Windows 11 build 25217 can display the taskbar search on the left

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

  1. First of all, download ViveTool from its official website.
  2. Extract the app to the c:\vivetool folder.Extract vivetool app
  3. Now, right-click the Start button in the taskbar and select Terminal(Admin) to open it elevated.Select Terminal (Admin) from the menu
  4. Switch to the PowerShell or Command Prompt profile from the arrow-down menu.Select Powershell Or Command Prompt Terminal Profile
  5. Finally, type the following command: c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40887771, and hit Enter.Enable Taskbar Search Settings
  6. 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.Taskbar Search Settings

Taskbar search icon next to widgets

The undo command is c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:40887771, which you again need to run in an elevated Terminal.

via @PhantomOfEarh

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

3 thoughts on “Windows 11 build 25217 can display the taskbar search on the left”

  1. With Windows 11 Version 22H2, the Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon is no longer possible, not from Winaero Tweaker, and not even by editing the registry as explained on your website. Please find a solution, so that in Windows 11 Version 22H2 we can all get back the great Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon. Thank you.

  2. That is pretty useless!
    What about a command to enable the new Widgets Settings experience in Build 25211 and 25217?
    I tried both builds on 3 different machines and I cannot get the new Widgets Settings menu.
    I want to have the option to turn off Open on hover which is quite annoying. They announced the new Widgets Setting experience in the 25211 Blog, but it is not available on any of my PCs.
    It is really annoying the way MS rolls out these changes. Never know who is getting it and who is not. I just hate it!

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