Microsoft has broken “turn off web search” in Windows 10 version 1803

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Windows 10 users and administrators who plan to upgrade devices running the operating system to Windows 10 version 1803, the Spring Creators Update, should be aware that there are certain policies that are currently being violated in the new version of Windows 10.

In particular, the “Do not allow web search” policy has no effect when enabled on the device. The initial version of Windows 10 combined local search functionality with web search functionality when it was released.

The search results displayed local results, such as files or preferences that match the search term, and suggested web search results. These suggestions were pulled from Bing and loaded the Bing results page in Microsoft Edge when selected.

Microsoft has changed web search several times since this initial release. The company removed the UI setting to disable Cortana or web search in the Anniversary Update, which meant users had to disable web search in Windows 10 using policies or the Windows registry.

Web search was improved in the Fall Creators Update when Windows Search started showing direct results to the Windows 10 desktop pulled from Bing. A search of the German city of Dortmund directly returned a map, a short description, some pictures and other information.

Disable Broken Web Search in Windows 10 version 1803

Microsoft broke the ability to disable web search in the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update. Even if you have configured all three anti-web search policies, web search remains enabled on the device. Note: The change only affects Windows 10 Pro systems as reported. Business or education systems are not affected.

You can find all the policies under Local Computer Policy> Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Search.

The policies are:

  • Do not allow web search
  • Do not search the web or display web results in search
  • Do not search the web or display web results in search over limited connections

Windows 10 won’t block web search results if you enable all three preferences. A quick check on a system running Redstone 5, the next version of Windows 10 after version 1803, revealed that the policies are also being violated in this version of Windows 10.

Update: Here is a registry script that you can run on an affected device to disable web search functionality: block-web-search.zip

Closing words

While Microsoft may release an update for Windows 10, version 1803 on day one to fix the issue, I don’t think it’s very likely to happen. The web search functionality has privacy implications, as search terms must be sent to Microsoft so that the company can return search suggestions.

Now you: Are you using web search in Windows 10?

Summary

Microsoft has gone bankrupt

Article name

Microsoft has broken “turn off web search” in Windows 10 version 1803

The description

Windows 10 users and administrators who plan to upgrade devices running the operating system to Windows 10 version 1803, the Spring Creators Update, should be aware that there are certain policies that are currently being violated in the new version of Windows 10.

Author

Martin Brinkmann

Editor

Ghacks Technology News

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