• 6000008 Instructions to get rid of Search highlights in Windows 10 and 11

    Home » Forums » Knowledge Base » 6000008 Instructions to get rid of Search highlights in Windows 10 and 11



    If you suddenly see horses or other weird items in the search box on your Windows 10 or Windows 11, here is how you can disable it.

    Search highlights gets “dribble” enabled with Windows 11 build 22572 and higher and Windows 10 build 19044.1618 (KB 5011543).

    Disable Search highlights in Windows 10
    Right-click on the taskbar
    Hover over the Search menu and clear “Show search highlights“

    Disable search highlights in Windows 11
    Click on Start and open Settings
    Click on Privacy & security
    Under Windows Permissions, click on Search Permissions
    Scroll down to More settings at the bottom and disable “Show search highlights”

    Disable Search Highlights in Windows 10 and Windows 11 using Group Policy
    Use Win+R to open the Run dialog and type gpedit.msc and press enter
    Click on Computer Configuration
    Select Administrative Templates
    Expand Windows Components and select Search,
    On the right pane, find and double click on “Allow Search highlights“
    Choose Disabled and click on Apply and OK.

    Disable search highlights using registry keys
    Disable highlights – click here to download reg key. Click on it and accept file to insert into computer.


    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

    Total of 26 users thanked author for this post. Here are last 20 listed.
    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • #2448675

      For Windows 10 (21H2) there’s no Allow Search highlights to be found in the Group Policies?


      There’s a v2 set of ADMX files which has this setting: Download Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 November 2021 Update (21H2) – v2.0 from Official Microsoft Download Center

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2448754

        For Windows 10 (21H2) there’s no Allow Search highlights to be found in the Group Policies?

        I’m Win 10/Pro  21H2   Build 19044.1645 (April).

        I see it there in Group Policy.  Here’s my Local Computer Policy | Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Search






    • #2448765

      I am Win 10/ 21H2, build 19044.1645

      I have yet to understand how Search Highlights works.  I have it turned ON  via the Taskbar method and ‘Hover’ is ON, too.  See Taskbar – Search settings.JPG.

      However, when I click (or hover) on the image to the right in the Search Box, I do not see two panels with the right one showing a signficant event of the day, trending searches, etc as illustrated in a post <here>, which is supposed to look like 19044-1618.JPG.

      Is this supposed to appear only in Win 11??
      Or do you have to configure “Allow Search Highlights” in Group Policy (or in the registry) in order to see the right panel??

      All I see is one panel, with icons at the top. The first icon is a toggle, to filter apps or not. (It does not say All, as depicted in the 19044-1618 image.). Toggling it one way will produce a flyout with Frequent and Recent apps. See 1st icon toggle #1 Frequent & Recent apps search flyout.JPG. Notice “apps: ” in the Search Box.

      Toggling the first icon the other way will produce a flyout with everything that has been recently searched. See 1st icon toggle #2 Recent everything search flyout.JPG in next post. Notice that there is nothing in the Search Box.

      The 2nd icon is for searching documents. See 2nd icon Document search flyout.JPG in next post. Notice the “documents:” in the Search Box.

      The 3rd icon is for searching the web. See 3rd icon Web search flyout.JPG in next post. Notice the “web:” in the Search Box.

      So, is Win 10 not supposed to get the right panel? Or is it yet to be dribbled out? Or does it have to be first configured via Group Policy or the registry? See post #2448754 for Group Policy screenshot.

      • #2448772

        continuing post #2448765 with the following images
        1st icon toggle #2 Recent everything search flyout.JPG
        2nd icon Document search flyout.JPG
        3rd icon Web search flyout.JPG

        • #2449808

          These screenshots in #2448765 and #2448772 come from the Dell Inspiron 7569 2-in-1.

          I checked my other laptop, a Dell Inspiron 5482 2-in-1 (a newer model), and Search Highlights IS working on that machine. But, it’s not like the screenshot at 19044 1618 preview. Instead, it shows the words AllAppsDocumentsWebMore in the header (i.e., they are not icons). When All is selected, there is a right panel in which the top half shows Top apps and the bottom half shows links for 4 different kinds of Quick searches.

          The 7569 shows nothing like that, although Taskbar>Search> Show search highlights is also turned ON. The header has 3 icons in it, but there is no label for them. And neither toggle of the first icon shows a flyout with a right panel and no section listing types of Quick searches.

          The Apps: search yields different results on the two machines, too. The flyout for the 5482 shows more Frequent and more Recent apps, although the same apps are been accessed on both machines.

          So, it appears that for a consumer user (apart from a business user), there is variation in what Search Highlights produces. I don’t know what the variable is — both of these machines are Win 10/Pro, are x64, have i7 processors, are on 21H2, are on the same build, are on the same Windows Feature Experience Pack, and have a Product ID that begins with the same 5 numbers and ends with the same 5 numbers/letters.

          • #2450760

            There’s more to say now about Search Highlights on my 5482 laptop. If Taskbar|Search|Open on hover is ON and you hover over the icons in the Search box, then you DO get a display that looks like one in 19044-1618.jpg, which is posted in blogs.windows.com. See
            the attached 5482-Search open on hover is ON.JPG. However, notice one difference between that image and the 19044-1618.jpg image: the titles for the items in the left panel (under Recent) are cut off.

            On my 7569, hovering is not is working. On that laptop, even if Taskbar|Search|Open on hover is ON, there are no icons in the Search box (it’s just the plain old Search box) and thus there are no icons to hover over, and thus, no flyout with a right and left panel automatically pops up. You can click in the Search box, however, and get a list of Recent items. See 7569 – plain old search box even if Open-on-hover is ON.JPG.

            Something on the 7569 is stopping Search Highlights from working the way it should.

            • #2451405

              Something on the 7569 is stopping Search Highlights from working the way it should.

              That is to say,
              a) the ‘Search Highlights’ icons WERE appearing in the right-half of the Search box in 19044.1645 (Apri CU), but they are NOT appearing there in 19044.1706.
              The settings in Taskbar-Search are the same — nothing has changed there.

              b) the flyouts have only one panel. [ On the 5482, the ‘All’ choice has two panels]

      • #2448807

        All excellent questions.  This search highlights occurs on both Windows 10 and 11.  Then as noted in https://www.computerworld.com/article/3661670/hey-microsoft-is-anyone-there-listening.html it occurs differently for business/behind domains versus home users “Search Highlights works slightly differently for regular and enterprise users. For the former, it will show meaningful information like holidays, anniversaries, and other educational moments based on the user’s region. Enterprise users, on the other hand, will see relevant files, contacts, and other organizational information.”

        So I agree with your statement “I have yet to understand how Search Highlights works. ”  Yes, I don’t fully understand myself.

        I just know that poor @jenmsft is spending half her day explaining why people are seeing unicorns and horses in the search box.

        see – https://twitter.com/rbn_san/status/1529097103808552960 and https://twitter.com/dbriam/status/1528736095168602112 and https://twitter.com/BasedNerevarine/status/1528666540727492609

        Now then she likes it — https://twitter.com/ealesshar/status/1528526849566973952

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2450938

      I have nothing like what is shown here for Search. I have Search choices: hidden or shown. I’ve always hid it from as far back as I can remember.

      I have Windows 10 Pro 21H2, build 19044.1706. I search “Programs and Files” from Start 10. I also use Agent Ransack for search and have since XP Pro when I stumbled on a thread where a Microsoft bigwig was saying that all business users should have Agent Ransack as it was much faster and superior to Microsoft search. Using Agent Ransack is by far the fastest and best way to search I have found and it is free in litemode for non Enterprise users.

      Show Search Highlights in gpedit.msc is NOT configured. I would expect this computer to ignore a Microsoft attempt in the future to drop any of this junk since I use Start 10 and Agent Ransack for search.

      I am sure glad I have not used Microsoft’s search!!


    • #2450940

      Just more mindless moronic MS junk.  Childish IMO.

    • #2450948

      I don’t use Search, and have it hidden from my Taskbar.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2450970

      Thank you for the reg. Editor download worked for me. I was wondering how to get rid of it.

    • #2454804

      Late to this thread, but my 2 cents:

      I have seen Search Highlights in my Windows 10 PC on the taskbar. Like Weather and News, I immediately disabled it. Just one more needless Microsoft distraction keeping me from getting my real work done.

      As I recall, figuring out what this thing was and how to disable it were relatively simple compared with the Weather and News taskbar distraction.


      -- rc primak

    Viewing 6 reply threads
    Reply To: 6000008 Instructions to get rid of Search highlights in Windows 10 and 11

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: