Microsoft added a big search box in the task bar in Windows 10. However, this big box was removed with a small icon in Windows 11 to keep the interface clean. Unfortunately, the big search box had come back again to taskbar for some users after 22H2 update. Now, this has been forced on 2023-02 Cumulative Update released on 28 Feb 2023 along with Bing AI powered Windows Search. If you are annoyed with the search box occupying space in taskbar, here are some of the ways to remove it completely or change to an icon.
Windows 11 Search Box
By default, the taskbar will show a search box in the latest Windows 11 version. Unlike previous versions, this is a typable search box where you can enter the keywords instead of typing on the top section (like in Start menu). This search box will show Bing AI icon on the right side if you are eligible to use. When you click on the box, it will show suggestions automatically without any box on the top.
Otherwise, you will find a colorful clip art within the search box like below.
You can change this long box to an icon or a button or completely remove the search from the taskbar.
Change Search Box Appearance from Settings
Follow the below instructions to hide or change the search box appearance using default Windows Settings app.
- Right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings” option. Alternatively, press “Windows Logo + I” shortcut keys to open Settings app.
- When you are in the Settings app, go to “Personalization” section and select “Taskbar” option.
- Expand the “Taskbar items” in taskbar settings and click the dropdown against “Search”.
- You will see a list of options and select the one you prefer. Search icon options will allow you to type on the top box when you click while search box is a typable box itself.
- Hide – completely disable search box from taskbar
- Search icon only – this will show a lens icon
- Search icon and label – this will show a button
- Search box – long typable search box
- Check the taskbar to see the search box appearance is changed instantly.
Wanted to Use Long Search Box?
For any reason if you like to use the long typable search box in your system and not seeing it in the taskbar, you should first update your Windows to latest version.
- Press “Windows Logo + I” keys to open Settings app.
- Go to “Windows Update” section and click “Check for Updates” button.
- Download the available updates and install it on your system.
- After restarting the system, go back to “Settings > Personalization > Taskbar” and check whether you have the search box enabled.
If the search box is not enabled, you will see a toggle to enable or disable search in taskbar without additional dropdown.
Remember, the 2023-02 cumulative update will be installed on top on Windows 11 22H2. Therefore, first make sure you have 22H2 and then get 2023-02 update. After the update also, if you are not seeing the search box then probably you need to wait till March 2023 as Microsoft confirmed the rollout will be done to all users by that time.