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Intentionally breaking Windows 10 Search Bar

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#1 CosmicThing2


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Posted 05 December 2016 - 03:30 AM

Hey there,


I'm an IT Technician at a secondary school currently setting up Windows 10 for our students. Currently they're all using 7 and we have a pre-configured image which we roll out to all our computers using pxe, this is set up with many pre-installed programs and settings. We're currently trying to configure the Windows 10 education edition to upgrade to it but are having lots of issues related to the start menu and particularly, the search bar. We've already used a powershell script to remove many of the apps which come with 10... why these were included in an education edition, I'm unsure.


Cortana is disabled, this can be easily done via group policy. The settings and control panel is also disabled and the window dies as soon as you try to open either of these assuming you're logged in as a student; we already have many groups set up via active directory. However, the students can still type in 'network' or 'net' into the search bar, as an example, and all the network settings will then appear. 80% of these are inaccessible because they rely on going via the settings menu... one or two of the settings aren't blocked though, 'View network computers and devices' for instance, always pops up. We really don't want students to be able to access this. Network settings aren't the only thing which shows up either.


So I'd like to ask, is there any way to either A. Completely disable to search bar altogether, either via registry or group policy or even deleting windows files to prevent it working correctly. Or B. Filter it such that it only results from a specific drive are displayed (We need the 'H' drive) or even displays nothing at all.


We have tried:

  • Disabling the indexing service --> This seems to sort it temporarily, but give it 5-10 minutes or log off/back on and it fixes itself even though the service is still disabled
  • Modifying the index service to limit it to filetypes --> You're able to filter to indexing service and initially we limited it to remove all winsettings files. Same result, it sorted the issue temporarily and then it fixed itself a few minutes later and was back to searching the control panel
  • Hiding the search bar/button on the taskbar --> This works but if you press start, you can type and search from here too

We've done a massive amount of research online but every website seems to be talking about how to fix the search bar. We want to break it or remove it altogether. Surely there must be a way to prevent it working. Otherwise we may have to resort to a classic shell or some other option.


Thank you,

Edited by CosmicThing2, 05 December 2016 - 03:34 AM.

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#2 Kilroy


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Posted 05 December 2016 - 12:59 PM

Welcome to Bleeping Computer.


Remove Search Bar from Taskbar or Turn off Cortana Completely?


Disable Windows Search

Edited by Kilroy, 05 December 2016 - 01:04 PM.

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