Windows Taskbar Search Bar Web Results Option Completely Missing


  1. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Windows Taskbar Search Bar Web Results Option Completely Missing


    I have Windows 10 22H2 (19045.2604). On my main user account, the option for showing web search results when using the search on the windows taskbar is completely missing. Meaning that it is both non-functional, and the option to enable/disable it from the settings is not there. Same goes for the "Search Highlights" feature (the one that adds a little graphic inside the search bar), there is no option to turn it on/off it's just not there.

    However, when I login to the administrator account (which is the only other account I have setup), all those features are there and work fine. So it's something specific to my main user account. But what?

    Here is what I've tried so far (without success):
    • I've tried seeing if it was disabled in group policy.
    • I tried seeing if it was disabled in registry for my user.
    • I ran "sfc /scannow" and it reported that it fixed some errors, but not this problem.
    • I ran DISM tool as well but it reported no issues.


    Does anyone have any ideas of what else I can try?

    Thanks in advance!

    I'm totally and utterly stumped.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 43,206
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #2

    Hi, this video covers a range of settings one of which might give rise to what you're seeing... not all will be directly relevant.
    How to Disable Web Results in Windows 10 Search - YouTube

    Given that it's functional and available in one account but not the other generalised Windows repairs are very unlikely to help.

    You can perhaps see this, but it's probably what you've done being the best known approach:
    Turn On or Off Search online and include web results in Windows 10

    - from the huge searchable Tutorials section - as you haven't said where you looked in the registry.

    Similar- with more history:
    How to disable web search in Windows 10 taskbar

    - which relates to this useful tool:
    Windows Taskbar Search Bar Web Results Option Completely Missing-1.jpg
    Last edited by dalchina; 26 Feb 2023 at 01:33.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thank you very much dalchina!

    The resources you mentioned pointed me in the right direction.

    It turned out that this key in the registry was set to 0 (disabled):
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search]
    "BingSearchEnabled=dword:00000000"


    I set it to '1', signed out, then signed back in and the web search option was finally working.
    Doing this also enabled the "Search Highlights" feature.

    My previous attempt at examining the registry was limited to this key:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer]
    "DisableSearchBoxSuggestions"

    Because my registry didn't even have the "Explorer" key in the above path, under which the "DisableSearchBoxSuggestions" DWORD would appear, I dismissed that as not being the issue.

    Just as a side-note, in order to accomplish the above I had to temporarily elevate my user account to administrator because otherwise it wouldn't let me edit the registry. If I ran Registry Editor with admin privileges under my regular user account then 'HKEY_CURRENT_USER' would point to the admin account for some reason and not my actual user account I was signed-in from.

    Anyway, as I said everything works fine now, so thank you again! :)
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 43,206
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #4



    Just as a side-note, in order to accomplish the above I had to temporarily elevate my user account to administrator because otherwise it wouldn't let me edit the registry.
    Another option could be to use
    PowerRun v1.6 (Run with highest privileges)
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Just wanted to add that my suspicion as to what disabled the BingSearchEnabled option in the registry to start with, was a little tool I used called "O&O ShutUp". For those unfamiliar this is a popular tool meant to disable Windows 10 telemetry and other data sharing with Microsoft for people who have privacy concerns (such as myself).

    However the issue with this tool, as I suspect, is that it disables certain features (like this one), but then subsequent versions of the tool may no longer have the toggles to disable/enable the same features, or it used different (updated) methods of achieving the same goals.

    Based on the above, what I think happened is that an older version of O&O ShutUp affected this change, which the newest version was not able to reverse, because even after disabling and reversing all of its changes it did not resolve the problem (neglected to mention trying this in my original post). This would also explain why I only had this problem on one user account and not the other, because I ever only used this tool on my main user account.

    Just something to be aware of that's all.
      My Computer


 

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