RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
July 23, 2022
You may have noticed new, and ever-changing, little icons in the Search box on Windows 10’s Taskbar. That’s a “search highlight.” If you are like us, we found these icons very annoying. Here’s what it is and how to remove it.
This is for Windows 10 and 11. Screenshots are from Windows 10
Why the Icons
The icons are a part of a new feature rolled out to Windows 10 and Windows 11 as part of an April 2022 update.
The particular feature is called Search Highlights and it integrates a rotating set of icons into the right-hand side of the toolbar Search box. Depending on the day, the icons are specific; such as to celebrate the U.S. Open golf tournament, or more generic with suggested backgrounds, like photos of U.S. national parks.
In addition to placing the icons in the Search box, the Search Highlights feature also puts “highlighted” content into the Search menu on both Windows 10 and Windows 11. The highlights include news, trending stories, word and quote of the day tiles (presumably rolled out on slow news days,) as well as a trending searches tile.
If you like Microsoft’s bid to mimic a sort of Google daily doodle combined with a little news showcase in your Search menu then you can, naturally, just leave things how they are.
But if you had a less than positive reaction to the change, it’s thankfully very simple to turn off. Yea!
Remove the Icons
First, on Windows 10, you will see the icons in the Search box. Refer to the below image:
Next, right-click on a blank area in your Taskbar to pull up the menu, select Search and uncheck Show search highlights option to get rid of these silly icons. Refer to the below image:
Although there’s no Search box (and thus no new icons) on Windows 11, you can still turn off the highlights in the Search menu. Just head to:
Settings > Privacy & Security > Search Permissions > More Settings
In the More Settings section just toggle OFF the switch Show Search Highlights.
With that simple change, there will not be any more icons in the Search box or news highlights in the Search menu.
Quote For the Day
The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them.Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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