Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How to hide the Windows Search 4 search bar on the Windows XP Taskbar

File this one under "so obvious that I couldn't figure it out!"

Earlier today, I installed the recently-released Windows Search 4 for Windows XP.  I'm going to give it a try not so much as a search tool, but primarily as a means of opening documents more quickly in cases when I already know where the document I want is located, but the location is multiple levels deep in my filesystem hierarchy, and it takes a few seconds to drill all the way down to it; I'm hoping just typing a few characters of the document's name and then opening the document from the search results turns out to be faster.

When I installed Windows Search 4, it placed a search bar on my Windows Taskbar.  I didn't really want the search bar there; I like to have maximum real estate available on the Taskbar for my open applications' buttons.  (I don't have the Quick Launch bar or any other widgets present on my Taskbar, either; I use SlickRun to launch apps quickly using only the keyboard.)  I'm also currently running a black Windows theme and a black desktop background, and the bright white rectangle of the search field was a bit of an eyesore.

Since I knew that I could also bring up the search field with the global Win+F keyboard shortcut (as Windows Search 4 replaces the default Windows search functionality, including the Win+F shortcut), I poked around in the Windows Search options for a way to hide the search field on the Taskbar.  Not seeing any relevant options there, I Googled for an answer, and didn't come up with anything immediately, but eventually found the answer in a reader comment in a article comparing Windows Search 4 and Google Desktop 5.5. 

Commenter "Quikboy" on that article noted that it is possible to hide the Windows Search field on the Taskbar, not from within the Windows Search options, but in the same way that you can hide any other Taskbar widget: Right-click an empty portion of the Taskbar, then on the context menu that appears, open the Toolbars sub-menu, and uncheck Windows Search Deskbar.

So, that problem is solved!  It remains to be seen how useful Windows Search 4 turns out to be in my everyday work, but at least while I'm making that determination over the next few days, I won't have the search field cluttering up my Taskbar!


  1. Good one. Spent some time figuring out this one without any results :D Thanks Jon.

  2. Thanks for share info. This article saved my time....

  3. Thank god, that stupid sucker was taking up three icons worth of space on my damn task tray.

  4. Great, thanks!

  5. Wow I feel pretty dumb :)


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