Windows 10 comes with a new feature called "Cortana". It is a digital assistant which is integrated with the search feature. Windows 10 has a search box in the taskbar, which can be used to launch Cortana and perform the search by keyboard or by voice. Once you type something in the search box on the Windows 10 taskbar, search results show but web search results are mixed with local search results, Store apps and content from Bing. Here is how to disable Internet and Store apps from being searched via the taskbar.
In Windows 10 versions prior to April 2018 Update version 1803, it was relatively easy to get rid of the web search feature. Depending on the OS version, there was an option in Cortana, a Registry tweak, or something like that. Regardless of the version, you could enforce the Group Policy option to disable web search.
This has changed in Windows 10 version 1803. Intentionally or not, Microsoft has broken the Group Policy tweaks, which makes disabling the web search feature a nightmare for advanced users and system administrators. While Enterprise or Education versions of Windows 10 version 1803 are not affected, consumer editions (Home and Pro) can't have the web search disabled.
The polices which do not work any more are the following:
- Do not allow web search
- Don't search the web or display web results in Search
- Don't search the web or display web results in Search over metered connections
There is an alternative method which you can use to get rid of the web search feature in Windows 10 April 2018 Update.
To disable web search in Windows 10 version 1803, do the following.
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key.
See how to go to a Registry key with one click.
- On the right, create a new 32-Bit DWORD value BingSearchEnabled.
Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
Leave its value data as 0.
- Now, create a new DWORD value (32-Bit) named AllowSearchToUseLocation and also leave its value data as 0.
- Finally, create a new 32-bit DWORD value CortanaConsent and leave its value data as 0.
- To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in to your user account.
You are done. Setting these values to 0 will prevent Windows 10 from showing online search results in the Cortana pane and reduce the search lag.
To save your time, you can use Winaero Tweaker. The app supports all versions of Windows 10 and disables the web search feature reliably.
Download Winaero Tweaker from here: