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How to Hide the Search Box in Internet Explorer 11

If you are using Internet Explorer in Windows 10, you might be surprised by a new search box which appears next to the address bar in recent Windows 10 builds. Here is how to disable this box and get the traditional appearance of Internet Explorer.Internet Explorer 11 is a web browser that comes bundled with many Windows versions. In Windows 10, Microsoft recommends and promotes a new browser called "Edge". The Edge browser is a Universal app. Some users who like Microsoft's browsers prefer to stay with the good, old Internet Explorer, which is a native Win32 app.

Starting with Windows 10 Build 16362, Internet Explorer got a separate search box visible on the right of the address bar. Here is how it looks:

This change also affects Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, because it has been deployed with the appropriate cumulative updates released in September 2017. Today, we will see how to disable this new search box in order to restore the traditional look of the browser.

To hide the search box in Internet Explorer 11, do the following.

  1. Open Internet Explorer in Windows 10. You can press Win + R to open the Run dialog and type the following in the Run box:
    iexplore.exe

    The Internet Explorer browser will be opened instantly.

  2. Right-click on the empty space of the tab area (the area next to the new tab button). You will see the following context menu:
  3. Uncheck the item Show tabs on a separate row. This will immediately hide the search box in Internet Explorer.

You are done. To re-enable the search box, check the item Show tabs on a separate row in the tab row context menu as described above.

You need to disable the search box in Internet Explorer with a Registry tweak, this is also possible.

Hide the Search Box in Internet Explorer 11 with a Registry tweak.

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MINIE

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. On the right, modify or create a new 32-Bit DWORD value "ShowTabsBelowAddressBar". Set it to 0 to hide the search box. The value data of 1 will enable it.Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.

To save your time, you can download the following ready-to-use Registry files:

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is included.

Other articles of interest:

That's it.

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7 thoughts on “How to Hide the Search Box in Internet Explorer 11

    1. Bob

      Yes but Microsoft idiots brought it back very haphazardly. Ctrl+E doesn’t work to focus it. There are no text labels for the search engine names like IE8’s search box, there is no dropdown menu/list either. And it doesn’t even sync with search engines when you do a search. I think it was only added to promote and push Bing so they even more revenue from IE users even if they don’t use Cortana. The old IE8 search box was far superior to this crap.

      Reply
  1. NotTheFixIWant

    What if we still want our tabs on a separate row but don’t want the stupid search bar? This fix doesn’t actually get IE11 back to the way it was. Is there a regkey for just removing the search bar?

    Reply
  2. AlexD

    Nope, that’s not the right thing to do… it will just cramp up the tabs… what we really are looking to is have a wide address bar goddamn it microsoft !

    Reply

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