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Remove the Built-In Search Bar on IE 7

If you use a toolbar such as the Google or Yahoo toolbars, you probably won’t want to see the built-in search box in Internet Explorer 7. There’s a quick registry fix that you can do to enable / disable this.

 

This registry fix works by adding in the DWORD value NoSearchBox, with the value set to 1, to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions

Hide Search Box

Download Hide Search Box Registry Fix

Show Search Box

Download Show Search Box Registry Fix

Here’s what it looks like in action, with the search box hidden

 

This should work for IE7 on Windows Vista as well as on Windows XP.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/25/07

Comments (50)

  1. Jay

    Thanks so much for this great fix. Is there anyway to reize the address toolbar (in ie7) so that it does not take up the whole width of the screen so I can fit links or another toolbar there?

  2. Richiemagoo

    What Jay says! Plus: I couldn’t find the exact registry key mentioned above, so I downloaded the Hide Search Box program above on my brand new ‘puter….and it worked like a charm. Thanks! (Why must we have all this bloatware and advertising on these ‘puters? We’re paying for them…it’s not like we’re getting them for free! I’ve spent 2 whole days getting all the crap out of my Vista Basic!)[or so I think]

  3. J.P.

    Micro$oft sucks for not installing an easy way to get the insipid search box off of I.E. 7. I couldn’t believe it when I right clicked the thing and was only offered a CHOICE of DIFFERENT search engines and NOT the option to remove the box! This fix took about 30 seconds, though.
    Thank you How-to Geek!

  4. Shaniwarwada

    This is awesome. I hate having microsoft choose how I search.

  5. David M

    I have no such key, running Vista Business. ??

  6. Johan

    Thanks, that is much better. Microsoft bloatware sucks big-time. Too bad that naive web site creators forces us to use that crap.

  7. D L

    Thanks!! Everyone around me is happy too — with that search bar on my IE7, I was so ticked off I was transformed into this huge angry gorilla, howling and pounding my chest all the time. With it gone, I’ve been able to calm down a bit, and start using human language again.

  8. misterhaan

    works great for internet explorer, but how about getting rid of it (or at least making it smaller) in windows explorer?

  9. AmyA

    Thanks so much! I use the google toolbar and that extra search box was driving me nuts. Much better now.

  10. VolStan

    I have no such key; is there another solution?

    OS: Windows XP Pro 2002 SP2

  11. vicious

    Far much better now, really thanks, but I am not using IE 7 it is not because I dont have it lol, it is because I love mozzilla firefox much better, it is fast as well. I recommend to everyone

  12. VolStan

    I also prefer Firefox as my personal browser; it’s IE Tab is also great for opening certain web pages and browser applications that require IE within my Firefox browser window. However, for my job I have to use the IE7 browser and often have to take screenshots for use in documentation. I despise that silly search bar in IE7 and it only clutters my screenshots. So I’d really like to know how to get rid of it, and I do not have the registry key mentioned above.

  13. VolStan

    Ok, for those of you like myself who did not have that key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions, available to modify… create the missing keys and then add the DWORD as instructed. For myself, I could find this portion of the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft. At that point, right-click on Microsoft and create the new key, Internet Explorer; right-click on Internet Explorer and create the new key: Infodelivery; likewise, right-click on Infodelivery and create the new key: Restrictions. Then you can add the DWORD as shown above. It worked for me. If anyone knows a reason why this might not be advisable, please let us know. As I stated, it works for me. If my computer blows up, I’ll come back and let you know. :)

  14. MrBastardHead

    You rock man I love you!!!Give you beer!!Today we get rid of Live Search, Tomorrow we hack Bill gates Credit Card info!!!!!

  15. tony

    works great, is there a way that, i can move the address bar at the bottom, i have one tweak that made it go down, but it i snot allway at the bottom, also is there a way i can make the go button perment, instead of roatting?

  16. Linda

    Hello, OK, I also hate this search bar.. Waste of space. I downloaded the “Hide search box link” NOW WHAT? I opened the search bar.. This option not here.. Yes, I am old and slow.. so any step by step help would be appreciated>> THanks Linda

    I hate these address bars.. Why do I need 2? Any extra help on how to remove 1? The IE Menu/Status bars are taking up too much room.. I HAVE 4 rows of items at top of screen.. NOT NEEDED… I have tried to move
    items around.. They do not move and are not locked.. Thanks again.. Linda

  17. stan de loach

    Thanks for the fix. It worked AFTER I had restarted IE7. But, still I have a blank search box at the bottom right of the screen ALSO. How do I get rid of it? Thanks

  18. Ryan

    Awesome! Is there a way to shrink down the box so its not so long?

  19. Gordon

    Nice one!! Worked perfectly!! Thanks!!

  20. xonics

    Or you could just do this with Group Policy – although if you’ve got the “home” versions then you won’t have that, otherwise you could just download the IE adms and wham bham thank you maam.

  21. Bruke

    Awesome! Simply Awesome!

    I had to make some of the keys so I could add the DWORD value, but that’s a small thing.

    Thanks!

  22. lally sahota

    gud work man. u r great……… thank you very much.. This search box was like a bad ass, every time i delete it it will come back, this time its gone for ever.. thank you so much.

  23. Ava T

    Is there a way to remove the search bar from the start menu? I find Vista’s search unreliable, and that indexing churns my harddrive and degrades performance, so I don’t use it at all. (I use Agent Ransack, instead, on the rare occasions when I don’t know where a file is.) It would be nice to get that useless bar off the Start Menu! :)

  24. Tam

    every since I did this i keep getting a error…..how do I put the search bar back on

  25. VolStan

    If I understand what you’re talking about… you need to right-click on the Start menu button and click on Properties. The Task Bar and Start Menu Properties window displays with several tabs. Select the Start Menu tab if it isn’t already open and click on the customize button next to the start menu choice you are using (Start Menu vs Classic Start Menu). The customize box opens. Scroll down to the Search choices and deselect whatever you desire. Click OK on the customize box and APPLY on the Properties window; then click OK to close the properties window. That should remove the search button from the start menu area. If you actually have a “Search Bar” within your Vista Start Menu… I’m afraid I don’t presently know how it got there or how to remove it. But I would start with the directions above. You may see other things listed in your Customize Box that I do not have on my Vista laptop that you would want to deselect. Good Luck! :)

  26. Ava T

    Volstan, I presume you comment was meant in response to my question?

    There is no preference item to remove the Search bar from the Start Menu, and believe me, I’ve searched, becoming now something of an expert at customizing it (since the sources for the menus are located in odd place, rather than one central one).

    Unchecking everything related to Search in that dialog does not make the bar that appears directly above the Start Medallion, just below the All Programs-> link, with the words “Start Search” grayed out in it go away. Is there a way to get rid of that because it does absolutely nothing now, since I have turned off Vista Search? XP didn’t have it, so it’s a new Vista thing.

  27. VolStan

    Ava, Sorry for the confusion on my part. I’ve been working with this Vista OS for over a year now, and until this moment I’d never even noticed that search bar until you mentioned its exact location. At this point the only way I know to avoid having that search bar show up in the start menu is to choose the classic start menu. But now I will keep my eyes open for other solutions.

  28. Chris Munger

    Please note that if you share your PC with multiple people/identities, then the fix above modifies IE7 behavior for EVERYONE. Instead, you can implement the above hint at HKEY_CURRENT_USER instead of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and thereby only affect the logged in users IE7 search bar preference.

    Note that in a default install, the registry may not have the Infodelivery and Restrictions keys, so you’ll need to add them under Internet Explorer. After doing so, simply exit IE (if already in it), and when you start IE (no logoff required) you’ll no longer see the search bar.

  29. Patches

    Thanks a million for this tip! I rarely use IE7 (prefer Firefox) but when I do, that little search box bugged the heck out of me! LOL

  30. Randy

    Thanks so much!!! Talk about a waste of real estate. I use Vista (32) and had to create the path to add the DWORD, but it worked perfectly. No problems so far.

  31. Joy

    Thanks!!!! I just bought a laptop and that Live Search built in crap was annoying me so much.

  32. Hanzl

    Great tip to get rid of that very annoying searchbar. Pity there is no hack (yet) to resize the addressbar and move it where you want. One of the reasons i dont use IE 7 at home..:)

  33. Jason

    Thank you for this. Folks, If you’re use to a good search engine, removing this IE crap is a real help. I found myself being tricked constantly over the past few days … id paste something in the IE search bar and the results were junk… Id then realize that was an IE search and id have to hit the home button and redo the search with my prefered search engine provider…

    Thank you again for posting this and saving me time !

  34. BlazeEagle

    In IE7, Goto the Tools option accross the top of the screen. Then, The first tab that includes the Home Page entry will have a Search option where you can change the default search provider.

    I hope that helps.

  35. agnostic-stigmata

    Thanks for this article. I just wanted to mention that this works with internet explorer 8 as well but it also removed the compatibility view tab/button from address bar for some reason.

  36. Andrew

    Article is the best! I really hate it when microsoft does this annoying stuff. A couple clicks a registry change and all is well!

  37. Michael

    Thanks. I just use Google as my home page. Works good. I like my computer to be lean and clean: few icons on the desktop, and a black background. I run as little software as possible on my computer. I don’t use quickstart or whatever they call it, and I keep my active programs tray clean, too. Every so often I go through the startup menu and shut off (or is that shut up) as much as possible, and then some. So thanks for helping me clear another item from the screen.

  38. Denise

    Thank you so much!!! I’ve been trying to get rid of that box FOREVER! I’m not “registry” literate, so it was a great help. Thanks again.

  39. Chronia

    Will this work for IE8 too?

  40. Connman

    It worked for me in IE8. One annoyance down and several to go!! Oh, and my Compatibility button is still up there…

  41. Underdog

    Thank you! I just can’t figure out why this was a bit hard for me to find! Hey if you are searching for Internt Explorer search box removal or a way to remove the search box in IE8 (as well as IE7), this is the page for you. And yes I am saying get rid of the search box in internet explorer 8 several times in order to encourage sites like google and yahoo to come here and find this great registry fix! :-D

  42. DHannen

    This also works great on IE8 and is so easy, thank you so much!

  43. Mike

    Great fix for the IE defalut search. Looked everywhere for this fix and you had the Simple solution…
    Thanks,

  44. fatrat

    thanks!!!!! you guys rule if I can do anything for you guys to repay the favor just ask, that bing seachbar was so anoying, I been for the last month trying to hide it or scrap it, thanks again ♦♣♠♥☺ hahaha

  45. Robbie Hatley

    Unnamed Author writes:

    “If you use a toolbar such as the Google or Yahoo toolbars,
    you probably won’t want to see the built-in search box in Internet
    Explorer 7. There’s a quick registry fix that you can do to
    enable / disable this. This registry fix works by adding in the
    DWORD value NoSearchBox, with the value set to 1, to
    the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\
    Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions”

    Ok, that answer “sort of” works, if read by a software guru
    (such as myself) with a strong will and intuitive vision.
    However, I can guarantee that for 99.999% of your
    readers, your “solution” will *NOT* work. Why? Because
    you fail to mention that for most users, no such key exists
    in their registry! Most users will not have the will and the
    courage to actually *CREATE* the necessary keys, unless
    you guide them. So your answer should really have been:
    1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software
    2. If there is no subkey “Policies”,
    create it.
    3. Under “Policies”, if there is no subkey “Microsoft”,
    create it.
    4. Under “Microsoft”, if there is no subkey “Internet Explorer”,
    create it.
    5. Under “Internet Explorer”, if there is no subkey “InfoDelivery”,
    create it.
    6. Under “InfoDelivery”, if there is no subkey “Restrictions”,
    create it.
    7. Under “Restrictions”, if there is no DWORD value “NoSearchBar”,
    create it.
    8. Change the value of “NoSearchBar” from 0 to 1.

    I had to do all of the first 7 steps before I could get to step 8, so I strongly recommend, don’t leave out the first 7 steps from your “solution”, or most readers will not be able to use it.

  46. tom

    fantastic , thank you

  47. Totally Stupid

    Hey, I use that IE search box via my ISP homepage. Here’s my problem…I only want that particular search box, however somehow there seems to be a “generic” search box right beside it kind of on the right. I can change it to say either bing or google but I simply CAN NOT delete it!! I’ve tried everything & gone everywhere imaginable on this computer…no luck!

    I even deleted EVERY file & folder pertaining to Google thinking that it was the problem…no doubt totally stupid…thus, my name! Can anyone help me?? PLEASE?? That search box bugs me cuz it just takes up space!!

    Thanks in advance!

  48. Hanuman Prasad

    Hurrreeeyyyyyy cool dude!!!!!!!! ;-)
    Nice one!! Worked perfectly!! Thanks!!

  49. Alex

    Wow man, thanks a lot it work perfectly. Found your solution after 2 hours of intense searching. Thanks again :)

  50. Ray Cooke

    I downloaded the registry app and ran it and great !! went to bed happy…next day turned on the computer..went to reply to an email and guess what…there it was back again !! Press escape and do what I want OK..but..if I go on a new page..back it comes to haunt me once more…..

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