While the Start menu received a huge overhaul in Windows 11, the search function remains the same. You can hit the Windows key, search for files, folders, and even glance over web results. The problem is, Microsoft Bing powers the search results and there is no way to change the search provider to Google. You have an option to disable web search results from the Start menu entirely. Here’s how.
There are two ways to disable web search results in the Start menu on Windows. Let’s get started.
Use Registry Editor
Using the Registry Editor in Windows 11, you can create a new registry that disables the web search function in the Start menu. Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Registry Editor.
Step 2: Hit Enter key and open the app.
Step 3: Copy and paste the following path to quickly open the Windows menu.
Step 4: From the left sidebar, right-click on Windows and select New.
Step 5: Click on Key, name it Explorer, and hit Enter.
Step 6: Right-click on Explorer, select New and choose ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value.’
Step 7: Rename the new registry key as DisableSearchBoxSuggestions and hit the Enter key.
Double-click on the created registry and type 1 in the Value data box. Hit OK and Windows will disable web search from the Start menu.
Close the app, click on the Windows key and select the Power button to restart the PC.
Use Group Policy Editor
Using Group Policy Editor, you can disable web search results from the Start menu. This solution won’t work for Windows 11 Home edition users. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Right-click on the Windows button and select Run. You can also use Windows + R keys to access it.
Step 2: Type gpedit.msc and hit OK at the bottom.
Step 3: The system will open the Local Group Policy Editor app.
Go to the following path in the app – User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.
You need to double-click on Windows Components from the left sidebar to expand the menu.
Step 4: Once you are into the File Explorer menu, locate ‘Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer.’
Step 5: Double-click on it. This will open the pop-up menu to make changes.
Step 6: Click on Enabled and hit the Apply button in the bottom-right corner of the window.
Restart your computer and try using search from the Start menu. You won’t see irrelevant web searches.
Enable SafeSearch in Start Menu
When you disable web search in Windows 11 Start menu, you also lose goodies like the ability to translate words and convert currency.
Many disable web search in the Start menu to prevent their kids from accidentally exposing to adult search results on the web. Windows offers an option to enable a filter that removes adult results. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Windows Settings app (Windows + I keys).
Step 2: Go to the Privacy and security menu.
Step 3: Select Search permissions.
Step 4: Click on Strict from the SafeSearch menu.
After enabling this option, Windows won’t automatically load web results if they contain adult content. This is the best of both worlds. You can continue to enjoy Bing Translate, currency converter, etc., and don’t worry about adult content showing up in search results.
Delete Start Menu Search History
To improve your search suggestions, Windows Search stores your search history locally on the computer. You can easily clear this search history from the computer. Here’s how.
Step 1: Launch Windows Settings and go to Privacy & security.
Step 2: Select Search permissions and click the ‘Clear device search history’ button.
Master Search in Start Menu
The overall web search results in the Start menu implementation could have been better. While Microsoft has improved Bing significantly in the US, it’s not the same experience in other regions. Besides, these web suggestions in the Start menu tend to clutter the search experience with offline files and folders in the results. Instead of helping users, web results make it harder for them to find what they are looking for.
Disabling web search results from the Windows 11 Start menu also speeds up the search process on your computer. The Start menu no longer needs to filter through the web to deliver results.
Last updated on 22 February, 2022
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