The Desktop search bar in Windows 11 appears on the desktop outside of the Widgets panel. It helps you access web search results directly from your desktop without opening a browser. As of right now, the feature is available for only a limited number of users, so it may not be available to everyone right away.
If you are running Windows 11 Build 25120 and are unable to use this feature, you must enable it manually. To do so, you will have to download ViveTool and activate its experimental hidden desktop search tool. Keep reading to learn more about how to use the Desktop Search Bar in Windows 11.
Enable or Disable Desktop Search Bar in Windows 11
This post will show you how to enable and disable the new Desktop Search Bar in Windows 11. Currently, this feature has only been released for testing purposes, so it has only been available to a few users on the Dev channel. In case you do not find this feature useful, you can disable the Desktop search bar as well. Let’s look at each method in detail:
1] How to Enable Desktop Search Bar in Windows 11
If you would like to try the new desktop search bar feature on your Windows 11 computer screen, you will first need to download the ViveTool. Here’s the process you can use to do so:
- Download Vivetool from Github.
- Once downloaded, unzip the file.
- Copy the path to the extracted folder.
- Run Command Prompt as an administrator.
- Paste the path of the folder in the Command Prompt, “C:\Users\<username>\Downloads\ViVeTool-v0.2.1”.
- In the above command line, replace the path with the one you copied earlier.
- Press the Enter key to execute the command.
- Restart your computer to take effect.
If you need more explanation of the above steps, please refer to the below section:
To get it started, you first need to download the ViveTool from Github. After the download is complete, press the Windows key + E to open the File Explorer window and browse to the downloaded folder. On this page, you have to right-click the ViveTool ZIP file and then choose Extract All from the context menu.
When you extract the folder, right-click on the extracted folder and select the Copy as path option. It is now required to run the Command Prompt as an administrator.
To do so, press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Next, type cmd in the text box and hit Ctrl+Shift+Enter. If you see the UAC window on the screen, click Yes to proceed.
Once the command prompt window appears, type cd <space> and paste the copied path. Now press the Enter key to run the command:
This is what it looks like in my case, as you can see in the above snapshot. Once this is done, execute the following command:
vivetool addconfig 37969115 2
Once it is done, you should close the Command Prompt window and restart the computer.
When your computer restarts, right-click on the desktop and select Show more options and then select Show search from the context menu. In the above screenshot, you can see this.
The experimental desktop search bar appears on the desktop of Windows 11 where you can perform any type of search you like, straight from the desktop. There is one thing to keep in mind is that the search bar doesn’t care about your browser settings, and will only search with Bing and Microsoft Edge.
2] How to Disable Desktop Search Bar in Windows 11
In case you don’t want the desktop search box, Windows 11 gives you the option to turn it off. To do this, you must follow these steps:
- Press the Windows key + E to open the File Explorer window.
- Browse to the location where you saved the extracted ViVeTool folder.
- When you have located the folder, right-click it and choose Copy as Path.
- Now open the command prompt as an administrator.
- Type cd <space> and paste the copied path into the command field. Then hit Enter to run the command.
- After this, type the below command and press Enter:
- The above screenshot illustrates the way it appears to me. After that, you should execute the below command:
vivetool delconfig 37969115 2
- Now close the Command Prompt window and restart the computer.
In this way, you can disable the Desktop search bar in Windows 11 when you enabled it earlier and no longer wish to use it.
Read: How to remove Windows Spotlight Learn about this picture Desktop icon in Windows 11
What should I do with Windows Search?
With Windows Search, desktop users can instantly perform searches across a wide range of file formats and kinds of data.
Is there a good search engine for Windows 11?
Windows 11 operating system comes with a handy built-in search function. However, if you’re looking for more options and features, you can check out FileSearchy. This freeware provides a variety of options for finding specific files on your computer.
Related Post: How to configure Indexing Options and Settings for Windows 11 Search.