How to Remove Annoying Icons in Windows 10 Search Bar

Windows 10 taskbar search box showing "Search Highlights" feature.

You may have noticed a new and ever-changing small icon in the search box on the Windows 10 taskbar. Here’s what it is and how to get rid of it.

Why is there a small icon in the Windows search bar?

The icon is part of a new feature introduced in Windows 10 and Windows 11 as part of an update from April 2022.

The specific feature is called “Search Highlights” and integrates a rotating set of icons on the right side of the toolbar search bar. Depending on the day the icons are specific – such as the one seen above with a putting green and a golf ball to celebrate the US Open golf tournament – or more general recordings on less notable days with a suggested background such as photos of US national parks or the like.

In addition to placing the icon in the Windows 10 search box, the Find Highlights feature also puts “highlighted” content in the search menu of both Windows 10 and Windows 11. Highlights include news, current stories, a few words for tiles for days and quotes of the day (probably released on days with slow news), as well as a search tile with a trend, as seen above.

If you like Microsoft’s proposal to mimic something like a Google-style everyday scribble combined with a small news aggregator in your search menu, then you can, of course, just leave things as they are.

But if you’ve had less than a positive reaction to the change – and hey, we certainly understand that – thankfully it’s very easy to rule it out.

How to remove the icon from the Windows search box

In Windows 10, right-click anywhere on your task to remove the menu, select “Search,” and then uncheck “Show search highlights” to get rid of these icons.

Although there is no search box (and therefore no new icon) in Windows 11, you can still turn off the highlights in the search menu. Just open the Settings app, then go to Privacy & Security> Search Permissions> More Settings. In the More settings section, simply turn off “Show search highlights”.

It is! With this simple change, there will be no more search bar icons or news highlights in the search menu.

However, Windows 10 is still full of advertising. You may want to turn off these adstoo

CONNECTED: How to disable all inline ads on Windows 10

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