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One of the ‘cool’ features from when Microsoft announced Windows 10 was bringing Search front and center. You could now search right from the taskbar, saving (less-savvy) users a couple of clicks. Microsoft also enhanced Search by showing results from the web as you entered your query.
The new Search experience with web results sounded cool in theory, but as everyone discovered later, Bing kinda sucks at web searches. You would search for one thing, and be given another. For example, if you are searching for an app installed on your PC, you would be shown that app’s official website instead.
As a result, users began enabling a built-in option to turn off web searches in Windows 10 Search. Everything was going fine until Microsoft decided to remove the option in the Anniversary Update. I can understand their viewpoint – if web searches are enabled by default, it dramatically increases user engagement for Bing. In a world where you’re competing with the likes of Google, you’re going to want every single user you can get.
Thankfully, there is still a way to disable web searches in Windows 10 Search. Anyone who knows how to use the Windows Registry Editor will be comfortable using it. You essentially need to change the value of the “AllowCortana” property to 0 under a certain folder we’ll reveal shortly. Piece of cake for advanced users. I would honestly recommend everyone else to steer clear, since the Windows Registry is a fickle being; accidentally changing something else may break system functionality.
To disable web searches in Windows 10: search for and launch Registry Editor, and navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search] using the navigation on the left. You’ll see an AllowCortana property here. Click on it to edit its value to 0. That’s it.
Searches in Windows 10 should now not show results from Bing. If it doesn’t work, try restarting your computer. If it doesn’t work even then, share a screenshot of the Registry Editor with the folder whose path we shared above open. We’ll have a look and help you out if necessary.