Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast

Where I rant about Microsoft products, computers and technology, and much more.

February 2007 - Posts

  • Control the Internet Explorer 7 Search Area

    If you are using Windows Internet Explorer 7 on either Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Vista, you may notice that the browser includes several new functions, including tabbed browsing and integrated search capability. If you do not like having the Search area next to the address bar there is a way to remove it on a per-user and system wide basis.

    To do this, you will need to use the Registry Editor. Editing the Registry should not be done unless you have knowledge of the Windows System Registry. Take care when editing the registry and don’t change values that you are unsure of. I can not be held responsible if you mess up the Registry while trying this.

    This article applies to:

    • Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP
    • Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Server 2003
    • Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Vista

    Steps to take in order to control the Internet Explorer Search Field:

    • Open the Registry Editor by pressing WinKey+R on your keyboard and then typing “regedit.exe” (without the quotes). On Windows Vista you may receive a User Account Control prompt asking for your consent, click on Continue.
    • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions. If this key doesn’t exist, create it.
    • Create a new DWORD Value (if you are using Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista this may be called DWORD (32-bit Value)) and give it a name of NoSearchBox.
    • Double click on the NoSearchBox DWORD value and give it a value of 1.

    Open Internet Explorer 7 and the Search area should be removed.

    For the sake of simplicity, I have created a set of four registry files that you can merge to control this feature. They are clearly named so you know which one to use:

    • Disable Internet Explorer 7 Search Box - All Users.reg
    • Disable Internet Explorer 7 Search Box - Current User.reg
    • Enable Internet Explorer 7 Search Box - All Users.reg
    • Enable Internet Explorer 7 Search Box - Current User.reg

    Download: Windows Internet Explorer 7 Search Area Enable/Disable Registry Files

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