Microsoft is going to add a floating search box to Windows 10 version 1803 "Redstone 4". It is powered by Cortana and replaces the search box in the taskbar. The test version of the feature is already available in the recently released Windows 10 build 17040 Insider Preview.
At the moment of this writing, the floating search box provides the same feature you could find in Cortana in the taskbar. Same as Cortana, it uses the Win + S hotkey to activate the UI.
Here are a couple of screenshots which demonstrate the feature in action.
To try this feature in action, you need to apply a Registry tweak. Here is the procedure in detail.
To enable Floating Search in Windows 10 (Immersive Cortana), do the following.
- Right-click the taskbar and enable Cortana - Show icon in the context menu.
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key.
See how to go to a Registry key with one click.
- Here, create a new subkey Override as shown below.
- On the right, create a new 32-Bit DWORD value ImmersiveSearch. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.Set its value to 1.
- The Registry tweak should take effect instantly. If not, restart the Explorer shell.
- Restart Windows 10.
Now, click on the Cortana icon you enabled or press the Win + S shortcut keys on your keyboard. Voila, the floating search box is enabled:
Note: Having Cortana's search box disabled for the taskbar is mandatory. With the search box enabled on the taskbar, the floating search box will not work. That's why it is required to turn Cortana into an icon as your first step.
It is possible to make the search box appear at the bottom of this new search pane. There is another Registry tweak you should apply.
Enable Search Box At The Bottom
Under the key you have created, which is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\Override, create a new 32-bit DWORD value. Name it as SearchBoxOnTop. Set its value data to 1. See the following screenshot:
This will move the search box down to the bottom edge of the Cortana pane. Here is how it looks:
To save your time, I've prepared ready-to-use Registry files which include both tweaks described above. The undo tweak is also included.
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