Microsoft is having a hard time choosing the best search button for Windows 11 users. Initially, the operating system had a standard-looking search icon on the taskbar, then Microsoft replaced it with a bullet-shaped button (fake search box), and then we got a proper search box in the dev channel. If you’re not a fan of these shenanigans and want a simple, no-frills search button, here’s how to restore the original type and gain peace of mind (see how the old button compares to the new button on the screenshot below does).
Pro tip: You can use Win + S Shortcut to trigger Windows Search (Microsoft now promotes shortcuts with ad-like banners) or start typing when the Start menu opens. Those two methods let you hide whatever search button/box design Microsoft is currently testing and call it a day. Alternatively, go for Quest for PowerToys Run (Download PowerToys From the Microsoft Store, GitHuband winget), a better alternative to the default Windows search.
Microsoft is planning to let Windows 11 users switch between three Windows Search designs in the Settings app. This feature is currently available to Windows Insiders in the dev channel. Meanwhile, stable Windows 11 users can use the ViveTool app to enable the old Windows Search button.
caution: Back up your data before proceeding. We also recommend creating a system restore point, which will help you easily restore the operating system in case something unexpected happens.
How to restore the old search button in Windows 11?
- Download the Vivetool app. From GitHub. It is a third-party program that we often use to enable or disable various features in Windows 11. While we’ve never had any issues with Vivetool (aside from stability issues some unannounced features can cause), you should always keep in mind the potential risks of use. Third-party software for tinkering with your computer.
- Extract the downloaded archive into a convenient and easily searchable folder. You’ll need to navigate to the folder in the command prompt, so choose a short and simple location.
- Right-click on the Start menu and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
- Switch the Windows Terminal to the Command Prompt profile by pressing Ctrl+Shift+2 or selecting it from the drop-down menu on the tab strip.
- Navigate to the folder that contains the extracted ViveTool files. CD command. For example, CD C:\Vive.
- Kind of vivetool /disable /id:42038001 And press enter.
- Close Windows Terminal and restart your computer.
- Enjoy your taskbar without weird looking buttons and fake search boxes.
Do you like the pill-shaped Windows Search button, or do you prefer the traditional type? Let us know in the comments.