Last night I was cleaning up my C drive on my Windows 10 PC, like you do, and I decided to restart when I was done. After postponing a series of Windows Updates over the past few weeks because I didn’t want to go through the agonizingly long 10-second reboot process, I thought this would be a great opportunity to update my system. exploitation. . But when I logged back in, I discovered that my Windows search bar now had these unrequested fucking donut images cluttering it.
For anyone lucky enough to be on a Mac right now, the Windows search bar looks a bit like the PC version of Spotlight. You can search the web with it, but I mostly use it to find programs or files on my PC. It’s a tool I really like because it means I don’t have to clutter my desktop with a bunch of shortcuts. But because there’s this web search feature, Microsoft keeps trying to cram it in everywhere it can.
Hovering over or clicking on my search bar’s new baking paraphernalia finally told me what it was doing all over my own cleanliness, Final Fantasy-ified office. Apparently it’s National Donut Day, a holiday of such significance that Microsoft has kindly Jammed a bunch of tiles that lead to donut-related Bing search results in the results box of my beloved search bar.
Take from Twitter quickly told me that I wasn’t the only one with this problem, but I couldn’t find any of my esteemed colleagues in the press who had covered it. I don’t even know how long this attempt to ape Google doodles has been going on because I was late to the update party. A March post on Microsoft’s forums says a phased rollout of this “highlighted search” feature began last month, but judging from social media, I’m not the only person running into it right now.
So this is where I wield my power as Deputy Editor of Consumer Tech to let off steam and represent all of my fellow PC users. There is a way to get rid of those unwanted virtual temptations, so let’s start there.
How to Get Rid of Windows Search Bar Images
To send these donuts – or any future emoji-style threats – to the Shadow Realm, you’ll need to right click on your taskbar. Then hover look forand disable view search highlights. You can also disable the search bar feature entirely here and relegate it to a simple icon that can access the same functionality with a click or a quick press of the Windows key. I tend to overlook the feature unless the box is actually there, so I left mine on.
Removing emoji-style images from your search bar will also prevent Bing search tiles from showing up in your search window, and your most-used apps will show up there instead, along with Bing search prompts less intrusive text.
It’s a fairly simple fix, and you can repeat a similar process to get rid of any stock or weather alerts if you’ve received any as well (just right click your taskbar, go to news and highlightsand click switch off). But one would hope that Microsoft would be beyond pushing that kind of cutesy interaction on its users now, after the debacle of the living tiles it was introduced with Windows 8.
While these shortcuts might be useful or fun for some, they also take up a lot of screen space and can be distracting, which isn’t ideal for a productivity-focused operating system. Windows 10 still has live tile functionality, but I keep as many features disabled as possible at all times. In general, recent Microsoft updates have done a much better job of honoring these preferences than Windows 8 or Vista, which is why I was surprised to see this kind of cute worm returning to my desktop without consent.
Maybe it’s Microsoft’s way of letting me know it’s time to upgrade to Windows 11. The company may continue to try to make the recovery happen until I do, although this previous March post indicates that Windows 11 users will soon feel my donut pain. Join me in hell, Homer Simpson friends.
For more tips and tricks in Windows 10 – and guides for the inevitable upgrade to Windows 11 – check out Gizmodo’s How section.
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