Microsoft is adding a new policy that allows IT admins to customize the Windows Search experience on the Windows 11 taskbar. The company announced yesterday that the feature is already available in the latest Windows 11 preview builds for Insiders in the Beta and Dev channels.
Microsoft recently began testing improvements to the taskbar search experience to help users find important documents, apps, settings, and information. “After shipping Windows 11 with a search icon on the taskbar, we received feedback that some people didn’t find it discoverable or engaging enough. Based on that feedback, we’re adding the ability for users to to search directly from the taskbar,” Microsoft explained.
With the new policy, IT pros can hide the default taskbar search icon on Windows 11 PCs. Additionally, administrators can also hide the search icon with or without a accompaniement. Microsoft says it’s also possible to display only a search box similar to the one found on the Windows 10 taskbar.
How to Customize the Windows 11 Taskbar Search Experience
Microsoft notes that Windows administrators can configure the new taskbar search experience through the Configuration Service Provider (CSP) or Group Policy. Notably, the feature will respect default settings on Windows 11 devices in tenants where IT administrators have not configured or disabled the policy.
Meanwhile, Windows 11 users will be able to change the search experience in the taskbar settings. To do this, head over to the Settings app and click on Personalization >> Taskbar. They can also right-click on the taskbar and then select Taskbar settings.
Microsoft plans to launch the new Windows 11 taskbar search experience on all managed devices on April 11. However, Microsoft will be rolling out an optional quality update to make the ConfigureSearchOnTaskbarMode policy available to enterprise customers later this month. This release should allow IT administrators to configure the new search experience before its official release on Windows 11 machines.