Note: this is more of a reminder to my future self when I need to configure any new Windows 11 devices. There are plenty of other resources online for details about this fix, or the Group Policy change for other editions of Windows.
On my new high-end gaming computer, the Start Menu in Windows 11 runs awfully slow when I type in simple strings, like “c:” to open up my File Explorer. I see a bunch of irrelevant Internet results show up in the Start Menu after a couple of seconds, before it gives me the option to select anything from my local computer.
This “feature” that Microsoft packed into the Start Menu is called “Bing Search”. Since I do not want to search the Internet every time I type something into my Start Menu, I looked for a way to disable it. It turns out that the only way is through the registry editor (if you are running a Home version of Windows) or the Group Policy editor (Professional and Enterprise versions).
I really only interact with the Home version, so here are the steps to update the registry:
- Press the Windows key and R to open your “Run” dialog, and type in “regedit” to open the Registry Editor.
- Navigate to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search.
- Add a new “Dword (32-bit)” value named “BingSearchEnabled”, and make sure the value is “0”.
- That’s it! It takes effect immediately.