Windows 10: Windows Search connecting to MSFT

  1.    28 Sep 2016 #1

    Windows Search connecting to MSFT


    Hi,
    I blocked in Firewall the IP range : 204.79.195.0 - 197.255 and now Search UI ( Win+S) just does not work at all.
    Does it mean that Search UI is all the time connected to MS and anything I type just lands on MS Servers?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 3,672
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       28 Sep 2016 #2

    Could be. I've never cared for the built-in Search for Internet stuff so use DuckDuckGo as the default in my browsers [have 4 installed], get better/more pertinent results. I do use the Search feature in File Explorer for files on my drives.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    28 Sep 2016 #3

    Berton said: View Post
    Could be. I've never cared for the built-in Search for Internet stuff so use DuckDuckGo in my browsers [have 4 installed], get better/more pertinent results. I do use the Search feature in File Explorer for files on my drives.
    Hi there,
    The Search Function in File Explorer is not affected. Is only the "new" Search .
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    28 Sep 2016 #4

    Adalwar said: View Post
    Hi,
    I blocked in Firewall the IP range : 204.79.195.0 - 197.255 and now Search UI ( Win+S) just does not work at all.
    It's not really a good idea to block entire IP address ranges indiscriminately. Instead, if you want the Start Menu search to only work locally, go to the search settings and turn off 'Search Online and Include Web Results'.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Does it mean that Search UI is all the time connected to MS and anything I type just lands on MS Servers?
    A while ago when bloggers were posting articles about this, I decided to capture all network traffic to see what Windows Search was doing and what it was sending to Microsoft servers. With Cortana turned off and 'Search Online and Include Web Results' turned off, SearchUI.exe does indeed still make an outbound connection to www[.]bing.com, but I never observed it sending any data/search queries to that IP address, instead it just requests what appears to be some sort of UI style sheets. I don't know whether the same is true with Cortana turned on, as I've always had it turned off.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    03 Oct 2016 #5

    Following on from the above post, if you reset or clean install the Windows 10 1607 Anniversary Upgrade, it no longer gives you the ability to turn off 'Search online and include web results' shown in the above pic.

    It's possible to disable 'Search online and include web results' and 'Cortana' through Group Policy (on Windows Pro or Enterprise), however Start Menu search still won't work (not even for searching locally) without an internet connection. It's not just when blocked with a firewall, but if you're in an area without Wi-Fi, or if you lose your internet connection, when you boot the machine it will just show a completely blank search menu, even if it's set to only search locally. Pretty poor IMO.

    It looks like SearchUI.exe requests /AS/API/WindowsCortanaPane/V2/Init from www[.]bing.com, and if it doesn't get it, no Start Menu search for you!

    Anyway, here are the Group Policy settings to disable web search in the Start Menu:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search > Disable 'Allow Cortana'
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search > Enable 'Don't search the web or display web results in Search'

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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