How to Disable Web Results in Windows 10 Search

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Windows 10 Search with and without web results

You click into Windows 10's search box so you can find a missing document or quickly launch Photoshop, but as soon as you click,  you're presented with a flashing Cortana box and a set of news headlines starts to download.  Then, when you start typing, the box mixes search results and suggested queries in with your local files. Say  you were looking for a wordpad document with a list of amazon purchases in it. As soon as you type "ama,"  you see a link to as the top suggestion, above the file you were looking for.

Not only can web results come up higher than your local files, but they also slow down your search because they have to hit the Internet rather than just your hard drive index. Here's how to stop Windows 10 search from showing web results.

Note: In order to disable web results in search, you also have to disable Cortana.

1. Select the search box in Windows 10's taskbar. Cortana's greeting and news feed results should appear.

Select search box

2. Click the notebook icon  in the left pane. It's directly under the home (aka house) icon.

select notebook icon

4. Click Settings. A menu of Cortana options appears.

select settings

5. Toggle "Cortana can give you suggestions . . . " to off.

toggle Cortana to off

6. Toggle "Search online and include web results" to off.

toggle search online to off

The searchbox will now say "Search Windows" instead of "Ask me anything." It will be more responsive and only show results from your hard drive or local network.

 Find files



Having issues with Windows 10? Our sister site, Tom’s Hardware, has a team of staffers standing by in the forums to answer your questions 24/7.


Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • Ken H Says:

    Absolutely does not work, at least not now. I hate Cortana, and need a way to search the computer. If I want to search the web, I can open a browser. What a stupid stupid idea to remove search and put Cortana in with no way to disable web search being the default.

  • mike barber Says:

    I have a new hp pavilion laptop and there is no settings option to turn Cortana off. HELP?

  • Jesse Says:

    Hey, heads up! This doesn't work any longer! If you click on the notebook, it simply asks if you want to enable Cortana and won't show any further options.

    Instead, open "Cortana & Search Settings" using the lil gear icon when you go to search (you need to click the actual search bar, not open the start menu, and THEN open settings; otherwise it'll open the normal computer-wide settings window).

  • TheLimey Says:

    Sadly the last three of these instructions that I've opened have been out of date.

  • JakeFromThatAd Says:

    Unfortunately these instructions no longer work as of August 2016. I don't have the anniversary update, but there's no "Search online and include web results" option in Cortana's settings.

  • Fredolin Says:

    I think the windows search is very unoptimized. If you search all your hard drives you should get the hits in the filenames first and on top, then it should search the metadata/description, then the content. I need to use a filename list instead as a workaround..

  • Shannon Says:

    Thanks. My local computers searches should not be going out to the web. It's another way for the corporations to get your info.


  • Joshua Dumas Says:

    The search is already swift with these settings enabled... thank you for the info.

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