Windows

How To Disable Web Search In Windows 10 Start Menu

The Windows 10 Start menu is very different from its predecessors, which is why we covered an app to get some of the Windows 7 features back for it. One inclusion among the Start menu feature list is its ability to search the web, rather than only the locations on your machine. This might be useful for some, but others might find the whole process counterproductive. There is no built-inĀ option to turn off the Windows 10 Start menu’s web searching. You can do so by turning off Cortana, but if you have a problem only with the Start menu, the Windows Firewall can come to your help.

For those who are not using Cortana, the method is pretty simple. Under Settings, look for the Cortana menu. Since Windows 10 Start and Cortana settings are bundled together, you will find the required setting under the Cortana field. Simply turn Cortana off and quit the Settings app. While you can no longer use Cortana now, the Windows 10 Start menu won’t display web search results either.

Windows 10 Start Menu Firewall Rule

The above method is not useful if you are in a region where Cortana is active. Cortana is among the major features of Windows 10, and it’s certainly not worth losing it to rectify a minor nuisance. So, here is a more comprehensive method to disable web search results in Windows 10 Start menu.

  1. Use the search function to open Windows Firewall.
  2. Under the Firewall’s settings, look for the ‘Advanced’ option. It is located in the left-hand bar present on the main screen.
  3. Under the Advanced tab, you have to define a new outbound rule to disable web results in Windows 10 Start menu. To do so, hit the relevant option from the left-hand bar.
  4. Once in rule creation mode, you have to define the following rule;
    C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\SearchUI.exe
    Of course, you will have to replace ‘C’ with your system drive name if Windows is installed in some other location.
  5. Save the new rule and exit the Firewall menu.

The Windows 10 Start menu will now only show results from local locations on your computer. Of course, you also get to keep using Cortana, which makes the whole process totally painless. If you change your mind about web searching later, simply remove the rule you created.