Despite shipping a completely redesigned taskbar in Windows 11, Microsoft is about to bring to it some of its predecessor's features. Sadly, it is still not the ability to ungroup icons or text labels. This time it is the search box which you could seen in Windows 10 for long. It is already available in Windows 11 on the Dev channel. Here's how to enable it.
Windows 11 Build 25197 is full of new and hidden features. With it, Microsoft officially announced animated icons in the Settings app, the touch-optimized taskbar mode, and new versions of Calculator and Media Player.
But enthusiasts have quickly discovered several hidden gems. The major one is the new Windows Spotlight panel that works for desktop. There are also bits of new search that change its behavior. Also, there is a brand new tray icon animation, also hidden. Finally, the new discovery reveals the Windows 10-like search box integrated to the new taskbar.
The taskbar search, initially with Cortana, is a trademark part of the user interface in Windows 10. It allowed the user to directly enter a search term and get the results from both local files and the Internet.
Windows 11's taskbar comes directly from now-abandoned Windows 10X. It doesn't include a ton of its features, such as text labels, non-grouped buttons, and even the context menu. The search in it is a button without the search box, and you cannot change its look.
Looks like Microsoft is about to restore missing functionality, and is already working on it. Earlier, we reported that Microsoft is testing different styles for the search button, but in Build 25197 you can activate the full-fledged search box. It also shows the current day's highlights.
Enable Search Box in Windows 11 Taskbar
- Open this GitHub page and download ViveTool.
- Extract the downloaded ZIP archive with the app to the c:\ViveTool folder.
- Right-click the Start button and select Terminal (Admin).
- In either Command Prompt or PowerShell tab of Terminal, type the following command:
c:\ViveTool\vivetool.exe /enable /id:39072097 /variant:6, and hit the Enter key.
- Restart Windows 11 to apply the change.
Now you'll have the search box in the taskbar.
The undo command that you need to run in an elevated console is:
c:\ViveTool\vivetool.exe /disable /id:39072097
Microsoft is yet to decide when to announce this change in the UI. The feature might remain hidden and never reach the public preview stage. Design-wise it doesn't go well with the style of the centered taskbar, as it steals space and shifts the icons. So, it may become only available in the classic mode of the taskbar where all icons are aligned to the left.
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