How to Disable Web Content Suggestions and Search Highlights in Search on Windows 11

Declutter your Search menu on Windows 11

Search highlights and content suggestions in Windows search is an interesting feature that showcases interesting and notable moments of what’s special about each day (like holidays, anniversaries, etc.) as well as trending Searches, Microsoft rewards, interesting facts, and more. If you logged into your work or school account, search highlights show the latest updates from your organization, files, and more.

But for some, search highlights can be distracting. They can even slow down the already sluggish Windows search function. Content suggestions and search highlights are another Microsoft ploy to get more users to use the Microsoft Edge browser and push Bing’s services to Windows users.

If you are annoyed by the Search Highlights and can do without it, then disabling it is a pretty straightforward and easy process. In this post, we will demonstrate three different ways to disable the Web content suggestions and search highlight feature in Windows search on Windows 11.

Disable Search Highlights using Windows Settings (For Current User)

The easiest way to disable or enable Search Highlights in Windows 11 is through the Windows setting app. However, this method will only affect the current user. If you wish to disable the feature system-wide for all users, you are going to have to use the Group Policy editor or Registry Editor to modify the settings. Here’s how you can enable or disable search highlights and content suggestions:

Right-click the Start menu and select ‘Settings’ or press the Windows+I keyboard shortcut to open Windows Settings.

From the left-side pane, click on ‘Privacy & security’ and then select ‘Search permissions’ under Windows permissions on your right.

Scroll all the way down to More settings and turn off the ‘Show search highlights’ toggle, and that’s it.

Now, if you open the Windows search by clicking the search button on the taskbar, it will no longer show you the search highlights and trending searches.

If you ever need to turn back the search highlights, navigate to the ‘Show search highlights’ option and turn on the toggle.

Disable or Enable Search Highlights using Group Policy Editor (For All Users)

If you are a system administrator, you probably prefer to use Group Policy Editor to manage windows settings. However, Group Policy Editor is only available on Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. If you intend to disable Search highlights for all users on your computer at once, then Group Policy is the right way to go about it. Follow these steps to disable or enable search highlights via Group Policy. For this, you need to be signed as an administrator.

Open the Start menu, type ‘Edit Group Policy’ and select the best match result. Alternatively, press Windows+R, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter.

Once the Group Policy Editor launches, navigate to the following path using the left sidebar.

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search

Inside the Search folder, double-click on the ‘Allow search highlights’ option on your right.

In the next window, select the ‘Disabled’ radio button and click ‘Apply’ to save changes.

After that, close both windows and restart your computer. The search highlights should now have been disabled on your PC.

Similarly, you can re-enable the search highlights by navigating to the above ‘Allow search highlights’ option and selecting ‘Not configured’ or ‘Enabled’.

Disable or Enable Search Highlights using Registry Editor (For Current or All Users)

Another great way to disable or enable the Search Highlights feature is to use the Registry Editor. If you use a device with the Home edition, Registry Editor is an alternative to the Group Policy Editor. Unlike the other two methods, Registry Editor lets you disable or enable the Search Highlights feature for current or all users. Let us see how to disable Search Highlights via Registry Editor.

Press Windows+R to open the Run Command, type regedit, and hit Enter to launch Windows Registry Editor. Alternatively, you can search for ‘Registry Editor’ from the Windows search and open the application.

Then, click ‘Yes’ when the User Account Prompt appears.

We recommend that you create a full backup of your registry files before proceeding to make changes to them. If you don’t know to how backup the Windows registry, follow these steps:

In the Registry Editor, click the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Export…’.

In the following window, select ‘All’ under the Export range. Then specify the name for the backup file, choose a destination, and click ‘Save’.

Disable Search Highlights for the Current User on Windows 11

Navigate to the following key using the left panel or copy-paste this path into the address bar at the top:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SearchSettings

Now, double-click IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled on the right pane.

Change the ‘Value data’ to 0 (zero) and hit ‘OK’.

After that, restart your computer to apply the changes. Search Highlights will be disabled when Windows starts again.

If you want the feature back, you can re-enable it by going to the registry key and changing the value of IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled to 1.

Disable Search Highlights for the All Users on Windows 11

You can also disable search highlights for all user accounts in Windows 11 using the registry editor. For this, you have to edit a different registry key. Follow these steps to disable search highlights for all users at once:

First, open the Registry editor and navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

If the ‘Windows Search’ key doesn’t exist, right-click on the ‘Windows’ folder and select ‘New’ > ‘Key’.

Then, rename the key to ‘Windows Search’.

On your right, look for the ‘EnableDynamicContentInWSB’ entry and double-click on it.

If the DWORD doesn’t exist, right-click on the empty area and select ‘New’ > ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value. Then, rename the newly created registry DWORD to ‘EnableDynamicContentInWSB’.

Then, double-click on the EnableDynamicContentInWSB and change its value to 0 (zero) then click ‘OK’.

Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer to apply the changes. Now, search highlights will be disabled across all accounts at once.

If you wish to turn on search highlights at any point, navigate to the same registry key (Windows Search) and change the Value data for EnableDynamicContentInWSB to 1.

When you use Registry Editor or Local Group Policy Editor to disable or enable Search highlights, it will override the Windows Settings. For instance, if you disable the search highlights feature using Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor, the feature will be turned off whether the ‘Show search highlights’ option in settings is enabled or disabled.

Disable Web Results in Windows Search on Windows 11

Whenever you search for anything in the Windows Search, if the device can’t find the relevant items (files, apps, settings, or services) on your computer, it will show you a list of web results suggestions from Bing. Even if the searched items are found on the system, it will also show web search suggestions for the query. This can be useful but it can also interfere with the task at hand. Besides, disabling Search Highlights doesn’t necessarily disable web results in Windows Search.

If you don’t want these web results, you can disable them from the Windows search. There is no direct option to disable web results in Windows Search. And Windows settings only allow you to filter these results but not disable them. However, you can turn off the web suggestions and web results using a registry tweak or group policy change. Let us see how to do that.

Disable Web Results using Group Policy Editor on Windows 11

If you are running Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, Education, or higher edition, the best way to disable web results in Windows Search is by using the Group Policy Editor.

Type gpedit.msc in the Run Command box and click ‘OK’ to launch Group Policy Editor.

When the Group Policy Editor appears, browse to the following path using the left panel:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

On your right, double-click on the ‘Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box’ policy.

In the following window, select ‘Enabled’, click ‘Apply’, and then ‘OK’.

Then, restart your computer to apply the changes.

Disable Web Results using Registry Editor on Windows 11

If you are using a device with Windows 11 Home edition, then you need to use Registry Editor to disable web results in Windows search. Here’s how you do this:

Type regedit in the Run dialog box and hit ‘OK’ to launch Registry Editor.

In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following path or copy-paste the same into your address bar at the top. 

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Now, look for a key named Explorer under Windows. If it’s not available, right-click the ‘Windows’ key, select the ‘New’ menu and choose the ‘Key’ option.

Then, rename the key as Explorer.

With the ‘Explorer’ key selected, right-click an empty area again and select the ‘New’ menu and choose the ‘DWORD (32-bit) value’ option.

Then, rename the newly created DWORD as DisableSearchBoxSuggestions.

After that, double-click the new DWORD and set its Value Data to 1. Click ‘OK’.

Then, close the Registry Editor and reboot your system. Disabling web results in Windows Search using Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor will also disable search highlights.


Using the methods above, you can easily disable Web Content Suggestions and Search Highlights in Windows 11 and declutter your search menu.