Feature control

How to disable search highlights on Windows 11

Windows 11 now shows highlights in search, and here's how you can disable the feature.

Windows 11 search highlights

On Windows 11, the “search highlights” feature is available through the Windows Search experience to show periodic updates to help you discover more, be connected, and stay productive.

The feature can show notable moments, including holidays, anniversaries, and other educational moments in time locally and around the world. In addition, you will find today’s moment and daily content like word of the day, Microsoft Rewards, trending searches, and more.

On the left, the redesigned experience will list recent apps, files, settings, and websites that allow you to pick tasks quickly where you left off. You will also be able to use Microsoft Search in the organization if you use a work or school account.

If the search highlights feature isn’t for you, Windows 11 includes an option to disable the feature for a more traditional experience.

This guide will teach you the steps to manage the search highlights feature for search on Windows 11.

Disable search highlights on Windows 11

To disable search highlights on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Privacy & security.

  3. Under the “Windows permissions” section, click the Search permissions setting.

  4. Under the “More settings” section, turn off the Show search highlights toggle switch.

    Disable search highlights

Once you complete the steps, the search box will no longer show highlights or recent files in the left pane.

Enable search highlights on Windows 11

To enable search highlights, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Privacy & security.

  3. Under the “Windows permissions” section, click the Search permissions setting.

  4. Under the “More settings” section, turn on the Show search highlights toggle switch.

    Enable search highlights

After you complete the steps, the search box will show periodic updates with content, including fun illustrations, that help you discover more, be connected, and stay productive.

At the time of this writing, Microsoft is still rolling out this feature, which means that it might take a while to be available on your device.