How to enable new desktop search box on Windows 11

Windows 11 has a new desktop search widget with dark mode support – here's how to enable it.

Windows 11 desktop search box
Windows 11 desktop search box

On Windows 11, you can now enable an early preview of the new desktop search box widget. On build 25120, Microsoft introduced a new search widget as an experimental feature that allows you to perform a web search quickly.

The widget is a floating search box that appears centered at the top of the screen. When you type a query, the result will show in Microsoft Edge using Bing search. Since this is an experimental feature, some Insiders may see it and others won’t. However, you can use a third-party tool known as “ViVeTool” created by Rafael Rivera and Lucas on GitHub to enable the new experience on your device.

This guide will teach you the steps to turn on the new search widget in the latest insider preview of Windows 11 from the Dev channel.

Enable desktop search widget on Windows 11

To enable the new desktop search box on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open this GitHub website.

  2. Download the file to enable the new search box.

  3. Double-click the zip folder to open it with File Explorer.

  4. Click the Extract all button.

    Extract ViveTool files

  5. Click the Extract button.

  6. Copy the path to the folder.

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  9. Type the following command to navigate to the ViveTool folder and press Enter:

    cd C:\FOLDER\PATH\ViveTool-v0.3.1

    Remember to change the path to the folder with your path in the command.

  10. Type the following command to enable the new desktop search box on Windows 11 and press Enter:

    vivetool /enable /id:37969115

    Vivetool enable desktop search

  11. Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, the search widget experience will appear on the desktop.

In the case you don’t have the Windows 11 build 25120 (or a higher release) on your computer, you need to enroll in the Dev Channel using the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Windows Update” section. Once you enroll the device in the program, you can download build 25120 from the “Windows Update” settings by clicking the Check for Updates button, and then you can follow the steps outlined above.

If you change your mind, you can revert the changes with the same instructions, but on step No. 10, make sure to use these commands: vivetool /disable /id:37969115 and then restart the device.

Update June 28, 2022: This guide has been updated to reflect the command changes for the Vivetool version 0.3.1.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].