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How to disable web search in Windows 10’s start menu

The search in Windows 10 returns local files, programs and settings but also web results by default. While that may be useful to some users of the operating system, it is irritating or useless for others.

Since most web results are generic search suggestions, it is just a faster way of running searches instead of getting results directly displayed in the interface.

If you search for gpedit.msc for instance using the search in Windows 10, you will notice that the right result is displayed at the top.

Below that are web results however which make up the bulk of the results listing. While some results may be useful at times, others appear outdated, e.g. gpedit.msc vista, and of little use because of that.

windows 10 web search

I will never use the search for a couple of reasons. First, I don't need it there as I want local files and settings to be returned exclusively when I run a search on Windows 10. Second, the suggestions are too generic most of the time and third, since a browser is open all the time on my system, I can run a search using it as well without having to add another step to the process.

Thankfully, Microsoft has added options to disable web search in Windows 10 so that only local results are returned.

The problem with this right now is however that it won't work for everybody. While Microsoft has added policies to block web searches in Windows 10, they don't seem to work in recent builds, at least not for everybody.

However, it is more than likely that this will get sorted out before release.

Disable Web Search in Windows 10

disable web search

  1. To open the Group Policy Editor, tap on the Windows-key, type gpedit.msc and hit enter. Note that the editor is (likely) only included in Pro and Enterprise versions and not in Windows 10 Home.
  2. Browse to the following path using the left sidebar: Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search
  3. Locate "Do not allow web search" and double-click it. Switch the preference to enabled.
  4. Locate "Don't search the web or display web results in Search and double-click it. Switch the preference to enabled.
  5. Locate "Don't search the web or display web results in Search over metered connections and double-click it. Switch the preference to enabled.

This method worked in earlier builds of Windows 10 and it is very likely that it will work in newer builds as well.

What you may do instead for now is block access to the IP address that is used by Windows 10 to retrieve these search suggestions.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type Windows Firewall and hit enter.
  2. Select "Advanced settings" in the left sidebar.
  3. Select "Outbound Rules" on the left.
  4. Click on " New Rule".
  5. Select Custom on the first page of the window that opens up.
  6. Click Next on the "Program" page without making any changes.
  7. Click Next on the "Protocol and Ports" page without making changes.
  8. Select "These IP addresses" under "Which remote IP addresses does this rule apply to".
  9. Click add and enter as the IP address. Click Ok afterwards, then Next.
  10. Click Next on the "Action" page without making changes.
  11. Click Next on the "Profile" page without making changes.
  12. Add a descriptive name, e.g. Blocked Web Search, and click Finish.

When you run searches now, web results are blocked. Please note that this blocks as well so that you cannot use the search engine anymore for web searches.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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