How to supercharge Windows 10’s built-in search experience

Windows Search on Windows 10

Windows Search is a search engine that runs on your Windows 10
computer. In the background, Windows Search is scanning new and
changed files in the data folders or libraries of your personal
profile.

Windows Search indexes every document and picture it can find
in your personal profile, and it also knows details about the
formats of the files, its exact location, and more.

Windows 10 gives you powerful options for controlling search
experience on your computer and you can also change the
settings of search to get results faster. In fact, you can even
replace Windows Search with Microsoft’s new tool that works
better.

In this article, we’re sharing Windows Search tricks that will
help you get the most out of this powerful Windows 10 feature.

Enhanced search mode

As we mentioned at the outset, Windows Search is designed to
search through files on your desktop and libraries only.

By default, Windows Search results are very limited, but you
can use Windows 10’s enhanced mode that basically lets you
search all the files on your device after they’re indexed.

When you turn on enhanced search feature for Windows 10,
Microsoft says Windows Search can find your files irrespective
of where they’re located. This means Windows Search will
deliver a result that is likely to be accurate, especially when
your files are in other drives.

To enable Enhanced search, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on “Search”.
  3. Select “Searching Windows” option from the left
    sidebar.
    Enhanced search mode
  4. Click the “Enhanced” option under “Find my files” section.

That’s it. Windows 10 will now begin indexing your files in
other drives and you can track the progress on the same page.

It’s worth noting that indexing might take a long time on
devices with HDD, but once it’s finished, you will notice that
Windows Search can now fetch files from other drives.

Disable web search in Windows Search

You can also
disable web search in Windows 10 Search to improve the
accuracy of local search results. Currently, Windows Search
show results from the local machine and Microsoft’s search
engine.

Web search integration in Windows Search can be an unnecessary
memory hog and it could reduce the quality of local search
results.

Windows 10 web results Registry

To disable web results from your Start Menu or taskbar
searches, you will have to edit the Windows Registry. In May
2020 Update or earlier, you simply need to create a new
Registry value “DisableSearchBoxSuggestions” with Value data
“1” in the following location:

  • ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsExplorer

Once done, you will have to restart your PC for the change to
take effect.

Replace default Windows Search with PowerToys Run

Microsoft has released a new utility for Windows 10 called
“PowerToys Run” and it’s part of Microsoft’s PowerToys
open-source toolset.

PowerToys Run aims to improve upon the current Windows Run
implementation, but it also comes with a user-friendly
interface that’s interactive enough to replace Windows Search.

This tool has a simple interface that can show local results
based on keywords you’ve entered into the search box.

PowerToys Run tool

As you can see in the above screenshot, Windows 10’s new search
tool is designed to be faster and sleeker than the current
Windows Search implementation.

By default, this new search experience can be activated by
pressing Alt+Space when you have installed PowerToys from
Github.
You can also change the keyboard shortcut and use the existing
Win key + S shortcut to launch PowerToys Run.

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