Don’t like the new annoying search highlighting feature? Here is how to disable or turn off search highlighting in Windows 10 & 11.
In a recent update, Microsoft added a new search feature to the Windows 11 and 10 operating systems. Now, before you get too excited and think it will improve overall search accuracy and speed, don’t be. To reflect this, by default, as soon as you open the search window (Win+S), it will display web results related to a particular highlight. In addition to this, a small image icon will appear in the Windows search bar. Whenever you search for something in the Start menu, Windows will display both Web and local results. As expected, the search highlighting feature uses Bing as the primary search. You cannot change the search engine.
The new Search Highlight feature is useful when using the Start menu to search the Web. However, for many, this is still an obtrusive feature, and Windows users rarely use the Start menu to search the Web.
If you don’t like the new search highlighting feature, or if you want to remove the image icon when searching in the Start Menu, it is possible to disable search highlighting on Windows 10 and 11 operating systems. This is also fairly simple. There are three ways to disable “search highlighting” in Windows.
Here are all three methods. Choose the one that is easier for you.
- Disable search highlighting from settings
- Disable search highlighting using group policy
- Modify Registry Editor to disable search highlighting
<13disabling search highlighting from settings
It is now possible to disable search highlighting from the Settings application. However, for the novice user, this option may be difficult to find. Moreover, it is located in a relatively predictable place and is easy to set.
- Use the keyboard shortcut ” Start+I ” to open “Settings”.
- Go to the ” Privacy and Security ” tab on the sidebar.
- Click on ” Search Permissions “.
- Uncheck the option ” Show Search Highlights “.
- Turn off ” Show Search Highlights “.
First, launch the “Settings” application. Use the “Start + I” hotkey or search for the same in the “Start” menu. Once the “Settings” application is open, navigate to the “Privacy and Security” tab.
Now scroll down and click on the “Search Permissions” option. As you can see from the name, here you can manage all the privacy-related options for the “Search” feature.
Scroll down this page and turn off the “Show Search Highlights” option on the “More Settings” tab.
The “Search Highlights” feature will be turned off or disabled immediately. You can check this by opening the “Search” menu with the “Win + S” shortcut key – another hotkey in Windows 11.
Turning off search highlighting using Group Policy
If you are using Windows Pro, Education, or Enterprise Edition, you can turn off search highlighting using Group Policy. This method is useful for disabling search highlighting on multiple computers at the same time and preventing users from re-enabling it. The method is as follows
- Press the Start key on your keyboard.
- Search for and open ” Edit Group Policy “.
- Navigate to the ” Computer Configuration >Administrative Templates >Windows Components >Search ” folder.
- Open the policy ” Allow search highlighting “.
- Select ” Disabled “.
- Click the ” OK ” button.
- Close the Group Policy Editor.
- Restart the computer.
- After restarting the highlight search function is disabled .
Open the Group Policy Editor with the run command “gpedit.msc” (Win + R). You can also open it by searching for “Edit Group Policy” in the Start menu.
Navigate to the “Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search” folder in Group Policy.
Locate the “Allow Search Highlights” policy and double click to open it.
Select the “Disabled” radio option and click the “OK” button to save the policy changes.
Then close the Group Policy Editor and reboot the computer. The reboot will apply the policy. Once the policy is applied, search highlighting will be disabled in Windows.
Modify the Registry Editor to Disable Search Highlighting
You can disable search highlighting by changing the registry value “IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled”. This is fairly easy. Additionally, if you are using Windows Home Edition, you can use this method as an alternative to Group Policy. Here is how to do it
- Press the ” Start ” key.
- Locate and open ” Registry Editor “.
- Navigate to the following folder.
- Double click on the value ” IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled “.
- Enter ” 0 ” in the “Value Data” field.
- Click ” Ok ” to save your changes.
- Close the Registry Editor.
- Restart Windows.
- After restarting, Search highlighting will be disabled .
Start the registry editor application. Use the run command “regedit” (Win+R) or search for “Registry Editor” in the Start menu.
In Registry Editor, navigate to the following folder.
Locate the “IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled” policy and double click on it.
Then enter “0” in the “Data Value” field and press “OK” to save your changes. As you can guess, the value “0” turns off the search highlighting and “1” turns it back on.
Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows. After the restart, the search highlight function will be disabled and will no longer be displayed. You can confirm this by opening Search in the Start menu with the Win+S hotkey.
That’s it. It is as easy as turning off search highlighting in Windows 11 and 10.
We hope this simple and easy guide to working with Windows will help you.
If you get stuck or need help, please leave a comment below.