Disable Web Search in Windows 10

Mindwatering Incorporated

Author: Tripp W Black

Created: 08/27 at 10:52 AM

 

Category:
General PC Maintenance
Windows

Issue:
The Settings --> Personalization --Start, suggestions setting to turn "occasionally" offer ads and app suggestions is "broken" in newer Windows 10 release builds (1803 onward).
(It's broken in that the settings is off, and that the word occasionally has been redefined to always.


Solution:
Switch to Linux. Or if you have software needs that are only on two OS offerings, switch to the lesser daemon.


Partial Mitigations for "Pro" and "Enterprise" Editions:
We can use the GPO (Group Policy Editor) to turn off some of it.

1. Start --> Type to search bar --> gpedit.msc

2. Browse on the left menu sidebar:
Local Computer Policy --> Computer Configuration --> Administrative Templates --> Windows Components --> Search

- On the right, locate:
a. Do not allow web search, double-click to open. Set to Enabled.

b. Don't search the web or display web results in Search, double-click to open. Set to Enabled.

b. Don't search the web or display web results in Search over metered connections, double-click to open. Set to Enabled.


3. On the left side, still under Windows Component, go to News and Interests.
Local Computer Policy --> Computer Configuration --> Administrative Templates --> Windows Components --> News and Interests

- On the right, locate:
Enable news and interests, double-click to open. Change from Not Configured or Enabled, to Disabled.

It should be noted that according to answers.microsoft.com, this only "hides the service" and does not truly remove the service. There is not a "good way to remove the service" without also removing the "toolbar and search capabilities". This is only a superficial mitigation, in that the issue still exists, we cannot just see it anymore.

4. Reboot PC.
Start --> Power icon --> Restart
or, from the command line, force explorer to reboot:
$ gpupdate /force









previous page