How to Unlock Windows 8 Search in Windows 10

Dave LeClair 28-04-2016

Do you miss the Windows 8 and 8.1 search box that use to slide out from the side of the screen? In Windows 10, the search box lives at the bottom of the screen and it works with Cortana How to Make Cortana Organize Your Life Your life is so complex, you deserve a personal assistant. Meet Cortana, your virtual assistant ready to serve at the tip of your tongue. We'll show you how to effectively delegate tasks to Cortana. Read More . It works well enough, but if you want to bring back the old search, there is a way!


First, open Windows Explorer Hack Windows Explorer for Efficiency Boosts Windows Explorer -- known as File Explorer on Windows 8 -- is an application that you probably spend a good amount of time in. Even Windows geeks that avoid using any other Microsoft program tend... Read More . Now, right-click your desktop (or wherever you’ll want the Windows 8 search feature to live) and click New, then Shortcut. From there, copy and paste the following into the field asking for a path:

%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe -sta {C90FB8CA-3295-4462-A721-2935E83694BA}

Give the shortcut a name — something like “Windows 8 Search” would make sense. Whenever you launch this shortcut, the search box will pop out of the side of the screen and function as it did in Windows 8.

Search Pane 2016-04-27 16.21.10

If you want to make it more accessible, you can create a keyboard shortcut to launch it How to Launch Any Windows Program With the Keyboard Did you know you can launch any Windows program you want with user-defined keyboard shortcuts? Read More . To do so, right-click on your new shortcut, then select Properties. Click in the “Shortcut” field, and tap the keyboard shortcut you’d like to use. Now, pressing those buttons will cause the Windows 8 search to launch. It’s that easy!

Is there any particular Windows 8 feature you miss or are you happy with Windows 10? Or are you still running an even older version of Windows? Let us know in the comments!


Image Credit: Opas Boonlieng via ShutterStock

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Search.

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  1. Nobruca
    April 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I prefer Everything ( to search for local files.