Search – Windows Blog by Brink

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Save Search Query in Windows 11

You can save a search query as a Search Folder, a virtual folder displayed in File Explorer under the Searches folder. Opening a Search Folder runs the saved search and displays up-to-date results. The saved search file stores the query in a format Windows Search can act on, specifying what to search for, where to search, and how to present the results.

The saved search is generated from an XML file (*.search-ms) in the %userprofile%\Searches folder.

You can Pin to Start, Pin to Quick access, or move the saved search to where you like to use it from.

This tutorial will show you how to save a search query in File Explorer in Windows 11.

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Move or Restore Default Location of Searches Folder in Windows 11

The Searches folder (shell:Searches) is a component of the user profile that is used as a unified location for storing personal data. By default, the Searches folder is a shell folder in the user’s profile (%UserProfile%) that is used as a default storage location for saved searches.

If you like, you can move the Searches folder and its content to a location you want it at instead.

If the current Videos folder path is incorrect or is no longer available, you can use the Restore Default option to restore the default path.

This tutorial will show you how to move or restore the default location of the Searches folder for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Search on Taskbar and Start Menu in Windows 11

Windows Search is on your taskbar and Start menu by default in Windows 11.

You can use the search box to find your apps, files, settings, help, and more on Windows—plus unlock the power of the web with quick access to online information like time zone conversions, fact lookup, trending searches, and search results for navigating to websites faster. You can also use Search to find files and people in your work or school organization through  Microsoft Search.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Windows Search on the taskbar and Start menu for all users in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Desktop Search Box in Windows 11

Starting with Windows 11 build 25120, Microsoft has added a search box displayed on the desktop that enables you to search the web.

The desktop search box is currently only a conceptual feature that only some Insiders may have available.

If you have the desktop search box available, you can add and remove it on demand.

This tutorial will show you how to add and remove the desktop search box for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Search Highlights in Windows 10

Starting with Windows 10 build 19044.1618, Microsoft started rolling out an update for Search that highlights interesting moments in time. You can still type to start searching for your apps, files, settings, and quick answers on the web.

Search highlights will present notable and interesting moments—like holidays, anniversaries, and other educational moments in time both globally and in your region. You’ll find rich, bold content in search home that highlights what’s special about today.

The search box in Start and Search will periodically update with content, including fun illustrations, that help you discover more, be connected, and stay productive. These hints in the search box give you a sneak peek into what to expect in search home.

Signing in with your work or school account enables Search to be your one-stop-shop for your organization’s files and contacts through Microsoft Search. Search highlights will feature the latest updates from your organization and suggested people, files, and more. Explore files that may be of interest to you or browse through your organization’s people chart. As always, just start typing to find everything related to your organization, right at your fingertips using Search.

You have control over the search highlights experience where if you prefer not to see this, you can turn it off or back on. For organization administrators, there are additional controls available in the M365 admin center. You can learn more about those policies here: Policy CSP – Search.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Search Highlights for your account or all users in Windows 10.

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Enable or Disable Search Highlights in Windows 11

Starting with Windows 11 build 22572, Microsoft started rolling out an update for Search that highlights interesting moments in time. You can still type to start searching for your apps, files, settings, and quick answers on the web.

Search highlights will present notable and interesting moments—like holidays, anniversaries, and other educational moments in time both globally and in your region. You’ll find rich, bold content in search home that highlights what’s special about today.

The search box in Start and Search will periodically update with content, including fun illustrations, that help you discover more, be connected, and stay productive. These hints in the search box give you a sneak peek into what to expect in search home.

Signing in with your work or school account enables Search to be your one-stop-shop for your organization’s files and contacts through Microsoft Search. Search highlights will feature the latest updates from your organization and suggested people, files, and more. Explore files that may be of interest to you or browse through your organization’s people chart. As always, just start typing to find everything related to your organization, right at your fingertips using Search.

You have control over the search highlights experience where if you prefer not to see this, you can turn it off or back on. For organization administrators, there are additional controls available in the M365 admin center. You can learn more about those policies here: Policy CSP – Search.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Search Highlights for your account or all users in Windows 11.

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Delete Bing Search History in the Cloud

Windows Search lets you search from your taskbar to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s on your device, in the cloud, or on the web.

Windows Search can personalize your search results by including your content from OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook, Bing, and other services.

If you turn on the Microsoft account setting for Cloud content search, Windows Search will show results from items in your personal OneDrive, Outlook, and other Microsoft services. If you search the web or get web search suggestions with Windows Search, Bing will personalize your results. You can also earn Microsoft Rewards points when you search with Bing in the Windows search box. Windows Search can save and use your web search history with your Microsoft account so you can get more relevant web search results and suggestions.

If you turn on the Work or School account setting for Cloud content search, Windows Search will show results from OneDrive for Business, Outlook, SharePoint, and more from Microsoft Search. Windows Search saves your Microsoft Search history to your work or school account. To view the history associated with your work or school account go to the Bing Search History page and sign in using your work or school account.

This tutorial will show you how to delete your Bing search history associated with your Microsoft account in the cloud on Windows 11 device.

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Clear Recent Device Search History in Windows 11

Windows Search lets you search from your taskbar to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s on your device, in the cloud, or on the web.

Windows Search saves your recent search history locally on your device by default to help you find things faster. For example, you might discover that an app is ranked higher in your results if you’ve searched for it before.

This tutorial will show you how to clear device search history under Recent in Windows Search for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Recent Search History in Windows 11

Windows Search lets you search from your taskbar to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s on your device, in the cloud, or on the web.

Windows Search saves your recent search history locally on your device by default to help you find things faster. For example, you might discover that an app is ranked higher in your results if you’ve searched for it before.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off save search history on this device for your account in Windows 11.

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Change SafeSearch Filters in Windows 11

Windows Search lets you search from your taskbar to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s on your device, in the cloud, or on the web.

SafeSearch helps keep adult content out of your web previews. Windows Search relies on Bing technology to determine if search results include sensitive content before presenting them in web previews. If Bing determines results are deemed to include adult content, the preview pane will instead display a See web results button so you can open results in your web browser instead.

This tutorial will show you how to change the SafeSearch filters for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Cloud Content Search in Windows 11

Windows Search lets you search from your taskbar to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s on your device, in the cloud, or on the web.

Windows Search can personalize your search results by including your content from OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook, Bing, and other services.

If you turn on the Microsoft account setting for Cloud content search, Windows Search will show results from items in your personal OneDrive, Outlook, and other Microsoft services. If you search the web or get web search suggestions with Windows Search, Bing will personalize your results. You can also earn Microsoft Rewards points when you search with Bing in the Windows search box.

If you turn on the Work or School account setting for Cloud content search, Windows Search will show results from OneDrive for Business, Outlook, SharePoint, and more from Microsoft Search.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Cloud content search for your account or all users in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Search the Web with Bing in Windows Search in Windows 11

The Search button on the taskbar allows you to quickly use Windows Search (Win+S) to search for apps, documents, email, files, folders, music, people, photos, settings, and videos on your device, and to search the web.

You can search the web with Bing from Windows Search or Start menu.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable search the web with Bing in Windows Search for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Search in Sidebar Context Menu in Microsoft Edge

The Microsoft Edge web browser is based on Chromium and was released on January 15, 2020. It is compatible with all supported versions of Windows, and macOS. With speed, performance, best in class compatibility for websites and extensions, and built-in privacy and security features, it’s the only browser you’ll ever need.

Microsoft Edge includes a sidebar search feature.

With sidebar search, you can highlight a word or phrase, right click, and select “Search in sidebar” from the context menu. Search results show up in a pane on the right side of the page showing you web results like definitions, web links, images, videos and many more Bing services which are related to the query.

In addition to the web results, you now see image and video verticals which show results related to the highlighted word or phrase. If you are signed into your azure active directory account at work, you can now see company results.

Sidebar search is a persistent pane in the tab in which it was opened, which gives you the option to close the pane or look up additional information related to other words using the search box. There’s more – if you want a full view of web results, you can now click on the “Open in new tab” button which opens the web results in a new tab.

If you do not want the “Search in sidebar” for text and image and “Search the web” for text context menus in Microsoft Edge, you can remove them using the DefaultSearchProviderContextMenuAccessAllowed policy used in this tutorial.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Search in sidebar for text and image and Search the web for text context menus in Microsoft Edge for all users.

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Add or Remove Search Index Locations in Windows 11

Indexing the content of your PC helps you get faster results when your searching it for files, emails, or other local content.

The search index only includes your selected locations[/B] by default. These locations can be filtered for what file types (extensions), file properties, and file contents you want indexed.

You can choose to use Classic or Enhanced search indexing mode for where your PC will search for files.

  • Classic = Search only you Documents, Pictures, and Music folders plus the desktop.
  • Enhanced = Search your entire PC (may affect battery life and CPU consumption). PC must be plugged in for initial indexing.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove locations to be excluded or included in the search index in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Respect Power Settings when Indexing in Windows 11

Indexing the content of your PC helps you get faster results when your searching it for files, emails, or other local content.

The search index only includes your selected locations by default. These locations can be filtered for what file types (extensions), file properties, and file contents you want indexed.

You can choose to use Classic or Enhanced search indexing mode for where your PC will search for files.

Respect power settings when indexing can change how and when search indexing happens based on power and battery settings. This can be handy to help save battery life.

If you turn on Respect power settings when indexing, search indexing stops searching and updating the database with new information in the background or throttle it down during certain times. For instance, when the PC is in battery saver mode, best power efficiency power mode, or game mode. Or when the processor usage peaks 80 percent, or disk usage goes up above 70 percent.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off Respect power settings when indexing for all users in Windows 11.

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Reset and Rebuild Search Index in Windows 11

Indexing the content of your PC helps you get faster results when your searching it for files, emails, or other local content.

The search index only includes your selected locations by default. These locations can be filtered for what file types (extensions), file properties, and file contents you want indexed.

You can choose to use Classic or Enhanced search indexing mode for where your PC will search for files.

The index uses the Windows Search service and runs as the Searchindexer.exe process in the background. The index will automatically rebuild and update for changes made to the included locations since the last index rebuild to increase search result accuracy.

By default, the search indexer backoff feature will reduce indexing speed while rebuilding the index when there is user activity, and will automatically continue at full speed when no user activity is detected.

If you are getting search results that are missing, no longer valid, or incorrect, then the search index may not be up to date. You can rebuild the index to force it to update now. You can also reset search index locations to default before rebuilding the search index.

This tutorial will show you how to manually reset and rebuild the search index for accurate search results in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Search Indexing in Windows 11

Indexing the content of your PC helps you get faster results when your searching it for files, emails, or other local content.

The search index only includes your selected locations by default. These locations can be filtered for what file types (extensions), file properties, and file contents you want indexed.

You can choose to use Classic or Enhanced search indexing mode for where your PC will search for files.

The index uses the Windows Search service and runs as the Searchindexer.exe process in the background. The index will automatically rebuild and update for changes made to the included locations since the last index rebuild to increase search result accuracy.

By default, the search indexer backoff feature will reduce indexing speed while rebuilding the index when there is user activity, and will automatically continue at full speed when no user activity is detected.

If you prefer to search without using the index, then you could completely disable search indexing. If you disable search indexing, searches will take longer to finish, but search results will always be up to date and accurate.

If you do a lot of file content searching, then you may not want to disable search indexing since it will take a lot longer to search file contents without the index.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable search indexing for all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer in Windows 11

Indexing the content of your PC helps you get faster results when your searching it for files, emails, or other local content.

The search index only includes your selected locations by default. These locations can be filtered for what file types (extensions), file properties, and file contents you want indexed.

You can choose to use Classic or Enhanced search indexing mode for where your PC will search for files.

  • Classic = Search only you Documents, Pictures, and Music folders plus the desktop.
  • Enhanced = Search your entire PC (may affect battery life and CPU consumption). PC must be plugged in for initial indexing.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off Enhanced mode for search indexer for all users in Windows 11.

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Using Windows 11 Search

Windows Search is one of the most underused and underappreciated features of Windows simply because people just do not know how to use it productively, or worse still, just don’t know that it’s there.

The intention of this tutorial is to show you just how advanced Windows Search is, and how easy it is to fully utilize this notable feature of Windows 11 to its full potential by performing basic searches, and how to make full use of the Advanced Query Syntax implemented by Windows Search.

Before you can fully benefit from Windows Search, you first need to follow a few simple steps to configure it to your needs.

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Turn On or Off Show Recent Searches when Hover over Search Icon in Windows 11

The Search button on the taskbar allows you to quickly use Windows Search (Win+S) to search for apps, documents, email, files, folders, music, people, photos, settings, and videos on your device, and to search the web.

The Search button on the taskbar also allows you to quickly open your Top apps and Recent apps, and perform Quick searches to web search for today in history, new movies, translate, markets today.

When you hover over the search icon on the taskbar, you will see your recent searches by default.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22468, Microsoft added an option to turn off showing recent searches when hovering over the Search icon in the Taskbar.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off showing recent searches when hovering over the Search icon in the Taskbar for your account in Windows 11.

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