Question from Bill: I hope you can help me with a Windows issue, Rick.
When I click the Start button and search for something it always gives me a bunch of results from the web right below the regular results it found on the computer.
I’d love to get rid of those web results because I’m always clicking on them thinking it’s finding something on my computer when it’s really on some website.
Is there any way to omit the web results from my Windows searches? I looked through the settings screens and couldn’t find a way to do it.
Rick’s answer: Bill, there is indeed a way to force Windows to skip the web results when you search for something on your local PC, but as you discovered you can’t do it via a Settings change. It requires a Registry hack instead.
You didn’t mention which version of Windows your PC has on it, but it doesn’t really matter. The procedure is the same regardless of whether you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Windows 10 Pro and Windows 11 Pro
If your PC is running either Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro you can easily use the “Group Policy Editor” to disable web results with just a few clicks. Here’s how:
1 – Click the Start button and type gpedit.msc, then select Group Policy Editor from the list of search results.
2 – In the left-hand column, navigate to the following:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search
3 – Double-click on “Do not allow web search” and toggle that setting to Enabled.
4 – Click Ok.
5 – Double-click on “Don’t search the web or display web results in Search” and toggle that setting to Enabled.
6 – Click Ok.
7 – Restart the PC.
That’s all there is to it. After your computer has booted back up into Windows you should no longer see any web results listed when you use the Windows Search tool.
Windows 10 Home and Windows 11 Home
You can disable web results in the Home versions of Windows as well, but you can’t do it using the Group Policy Editor because that tool isn’t available in the Home versions. You’ll need to use the Registry Editor tool instead.
You’ll find instructions for omitting web results from your searches in the Home versions of Windows below, but first I must ask you to read and agree to my semi-standard disclaimer:
Important: The steps detailed below for this tip require editing the Windows Registry, a process that can cause system instability and even failure of your PC to boot properly into Windows if something were to go wrong.
By following the steps below, you agree that if the sheep grazing in the pasture field across the road begin crowing like roosters, your car starts up on its own and simply drives away or your computer becomes unstable or refuses to boot up into Windows after completing the steps in this tip, it won’t be the fault of me, your humble tech blogger. In short, you agree to follow the steps listed below at your own risk.
If you agree with everything I said above, feel free to follow the steps below to omit the web results from your Windows searches:
1 – Click the Start button and type regedit.exe, then select Registry Editor from the list of search results.
2 – Answer Yes in response to the “User Account Control” prompt.
3 – Create a backup of the Registry by clicking File > Export.
4 – In the left-hand column navigate to the following:
5 – Right-click on Search and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value
6 – Name the new Dword Value you just created BingSearchEnabled, them double-click on it and set its data field to 0.
7 – Click File > Exit to close the Registry Editor.
That’s all there is to it. There’s no need to reboot your PC because the change should already be in effect. You should no longer see any web results when you use the Windows Search tool.
I hope this helps, Bill. Good luck!