Windows 10 adds a bit more to the taskbar: now, you can search (or use Cortana) without pressing the Start button, and you can click a “Task View” button to see all your windows. Don’t want these taking up space? Here’s how to hide them.

Cortana is a digital assistant that goes beyond the Windows Search feature and helps you find more than what’s on your computer. It can help you find facts, places, and info. It can also give you reminders, track packages, send emails and texts, and help you manage you calendar. Cortana also performs normal search functions on your computer. However, if you don’t want to use Cortana, you can disable it through the registry and return to the standard Windows Search feature. But either way, that box will still be on your taskbar.

If you don’t want that box taking up space, you can hide it. There’s also a Task View button that provides access to Windows 10’s virtual desktops feature that you can hide as well.

RELATED: How to Disable Cortana in Windows 10

How to Hide the Search/Cortana Box

To hide the Search/Cortana box, right-click on any empty part of the Taskbar and select “Cortana” (or “Search”) > “Hidden” from the popup menu.

The box will disappear from the Taskbar.

If you want access to the Search box, but you don’t want the box taking up room on the Taskbar when you’re not using it, you can display just the Search/Cortana icon on the Taskbar, which you can then click to access the Search panel. To show just the icon on the Taskbar, right-click on any empty space on the Taskbar and select “Cortana” (or “Search”) > “Show Cortana icon” (or “Show search icon”).

The icon will appear on the Taskbar where the Search/Cortana box was. Just click on it to start searching.

How to Hide the Task View Button

The Task View is a new feature added to Windows 10 that allows you to create virtual desktops so you can categorize your open programs. It’s very useful if you have a lot of programs open at once. The Task View button is available on the Taskbar to the right of the Search/Cortana box.

If you don’t use virtual desktops, you can remove the Task View button from the Taskbar. To do this, right-click on any empty area of the Taskbar and select “Show Task View Button” from the popup menu.

Now, both the Search box and the Task View button are removed from the Taskbar.

RELATED: Bring The Windows 7 Start Menu to Windows 10 with Classic Shell

Note that hiding the Search/Cortana box does not remove this feature altogether. To search or use Cortana just click on the Start button and start typing your search terms. Of course, you can also install the free program, Classic Shell, to get a more Windows 7-like Start menu back with a Search box on the menu.

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Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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