A crossed-out Seach button on the Windows 11 taskbar.

Search plays a big role in Windows 11, so Microsoft puts a Search button on your taskbar by default. If you never use it—or you just want to save space—it’s easy to disable. We’ll show you how to turn the Search button off or on, depending on your preference.

How to Turn Off the Windows 11 Search Button

The taskbar Search button in Windows 11 is easy to quickly disable in the Settings app. To get there quickly, right-click the taskbar and select “Taskbar Settings.”

When Settings opens to Personalization > Taskbar, expand the top “Taskbar Items” section, then flip the “Search” switch to “Off.”

Flip the "Search" switch to "Off."

When you’re finished, close Settings. You can still search in Windows 11 at any time by pressing Windows+s on your keyboard to open a dedicated search box—the same thing that pops up when you click the Search taskbar button. Or, you can simply click the Start button and begin typing.

How to Turn On the Windows 11 Search Button

If you change your mind and want to re-enable the taskbar Search button later, right-click the taskbar and select “Taskbar Settings.”

When Settings opens to Personalization > Taskbar, look in the “Taskbar Items” section for the “Search” option. Flip the switch beside “Search” to “On.”

Flip the "Search" switch to "On."

With that simple flick of a switch, the Search icon will be back on your taskbar. Every time you click it, you’ll find a handy way to search for the files and documents on your Windows 11 PC. We hope that you find what you’re looking for!

RELATED: All the Ways Windows 11's Taskbar Is Different

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »