Windows 10, by default, sends whatever you search for in the Start menu to their servers to give you Bing search results. So you’d better make sure you don’t type anything private in your own PC’s Start menu. Or, you can just turn off Bing integration from the Start menu.
It’s worth noting that Android and even iOS ‘default search will also send your search results to their servers to try to get more relevant results – but somehow it looks different when you are on your personal computer in your house trying to search your personal files.
We’re really happy that they included a way to easily turn off web integration. It’s just worth noting that if you want to use Cortana, you don’t have a choice of whether the Start menu uses Bing, so you’ll have to turn off Cortana to turn off web integration.
How to turn off Bing in the Windows 10 May 2020 Update Start menu
As of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, a new registry setting controls this option. You must edit the Windows registry to turn off web searches on the Start menu.
Here is our standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and the wrong modification can make your system unstable or even inoperable. It’s a simple change and, if you follow the directions, you should be fine. But if you’ve never used it before, consider reading how use registry editor. We always recommend save your registry (and your computer) before making any changes.
To get started, open the registry editor by clicking on start and typing “regedit”. Double-click on the “Registry Editor” shortcut that appears (or press Enter) and click “Yes” at the UAC prompt.
Navigate to the next key using the left pane. You can also copy and paste the following address into the Registry Editor address bar and press Enter:
Computer HKEY_CURRENT_USER SOFTWARE Policies Microsoft Windows Explorer
Create a new DWORD value by right-clicking in the empty space in the right pane and pointing to New> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name the value “DisableSearchBoxSuggestions”. Double click on it and set its value data to “1”.
You need to restart your computer, log out and log back in, or at least restart Windows Explorer for your change to take effect.
Download our one-click registry change for the May 2020 update
If you’re not comfortable making changes to the registry yourself, we’ve created two downloadable files that you can use. One file turns off web searches from the Start menu and the other file will turn web searches back on. Both are included in the following zip file, and each works simply by modifying the values we showed how to change above. Double click on the one you want and click on the prompts.
How to turn off Bing integration in the Start menu, the old-fashioned way
Note: These instructions apply to older versions of Windows 10, including the November 2019 Update, May 2019 Update, and October 2018 Update.
To get started, open Registry Editor by opening the Start menu, typing “regedit” and pressing Enter. In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Search
Right-click the Find icon and choose New> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value BingSearchEnabled.
Double-click the new BingSearchEnabled value to open its properties dialog box. The number in the “Value data” box should already be 0. Just make sure it’s still 0. Click OK to continue.
Under BingSearchEnabled, you should see CortanaConsent. Double-click on this value to open its properties dialog box. Change its “Value data” box to “0”.
If you don’t see CortanaConsent, create it by following the same steps you used to create BingSearchEnabled.
You can close the Registry Editor now. If you search your Start menu, you should now only see local results. If the change does not take effect immediately, restart your PC.
If you want to retrieve the web search results, all you need to do is open the Registry Editor and reset the BingSearchEnabled and CortanaConsent values to 1.
You can also run this registry hack instead. The change must be immediate. If it doesn’t and you still see the Bing results in your Start menu, restart your PC.
How to turn off Bing in the Start menu, the old-fashioned way
Update: Microsoft has removed this simple graphics option from Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Even if you disable Cortana with a registry or group policy adjustment, Windows 10 will not turn off web searches in the Start menu. You can however make the Start menu search Google instead of Bing, if you want.
Luckily, Bing is really easy to turn off, and you’ll just need to go to Cortana’s search settings screen – the easiest way to do that is to type “Cortana settings” into the Start menu and choose the item “Cortana and search settings”.
This will bring up the settings dialog, which will be different depending on whether you have already disabled Cortana or not.
If you want to turn off Bing integration, you’ll also need to turn Cortana off – so flip that switch to Off.
Now that you’ve disabled Cortana, the rest of the dialog box will change and you’ll see an option for “Search online and include web results”, which you’re going to want to disable as well – this is how you actually disable Bing from there. the Start menu.
And now when you search for something, it only searches for your own PC.
Notice how clean it is now – and it says “Search My Stuff” instead of “Search the Web.”
Note that if you want deactivate the taskbar search box, you will need to right-click on it and choose the Hidden option.