How to remove Windows Spotlight's "Learn about this picture icon" from your desktop in Windows 11

Jun 1, 2022
Windows 11 Help

The KB5014019 update for Windows 11 was released last week with a bunch of fixes for known issues. The Cumulative Preview patch also brought something else, it introduces the Spotlight Desktop feature to the stable channel.

How to remove the Windows Spotlight icon from your desktop in Windows 11

The option, which debuted last December in the Insider Preview Program, automatically changes your desktop background from time to time. The wallpaper changer is not enabled by default in Windows 11. If you want to use it, you will need to dive in to the Settings app's > Personalization > Background page. Click the dropdown menu next to Personalize your Background, and select Windows Spotlight.

The operating system will replace your current backdrop with a pretty landscape image. It also places an icon in the top right corner of your screen. This icon is labeled, Learn about this picture. Clicking on it opens a webpage with the name and location of the image in Microsoft Edge, even if it is not your default browser, oh what a surprise that is. But that's not the problem here, the issue is you can't delete the icon from the desktop.

It can be moved around, but you can't get rid of it. Pressing the delete key does nothing, and you can't drag and drop it on the Recycle Bin. The shortcut doesn't show up in the Desktop folder, either. If you disable Spotlight, the icon goes away, but so does the wallpaper. So, that's not really a solution.

Windows Spotlight icon in Windows 11

Right-clicking on the icon displays options to open the image in Edge, switch to the next picture, or vote whether you like or dislike the current image. Many users have voiced their displeasure regarding the lack of an option to remove the icon. I agree with them, as it ruins the arrangement and the aesthetics of the desktop.

While Microsoft hasn't provided a way to delete the icon, a third-party tool can be used for this purpose.

How to remove the Windows Spotlight icon from your desktop in Windows 11

1. Download ExplorerPatcher from its GitHub page. You will need to be connected to the internet, for the open source program to download some tools.

2. Run the program.

Note: Don't panic if your Explorer windows are closed, and if the Taskbar disappears briefly. ExplorerPatcher restores the Windows 10 Taskbar style, and aligns the icons to the left of the Taskbar, and restarts Explorer.exe to apply the changes. You can restore the center taskbar style from the app's settings.

3. Switch to the Spotlight tab on the sidebar.

4. Click on the "Hide the Learn about this picture" icon. The X will change to a checkmark.

That should remove the annoying Spotlight icon from your desktop.

ExplorerPatcher removes the Windows Spotlight icon

Note: If you don't see the option in ExplorerPatcher, you may have downloaded the Stable version of the program. The setting is only available in the pre-release version 22000.708.46.4.

Windows Spotlight icon removed

ExplorerPatcher can do a lot more, you can use it to customize various elements in Windows 11, such as restoring the legacy context menu, the Windows 10 Start Menu, and more. The application is not portable, but doesn't need to be running in the background to apply the tweaks.

Do you like the Windows Spotlight wallpapers?

How to remove the Windows Spotlight icon from your desktop in Windows 11
Article Name
How to remove the Windows Spotlight icon from your desktop in Windows 11
Want to remove that annoying Learn about this picture icon from your desktop in Windows 11? We show you how to do it.
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  1. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    There is not still W11 23H2 and these instructions are nonsense by now. :[

    1. James said on August 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      It worked for me just fine. You’re probably not following the instructions clearly.

      1. Katrina Thompson said on August 30, 2023 at 3:25 am

        Just tried the password option and the OOBE option and didnt work.

    2. Anonymous said on September 7, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Worked perfectly. Thank OP.

    3. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Worked perfectly for me just now. Specifically, the regedit option.

  2. 45 RPM said on August 22, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Is this cut and paste from a Microsoft PR paper, because it 1000% BS:

    “By listening to user insights, Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to refining the Windows experience based on real-world needs.”

    Windows 11 is proof they don’t give a s*it.

    1. elong45 said on August 23, 2023 at 12:25 am

      Worked for me just now

    2. Robert N said on August 28, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      I agree! Windows 11 was a downgrade to me and I kept all 8 computers in our family on Windows 10 as a result. They didn’t listen to any customers. The taskbar was THE main reason I stayed away from Windows 11. With 6 monitors, it is impossible to navigate so many browser tabs, without the feature. I will try the new version in the virtual box to see if it is worth it yet.

  3. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Microsoft did a terrible job with this implementation.

    They simply need to employ the creator of StartAllBack to fix Windows. He is smarter and more talented than the entire campus of Microsoft employees.

    1. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 11:36 pm


  4. Joe Mama said on August 24, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much! I work in IT and this is extremely useful information!

  5. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks man. The second method worked great!

  6. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    I used the second method, and i got exactly what i expected.

  7. adrian said on September 1, 2023 at 12:52 am

    Using the Bypass 2: Use a banned email address email worked fantastically as I had gone to far to use the bypass 1.
    I will be back when I next have a problem.
    Keep you the great work

  8. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    W11 File Explorer is the worst crap ever done. W11 is the biggest shame ever.

  9. MarineRecon said on September 4, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Just one more reason for me to go to Linux when Windows 10 ages out.

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:46 am

      @ MarineRecon,

      Be careful which Linux distro you choose. Some of them don’t include the Wayland protocol which is a security issue i.e. apps can copy, paste and inject data without user interaction.

      It’s included in Fedora:

  10. Dustyn said on September 4, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    How about a DARK MODE for your website? That would be oh so nice.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 5, 2023 at 12:55 am

      Something like this : [] maybe?
      Done with ‘Dark Reader Extension for ? Firefox’ []

      This comment was written on [}

    2. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:49 am

      Definitely NOT! Once you get older and your eyesight starts to fail you’ll positively loathe dark mode.

  11. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Microsoft completely ruined File Explorer by converting to XAML/WinUI/whatever new bloated modern garbage. Its worse than it ever was.

  12. Invoker said on September 5, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    i tested it on win10 current edition. speeds up explorer like a charm

  13. LOEL LARZELERE said on September 13, 2023 at 8:07 am

    SO what is the priority numbers to give preference to ethernet over wireless?

  14. christop_bader said on September 14, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Worked very well happy to have Windows Photo Viewer back in action in Windows-11

  15. Anonymous said on September 16, 2023 at 4:29 am

    Worked for me (registry option) thank god, I can use the search option to find things on my computer again. Thank you so much!

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Install Everything Search and dispense with Microsoft’s crappy search tool.

      Martin wrote an article on it:

  16. said on September 17, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    I presume the text “WindowsCopilot,,” is a typographical error (2023/09/17/how-to-disable-windows-copilot-in-windows/). The broken comment system unfortunately looks like it is populating itself via AI autopilot.

  17. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Hopefully, this Windows Copilot nonsense fails even more spectacularly than Cortana. Who requested this? We want all of the UX features removed back in 11, not this copilot nonsense.

  18. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I really don’t mind all of these Windows enhancement but Microsoft get one thing very wrong. ‘Opt in’, is far better than seek information and work to disable.

  19. ilev said on September 18, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Turn off Windows Copilot entirely is not good enough.

    How to uninstall Copilot entirely ?

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:57 am

      @ ilev,

      Use Gpedit or the registry. Explained in this article:

  20. WilliamGatesTheight said on September 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    With that snake oil salesman Panos gone, hopefully Windows can return to a normal desktop operating system without all the insanity it has right now in Windows 11.

  21. Tachy said on September 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Can we please stop being ‘politically correct’ (lying) and call them ads again instead of ‘suggestions’?

  22. The Tech Guy said on September 22, 2023 at 4:53 am

    This is why I use windows 11 N.

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