How to Remove the “Download Windows Search” Prompt in Internet Explorer 8 Address Bar

When you type something in the Internet Explorer 8 Address bar, you may be prompted with the message Download Windows Search to improve history and favorites results. This message is shown in systems where Windows Search is not installed or if it is disabled. I’m sure there are still a lot of users who prefer not to install Windows Search, and want to remove the annoying "Download Windows Search" prompt in IE8.

Microsoft KB968513 instructs to download Windows Search in order to remove the prompt, but does not tell how to remove the prompt without having to install or enable Windows Search. That’s the reason I wrote this article.

Disable the Prompt without installing Windows Search

You may use one of the following methods to disable the Windows Search prompt.

Method 1 (Recommended)

Click the Download Windows Search to improve history and favorites results prompt atleast once. The prompt should disappear after 7 days. (REF: Annoying "Download Windows Search" teaser in addressbar dropdown)

Method 2 (Recommended)

1. Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press ENTER:

2. Navigate to the following branch:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer \ Main \ WindowsSearch

3. Create a new REG_DWORD value named ShowPrompt

(Leave the value data of ShowPrompt value to 0.)

4. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. Close and reopen Internet Explorer.

Method 3

This method is to make Internet Explorer believe that Windows Search 4.0 is already installed (while it’s not), and thereby removes the annoying Windows Search prompt.

1. Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press ENTER:

2. Navigate to the following branch:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows Search

3. Create a new String (REG_SZ) value named CurrentVersion

4. Double-click CurrentVersion and set its value data to 4.0

5. Exit the Registry Editor.

6. Close and reopen Internet Explorer.

Registry Fixes

To automate the steps in Method 2 and Method 3, use the ie8-no-wsprompt.zip. Download the file, unzip and run the appropriate REG files.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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