Windows 11 shows ads and suggestions in the Start menu search using the Search Highlights feature. Here’s how to disable it.
With the recent few updates, Microsoft added a new feature to the Start menu and taskbar called Search Highlights. Now, unlike what you think, this feature doesn’t highlight local files or applications. Instead, it tries to highlight online search content and show ads & suggestions. For example, I recently opened the search on the taskbar, and it immediately showed the Cyber Monday deals.
The ads and suggested content might be helpful for some users. However, if you don’t like ads in the Start menu search or suggested content, you can disable search highlights. i.e., disable Start menu search ads.
Without further ado, let me show you how to disable Start menu search ads, a.k.a. search highlights, in Windows 11.
Table of contents:
- How to disable Start menu search ads in Windows 11
- How to disable Start menu search ads using Registry
How to disable Start menu search ads in Windows 11
To disable Start menu search ads, you have to disable the Search Highlights feature. You can do that from the Search Permissions page in the Windows 11 settings app. Let me show you how to do it.
- Launch “Settings” with “Win + I.”
- Select “Privacy & security” on the sidebar.
- Go to the “Search permissions” page.
- Scroll down and find the “More settings” section.
- Turn off the “Show search highlights” option.
- Close the Settings app.
- With that, you’ve disabled Search Highlights.
- Windows 11 will no longer show ads in the Start menu search.
Steps with more details:
First thing, launch the Settings app. You can click the “Settings” icon on the taskbar or search for “Settings” in the Start menu.
After opening it, click “Privacy & security” option on the sidebar. Next, scroll down the right page and turn off the “Show search highlights” option.
As soon as you do that, Windows 11 disabled Start menu search ads. i.e., the Search Highlights feature.
How to disable Start menu search ads using Registry
Modifying the “IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled” value allwos you to disable Search Highlights a.k.a Start menu ads in Windows 11. Let me show you how.
- Press the “Win + R” shortcut.
- Type “regedit” and click “Ok.”
- Go to the following folder.
- Right-click on the “SearchSettings” folder.
- Choose the “New -> DWORD Value.”
- Set “IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled” as the name.
- Double-click the value you just created.
- Type “0” in the Value Data field.
- Press “Ok.”
- Close the Registry Editor.
- Reboot Windows.
- With that, the Start menu ads are disabled in Windows 11.
Steps with more details:
First, open the Registry Editor in Windows 11. To do that, run the “regedit” command or search for “Registry Editor” in the Start menu.
After opening it, follow the below path and go to the “SearchSettings” folder. This is the folder that allows you manage the Search Highlights feature.
Here, we must create a new DWORD Value. To do that, right-click the “SearchSettings” folder. Choose the “New -> DWORD Value” option.
The above action creates an empty DWORD Value. Name the new value as “IsDynamicSearchBoxEnabled.”
Next, double-click the newly created value and type “0” in the “Value Data” field. Press the “Ok” button to save changes.
Close the Registry Editor and reboot Windows 11. After rebooting, the Search Highlights feature is disabled and you will no longer see ads in the Start menu search.
That is all. It is that simple to disable Start menu search ads in Windows 11.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.