Keep Your Local Searches Local, Here’s How

With the amount of time we spend with your smartphones and computers these days, these devices have become an integral part of our lives. With the long hours of usage comes a big pile of work and social life-related data to be saved on your device which makes it a difficult task to find a particular file or photo. This is where the search engines and the personal assistants on our devices come in handy. Not only do they search your device for anything related to your search query, they also send your local searches data over the internet to provide you results from all over the world through the internet. Now this feature sure might seem handy to some but on the other hand, one could also feel it violates their privacy. If you belong to the latter category, you’ve come to the right place. This article will show you how to keep your local searches local in true sense on various operating systems.


Spotlight is the app service responsible for fetching results from the internet and your phone for your local searches. It gathers data from Bing, Apple Maps, Wikipedia and many other search engines to display the search results. To disable this, just go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and uncheck the Spotlight Suggestions and the Bing Web Searches and any other option that you don’t want to use.

Disable Spotlight Suggestions in iOS
Disable Spotlight Suggestions in iOS


Unfortunately, Android operating system does not let you make local searches. Android devices contain a Google search bar instead of a local search bar. The Google search bar lets you search the data on your phone and on the internet so you can be pretty sure that anything you type into that Google search bar will be sent over to Google’s servers. The local searches can only be achieved with the help of other apps that let you make truly local searches and don’t send the data anywhere.

Google Search Bar
Google Search Bar

Windows 10

In the latest version of Windows, everything you type in the search bar in the Start menu will go through Cortana which like most other local search bars will give you results from the internet as well as your phone. But that’s not the only problem here. Even if you disable Cortana, your computer will still be sending your search queries to Bing. So you’ll have to disable both Bing and Cortana to keep your local searches local. You can disable Bing integration from the Start menu on your computer running Windows 10. You’ll also have to disable Cortana. To do that, launch Cortana and click on the Notebook icon in the left-hand menu.

Make Searches Local On Cortana
Make Searches Local On Cortana

There you’ll find the “Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more” option which should be slided to off.

Web Browsers

Most of the web browsers in use these days have now merged the search bar and the address bar to form a universal bar where the search queries and webpage URLs go together. Now this makes the search bars extremely helpful but at the same time this feature also means that you will get suggestions as-you-type to complete your words which some people might find annoying.

A possible solution is to use a browser that has separate search bar and webpage URL bar but if your current browser is too dear to you, you’ll have to navigate to the browser settings and disable the search suggestions option.

We hope this tutorial helps you keep your local searches truly local. Stay tuned for many more such tutorials.

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