How to Disable Web Search in Cortana

Microsoft is developing Windows 10 and Cortana is probably the most lucrative feature of this upcoming operating system. If you are using Windows 10 Technical Preview, you may have already setup this native Microsoft digital assistant. If so, you know that Cortana shows three types of search result.

Disable Cortana web search

First, it shows apps according to your search keyword.

Second, it shows settings as per your search term.

Third, it shows web search result.

For instance, if you have made a search for Word to open Wordpad, you will get a result like this following image,

Cortana Web Search

As the image described, the first two search results are app (inbuilt + user app). Second section of search result is showing some settings based on your search term. The last result is from web. Cortana displays common search terms. For example, here Cortana is showing “Wordpress”, “Wordle” etc. since we have made search for Word.

This is indeed a great feature for them, who want to search for an app on the web if he/she does not find it in PC. For example, suppose, you have made search for WinRAR but, you don’t have that in your PC. At such moment, you can easily click on the respective search result and search for WinRAR on the web.

However, if you do not want to get the web search result in Cortana search box because you do not need that for any reason, here is a small trick that will disable web search in Cortana. You do not have to install any third party software. Group Policy Editor of Windows 10 can do the job easily. Nevertheless, make sure that you have Group Policy Editor present in your PC. Generally, Home version of Windows doesn’t contain this Group Policy Editor. But, if you have, you can go ahead.

Disable web search in Cortana using Group Policy Editor

At first, open Group Policy Editor. To do so, press Win + R, type gpedit.msc and hit enter. Now, navigate through the following path,

Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> Windows Components >> Search

On the right pane, you will get three options,

  • Do not allow web search
  • Don’t search the web or display web results in Search
  • Don’t search the web or display web results in Search over metered connections

Web Search Settings in Group Policy

By default, all those options are Not Configured. Just click on each of them one by one, select Enabled and Apply your settings.

Now, you have to restart your PC. Generally, changes in Group Policy Editor do not need Restart, but this particular change requires Restart to start rolling out.

Final Word

Instead of getting a huge list of search results in this small search box, this is far better to disable them using this simple Group Policy Editor trick. This will help you, if you don’t need web search result.

P.S. – This trick has been executed on Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 10130.

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