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Top 3 Ways to Disable or Enable Search Highlights in Windows 10 and Windows 11 – Guiding Tech

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Search highlights a nifty feature on Windows to improve your search experience more comprehensive. Besides showing you the results, it highlights ongoing trends, interesting facts, news, and more as you use the search tool on Windows. By default, search highlights come pre-enabled on your computer. However, Windows lets you alter settings and change that behavior.
svg%3ETop Ways to Disable or Enable Search Highlights in Windows 10 and Windows 11
The search highlight feature may or may not be very useful, depending on how you see it. In this post, we’ll show three different ways to disable or enable search highlights on Windows 10 and Windows 11. So, let’s get right to it.
The Settings app on Windows allows you to control most things on your PC. You can use it to disable or enable the search highlights feature quickly. Here’s how you can enable or disable search highlights.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Settings from the list. Alternatively, you can also use the Windows key + I shortcut to open the Settings app.
svg%3EOpen Settings on Windows 11 20
Step 2: Select Privacy & security from the left-side column.
svg%3EPrivacy Security Settings on Windows
Step 3: Next, click on Search permissions on your right.
svg%3ESearch Permissions on Windows
Step 4: Scroll all the way down to More settings and toggle off the Show search highlights option.
svg%3ETurn Off Search Highlights on Windows
And that’s about it. You’ll no longer see search highlights while using Windows Search. If you’re on Windows 10, there’s a much faster way to disable search highlights. Right-click on the Taskbar, go to Search, and uncheck the Show search highlights option.
svg%3EDisable Search Highlights on Windows 10 1
If you’re an avid Windows user who enjoys tinkering with the Registry Editor, you can use the following registry trick to enable or disable search highlights. Besides, this method can be useful to manage search highlights settings for all the users on your PC at once.
We’d recommend you follow the steps carefully and backup all the registry files before making any changes.
Step 1: Press the Windows key + S to open Windows Search. Type registry editor in the box and select Run as administrator.
svg%3EOpen Registry Editor on Windows 11 3
Step 2: Select Yes when the User Account Prompt appears.
svg%3EOpen Registry Editor Prompt 1
Step 3: In the Registry Editor window, use the address bar at the top to navigate to the following key:
svg%3ERegistry Editor 1
Step 4: On your right, look for the EnableDynamicContentInWSB entry.
svg%3ERegistry Key
If you can’t find it, right-click anywhere on the empty space, go to New, and select DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it ‘EnableDynamicContentInWSB.’
svg%3ECreate New DWORD in Registry
Step 5: Double-click on EnableDynamicContentInWSB and change its Value data to 0 (zero) and hit OK.
svg%3EDisable Search Highlights on Windows From Registry Editor
Exit Registry Editor and restart your PC to apply the changes. If you wish to enable the search highlights at any point, follow the same steps above and change the Value data for EnableDynamicContentInWSB to 1 in Step 5.
svg%3EEnable Search Highlights on Windows via Registry Editor
Similar to Registry Editor, Group Policy Editor also allows you to change your PC’s settings. However, it’s important to note that Group Policy Editor is only available on Windows Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. So, if you’re using Home edition of Windows 10 and Windows 11, you’ll have to make do with the above two methods.
To disable or enable search highlights via Group Policy, follow the steps below. You’ll need to be signed in as an administrator to use this option.
Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog box. Type in gpedit.msc in the Open field and press Enter.
svg%3EOpen Group Policy on Windows
Step 2: In the Local Group Policy Editor window, select Computer Configuration fr. Then expand Administrative Templates and locate the Windows Components folder.
svg%3EWindows Components on Group Policy Editor
Step 3: Inside Windows Components, scroll down to locate the Search folder.
svg%3EGroup Policy on Windows
Step 4: Double click on Allow search highlights option on your right.
svg%3EAllow Search Highlights in Group Policy
Step 5: Select Disabled on the following window and hit Apply to save changes.
svg%3EDisable Search Highlights on Windows From Group Policy Editor
Similarly, you can select Enabled in Step 5 to activate the search highlight functionality at any point.
svg%3EEnable Search Highlights on Windows From Group Policy Editor
Search highlights is another attempt from Microsoft to get you to like its services, mostly Bing and Edge. However, it could be distracting to see those random facts and images appear in the search tool when scouring your PC for apps, files, and other important settings. What are your thoughts about search highlights? Do you find it useful or distracting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Don’t like using Widgets on Windows 11? Check out this guide to learn how to get rid of Widgets on Windows 11.
Last updated on 03 May, 2022
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Pankil is a Civil Engineer by profession who started his journey as a writer at EOTO.tech. He recently joined Guiding Tech as a freelance writer to cover how-tos, explainers, buying guides, tips and tricks for Android, iOS, Windows, and Web.
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