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Windows 10 update adds COVID-19 tracker to Search: How to use it

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is adding news and information about the coronavirus to the search box in Windows 10

You can quickly get answers about the coronavirus by searching for it in Google, but now Microsoft is putting it front and center in Windows 10 so you don't need to type a word to see the latest stats about the pandemic.

When you click on the search blank, a larger box will appear as usual, but this time with a COVID-19 banner containing links to important details about the pandemic. One of those links takes you to an interactive map with global, statewide and per-city case counts, along with trend charts and news stories. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

It's all housed within Microsoft's Bing search engine, and looks quite similar to the coronavirus map Google added to its website. Microsoft debuted the coronavirus tool in a blog post for Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19619. This is the same update that will add audio control to the Your Phone app so you can control the music playing on your smartphone from your Windows 10 device. 

If you feel overwhelmed by COVID-19 news, Microsoft makes it easy to turn off the coronavirus feature in Search. When you pull up Search, you should see a small "x" to the upper-right side of the COVID news icon. 

When you press that "x" it will remove and dismiss the banner until you choose to enable it again. 

Microsoft has already released this COVID-19 feature in 33 markets. If you don't already see the COVID-tracker in Windows 10 Search, expect it to arrive in the coming days or weeks.