Cortana Search Registry Tweaks in Windows 10

In Windows 10 Redstone 2 build and higher, you can move the Cortana search text box to the top, change the text box border color and thickness. Also, you can add a search glyph and submit button near the text box with some registry tweaks.

Move Cortana Search Box to the Top

Start Regedit.exe and go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\0\SearchBoxOnTop
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\1\SearchBoxOnTop

In the above registry branches, double-click the DWORD value named “Value” and set its data to 1

cortana registry tweaks

Add search glyph and submit button near the search box

To add search and submit glyph icons before and after the text box respectively, use these registry edits.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\0\ShowSearchGlyphLeftOfSearchBox
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\1\ShowSearchGlyphLeftOfSearchBox
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\0\ShowSubmitButtonRightOfSearchBox
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\1\ShowSubmitButtonRightOfSearchBox

In the above registry locations, double-click the DWORD value named “Value” and set the data to 1, and exit the Registry Editor.

The glyph icons tweak was introduced first introduced in Windows 10 Anniversary Update (v1607).

Screenshots

Here is how Cortana box appears before enabling the tweaks.

cortana registry tweaks

After applying the above registry settings, text box appears at the top with the search and submit glyph icons.

cortana registry tweaks

Search box border color and width

You can change the search box color (in ARGB hex value) and border width in these keys, by setting “Value” to 1:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\0\SearchBoxBorderColor
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\0\SearchBoxBorderThickness
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\1\SearchBoxBorderColor
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\1\SearchBoxBorderThickness

 

Remove “Ask me anything” default text

I found another registry setting which removes the default text (“Ask me anything”). In the Registry Editor, create a subkey named “SearchBoxText” under “Flighting\0” and “Flighting\1” registry keys. The following keys are now created.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\0\SearchBoxText
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\1\SearchBoxText

Under each key, create a string value (REG_SZ) value named “Value”.

Double-click “Value” and press spacebar and press ENTER. Or you can type your own word or phrase which would be your default text.

Logoff and login back. The Cortana text box won’t have any default text.



cortana registry tweaks

cortana registry tweaks

cortana registry tweaks

Show Cortana as a floating window

To show Cortana as a floating window, create the following registry (DWORD 32-bit) value and set the data to 1.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search

Value: ImmersiveSearch
Data: 1

cortana floating window windows 10

To always show the full Cortana window (not just the search bar), create the following (DWORD 32-bit) value in addition:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\Override

Value: ImmersiveSearchFull
Data: 1

After applying the registry edit, click Start and type a search phrase/letter. This opens Cortana in the center of the screen as a floating window. Alternately, you can press Win + C to open the floating Cortana window directly without opening the Start menu.

cortana floating window windows 10


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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