Windows search i.e., the search bar next to the Start button on Windows 10 can search the web as well as your system for whatever app or file name you type. Web search wasn’t part of Windows 7 and Windows 10 users haven’t warmed up to it. They prefer to disable it and with each major Windows 10 update, Microsoft enables it again. Sometimes even removes whatever trick users come up with to disable web search.
The same has happened with the Windows 10 April Update aka the Spring Creators Update and understandably, you will want to disable web search again. Here’s how.
Disable Web Search
The process will be the same for both Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home users. You will need administrative rights as this involves editing the Windows registry.
Open Notepad and paste the following in a new file. Save it as disableStartSearch.reg. Make sure you save it with the REG file extension. Run the file with administrative rights, and accept any and all prompts that you see.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search] "CortanaConsent"=dword:00000000 "AllowSearchToUseLocation"=dword:00000000 "BingSearchEnabled"=dword:00000000 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search] "ConnectedSearchUseWebOverMeteredConnections"=dword:00000000 "AllowCortana"=dword:00000000 "DisableWebSearch"=dword:00000001 "ConnectedSearchUseWeb"=dword:00000000
If you want to know what changes the file is making to the registry, a total of five new values are added to the following location;
The values that are added are DWORD values. The first is named AllowCortana with the value 0. A second DWORD value named ConnectedSearchUseWeb is added and again, its value is 0.
Three other values are added to the following location;
The values are all DWORD values. Their values are all 0. The new values are named AllowSearchToUseLocation, BingSearchEnabled, and CortanaConsent.
This will probably break with the next major Windows 10 update. The monthly Tuesday updates i.e., the ones released on patch Tuesday will likely not break this.
Microsoft tends to break whatever solutions users find to disable web search. It’s still trying to push Bing web search which makes sense because it’s one of their products. The only thing is, not many users need web search bundled with their local disk search. Regardless of which search engine is used, there should be an option to turn this feature off, or at the very least, manage which order search results appear in.
This is made worse by the fact that most users, to this day, still can’t get Windows search to find files on their local drives. All it does is find web search results and those are useless when you can’t even use your preferred search engine.