The search in Windows 10 returns local files, programs and settings but also web results by default. While that may be useful to some users of the operating system, it is irritating or useless for others.
Since most web results are generic search suggestions, it is just a faster way of running searches instead of getting results directly displayed in the interface.
If you search for gpedit.msc for instance using the search in Windows 10, you will notice that the right result is displayed at the top.
Below that are web results however which make up the bulk of the results listing. While some results may be useful at times, others appear outdated, e.g. gpedit.msc vista, and of little use because of that.
Update: Check out Microsoft broke "disable web search" in Windows 10 version 1803
I will never use the search for a couple of reasons. First, I don't need it there as I want local files and settings to be returned exclusively when I run a search on Windows 10.
Second, the suggestions are too generic most of the time and third, since a browser is open all the time on my system, I can run a search using it as well without having to add another step to the process.
Thankfully, Microsoft has added options to disable web search in Windows 10 so that only local results are returned.
The problem with this right now is however that it won't work for everybody. While Microsoft has added policies to block web searches in Windows 10, they don't seem to work in recent builds, at least not for everybody.
However, it is more than likely that this will get sorted out before release.
This method worked in earlier builds of Windows 10 and it is very likely that it will work in newer builds as well.
The following method is useful to Windows 10 Home users who don't have access to the Group Policy Editor.
Update: Microsoft removed the option to disable web searches in the Settings UI. The following method does not work anymore.
Probably the easiest option of the four methods to disable web search in Windows 10.
What you may do instead for now is block access to Search using the Windows Firewall. If you open the firewall configuration, you will notice that a Search rule is set there already which you just need to disable.
Note: Search is listed as an option in stable builds, but most recent Insider Builds don't seem to have that entry anymore.
When you run searches now, web results are not displayed anymore in the search results. Please note that a "can't connect to Search, make sure you've got Internet" is displayed in the start menu if you block Search from making outbound connections.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.