your first task when setting up a lock screen slide show is to create a folder to contain the the photos you want to display. Open an Explorer window and in the left panel select Pictures under This PC.
Click the folder icon at the top and a new folder is created within the Pictures folder. Enter a name for this new folder. We will use Lock Scrn Pics, but any name will do.
Put the photos you want to use for the slide show in this folder. It is best to place copies of photos in here rather than original ones. A quick way to do this is to find a photo in the Pictures folder, click it to select it and press Ctrl+C. Go to the Lock Scrn Folder (or whatever you called it) and press Ctrl+V. This is an easy way to copy and paste files in Explorer.
Go to the Start menu and click Settings, or press Windows+I. Click Personalization.
Select Lock screen on the left and under Background, select Slideshow from the menu.
A slideshow is now set to display on the lock screen, but which photos will it show? Scroll down and there is a section titled Choose albums for your slideshow. If there are any items here, such as Pictures in the screenshot, click them to select them and click Remove.
The Pictures folder is selected by default, but that would show all your photos, including ones you might not want to show, like shots where the flash didn’t go off, where your finger was over the lens, red-eye you haven’t got round to fixing and so on.
Remove all the other folders, like Pictures, and then click the plus next to Add a folder. Select the Lock Scrn Pics folder.
That’s it. Close the Settings window and see your slideshow by pressing Windows+L. That keyboard shortcut instantly locks the computer and it is useful when you step away from your computer for a coffee break, lunch and so on.
The lock screen displays your photos, switching from one to another every five seconds or so. Locking Windows keeps everything running until you return and unlock it. Press a key or click the mouse and log in to return to whatever you were doing.
If you want to change the photos in the slideshow, just return to the Lock Scrn Pics folder and replace the photos there with new ones.