Windows 11 build 25217, which was yesterday released to Insiders in the Dev channel, allows you to change the search position and look on the taskbar. It can show it on the left, making it look like what we used to have in Windows 10. Even the familiar settings to show it as an icon, text box, or hide it are back.
The focus feature in Windows 11 build 25217 are Widgets. For them, Microsoft allows developers to build, sideload and test custom mini-apps in the Widget pane (Win + W). There are tools and online guides for that, as well as updated inbox apps and frameworks.
The new search features are an experimental change that stays hidden in build 25217. There is no sign of its presence anywhere unless you tinker with the famous ViveTool app.
Actually, Microsoft is working on a new search UI for the taskbar for quite long. So, in a number of previous builds we have seen several new designs, including options to have a text box instead of search button in the taskbar.
Moreover, some of the changes have been backported to the original Windows 11 (21H2), again as a hidden experimental UI.
With Windows 11 build 25217, the taskbar search entered a new iteration, and can appear in the left corner of the taskbar. It also brings with it a new option in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar Items > Search that defines how it should look, as a button, text box, or stay hidden. Here's the steps you need to do to activate it.
Enable Taskbar Search Settings in Windows 11
- First of all, download ViveTool from its official website.
- Extract the app to the c:\vivetool folder.
- Now, right-click the Start button in the taskbar and select Terminal(Admin) to open it elevated.
- Switch to the PowerShell or Command Prompt profile from the arrow-down menu.
- Finally, type the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40887771, and hit Enter.
- Restart the computer.
You now have a new search option in Settings. Open the Settings app (Win + I), and navigate to Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar Items > Search. There you will be able to set the search on taskbar to an icon, input field, or hide it. The search button/text box will appear right after the widgets button in the left corner of the taskbar.
The undo command is
c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:40887771, which you again need to run in an elevated Terminal.
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