How to Disable Web Search in Taskbar in Windows 10 Version 2004
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 the 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. However, Windows 10 version 1803 had its own, unique tweak that could be used to disable of the web search feature.
Unfortunately, in Windows 10 version 2004 everything above has stopped working, so Windows enthusiasts have created a PowerShell script that blocks the online search with Windows Firewall, making Windows Search operate in offline mode. The script is reviewed in the last part of this post.
Finally, Microsoft has restored the missing functionality after releasing a few cumulative updates, and added a new Group Policy option and a corresponding Registry tweak in Windows 10 version 2004. Here's how it can be done.
To Disable Web Search in Taskbar in Windows 10 Version 2004,
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer. See how to go to a Registry key with one click. If this path is missing, then create the missing parts manually.
- On the right, create a new 32-Bit DWORD value
DisableSearchBoxSuggestions. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
- Set its value data to
- 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! Later you can restore the Web Search feature by deleting the
DisableSearchBoxSuggestions value in the Registry.
To save your time, you can download the following ready-to-use Registry files:
The undo tweak is included.
However, if your Windows 10 includes the Local Group Policy editor app (
gpedit.msc), you can disable the Web Search using its user interface. Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education editions come with the Local Group Policy Editor app available in the OS out of the box.
Disable Web Search in Taskbar in Windows 10 Version 2004 with Group Policy
- Open the Local Group Policy editor app, or launch it for all users except Administrator, or for a specif user.
- Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer on the left.
- On the right, find the policy setting Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box.
- Double-click on it and set the policy to Enabled.
You are done.
As mentioned above, there is also the initial solution that involves PowerShell and Windows Firewall. If for some reason the tweak reviewed above doesn't work for you, try the script.
Disable Web Search in Taskbar in Windows 10 Version 2004 with PowerShell
- Download the following script: Download Script. Courtesy of @DefinitelyYou.
- Extract it from the ZIP archive and unblock the PS1 file.
- Open PowerShell as Administrator.
- If required, Change the execution policy to run unsigned scripts.
- Type the full path to your PS1 file in the PowerShell console running as Administrator, and hit the Enter key.
- Restart Windows 10.
You are done! The Search process will be prevented from connecting to the Internet. The following screenshots demonstrate the web search feature disabled.
According to the author, this script adds the rules to the normal machine Windows Firewall rules ("PersistentStore"). However, even though it's adding them to the normal machine firewall rules – instead of Group Policy firewall rules ("LocalHost", which have a higher priority) – they should still have priority over the "Allow" rules Windows adds to the firewall due to "Block" rules having a higher priority over "Allow" rules.
Undo the change
- Open Windows Security.
- Click on the icon Firewall & network protection.
- On the next page, click on the link Advanced settings.
- Click on Inbound Rules on the left.
- Delete the "Windows Search (MyRule-In)" from the inbound rules.
- Now, click on Outbound Rules on the left.
- Delete the "Windows Search (MyRule-Out)" from the outbound rules.
- Restart Windows 10.
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