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How to Disable Face Unlock on the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel 4 Face Unlock Menu
Justin Duino

Face Unlock is one of the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL’s flagship features. But if the facial recognition is a form of biometric security you’re uncomfortable with, you can delete your face data right off the phone. Here’s how.

Start by jumping into the Settings menu. The easiest way to do this is by swiping down twice on the home screen until the quick tiles are exposed. From there, tap on the gear icon.

Alternatively, you can swipe up on the home screen to open the app drawer. Scroll down and select the “Settings” app.

Google Pixel 4 Tap Gear Icon

Next, tap on the “Security” option.

Google Pixel 4 Tap Security

Finally, locate and tap on the “Face Unlock” button. To proceed, you’ll need to enter your screen lock, whether that be a password, PIN, or pattern.

Google Pixel 4 Tap Face Unlock

In the Face Unlock menu, scroll to the bottom of the page and tap on the “Delete Face Data” button.

Google Pixel 4 Tap Delete Face Data

The Google Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL will verify you want to disable Face Unlock. Confirm that you want to remove your face data by tapping the “Delete” button.

Google Pixel 4 Tap Delete to Confirm

With the data deleted, Face Unlock will be disabled on your phone. The screen lock will remain in place, ensuring your device stays secure.

RELATED: Google Pixel 4 Early Impressions: Radar, Face Unlock, and the Camera






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How to Disable Google Chrome’s Tab Hover Cards

Google Chrome Hover Tab Card

Tab Hover Cards in Google Chrome help you discern tabs from one another when you have numerous pages open. The feature is enabled by default, but if you don’t like it, the pop-up card can easily be disabled using a Chrome flag.

Starting with Chrome 78, Tab Hover Cards will appear when you rest the mouse cursor over a tab. The hovercard is essentially a larger preview box that now shows the title and URL of the page.

If you want an image preview of the page within the Tab Hover Card, there’s a “Tab Hover Card Images” flag you can enable.

RELATED: Google Chrome’s Hover Cards: My New Favorite Thing I Didn’t Know I Wanted

To disable the cards when you mouse-over a tab, you have to use an experimental flag in Chrome. When you enable/disable anything from chrome://flags, you use unfinished features that haven’t been tested on all devices and can sometimes misbehave. You’ll potentially run into a few bugs, so be careful when you play around with some of the available flags.

To get started, fire up Chrome, type chrome://flags into the Omnibox, press the “Enter” key, and then type “Tab Hover Cards” in the search bar.

Type "Tab Hover Cards" into the search bar to go directly to this flag.

Alternatively, you can paste chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards  into the Omnibox, and then press the “Enter” key to go directly to the flag.

Next, click the drop-down box next to the “Tab Hover Cards” flag and then select the “Disabled” option.

Click the drop-down box, and then select "Disabled" from the list of options.

For changes to take effect, you must restart Chrome. Click the blue “Relaunch Now” button at the bottom of the page.

Click "Relaunch Now."

With that, after the web browser restarts, Tab Hover Cards are no longer a part of Google Chrome. If you want to re-enable the feature, just head back to the flag and set it back to the “Default” option.





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How to Disable and Delete Your Siri History on iPhone & iPad

Siri listening on an Apple iPhone 7.
Wachiwit/Shutterstock.com

Apple’s new iOS 13.2 upgrade for iPhones and iPads offers improved privacy controls for Siri. You can now choose whether you want humans listening to snippets of your Siri interactions. You can delete any existing recordings from Apple’s servers, too.

Your iPhone or iPad will prompt you about this after the upgrade. You’ll see an “Improve Siri & Dictation” screen. If you select “Share Audio Recordings,” your device will share your recordings with Apple, and they may be listened to by humans to help improve Siri.

How to Disable Siri History Collection

To find these options, head to Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvements. You’ll find the Analytics & Improvements option at the bottom of the Privacy screen.

Opening the analytics options on an iPhone.

Ensure the “Improve Siri & Dictation” option here is toggled off. If it’s on, your iPhone or iPad will share clips of your voice with Apple.

With this option disabled, Apple won’t store or review audio of future interactions from this device. To delete audio of older interactions from Apple’s servers, you’ll have to use the below option as well.

If you have multiple devices—for example, an iPhone and an iPad—disabling Improve Siri & Dictation on one won’t disabled it on the other. You’ll have to toggle this option separately on each device you use.

Disabling Siri history collection on an iPhone.

How to Delete Your Siri History

To delete the history from Apple’s servers, head to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri & Dictation History.

Opening Siri & Dictation History in an iPhone's Settings app.

Tap the “Delete Siri & Dictation History” to delete all the stored Siri interactions from Apple’s servers.

Assuming you’ve disabled history collection and deleted the history, Apple won’t store or listen to your Siri and dictation history.

Deleting Siri & Dictation history from Apple's servers.

As the options explain, this also deletes interactions with the iPhone keyboard’s dictation feature and prevents Apple representatives from listening to them.





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How to Disable the 90Hz Display on the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel 4 Back Camera Bump
Justin Duino

One of the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL’s key features is its 90Hz display. But if you’re trying to save battery life, you can turn off the high refresh rate. Here’s how to keep the phone’s screen at 60 Hz.

How to Disable the 90Hz Display

To begin, swipe down on your home screen twice to move past the notification shade and into the quick tiles section. Tap on the gear icon to open the Settings menu.

Alternatively, you can swipe up from the home screen to open the app drawer. From there, locate and select the “Settings” app.

Google Pixel 4 Click Settings Gear

Scroll down and tap on the “Display” option.

Google Pixel 4 Click Display

Select the “Advanced” button to expand the menu.

Google Pixel 4 Click Advanced

Locate and tap on the “Smooth Display” option.

Google Pixel 4 Click Smooth Display

Select the toggle next to “Smooth Display” to disable the 90Hz display. As the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be locked at 60 Hz, you should experience a slightly better battery life.

Google Pixel 4 Toggle Off Smooth Display

How to Force 90Hz Refresh Rate

If you’re not worried about battery life and want the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to always run at 90Hz, you force the better-looking display. We don’t recommend this as it will run down your battery faster.

Before you can access the option to force the higher refresh rate, you have to enable Developer Options. To do this, swipe down on your display twice to access the quick settings tiles. Tap on the gear icon to open the Settings menu. Alternatively, open the “Setting” app from the app drawer.

Google Pixel 4 Click Settings Gear

Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and select the “About Phone” option.

Google Pixel 4 Select About Phone

Locate the “Build Number” item at the bottom of the page and rapidly tap on it. After a couple of seconds, you will be asked to authenticate yourself using the lock screen passcode (password, PIN, etc.).

Google Pixel 4 Rapidly Tap Build Number

Now that the setting is enabled hit the back button and select the “System” option.

Google Pixel 4 Select System

Scroll down and tap on “Advanced” to expand the full menu.

Google Pixel 4 Select Advanced

Locate and select the “Developer Options” button.

Google Pixel 4 Select Developer Options

Either use the search tool to locate “Force 90Hz Refresh Rate” or scroll down and tap on the option within the “Debugging” section.

Google Pixel 4 Select Force 90 Hz Refresh Rate

Select the toggle next to “Force 90Hz Refresh Rate” to turn the feature off.

Google Pixel 4 Toggle On Force 90 Hz Refresh Rate

Again, we don’t recommend you for the 90Hz refresh rate. Almost everyone that has used the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL has commented on the phone’s poor battery life. Forcing the higher refresh rate will make the device die faster than usual.





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How to Disable Notifications From Any App in Android

Notifications on your phone can be a pain, especially for insignificant apps. It’s a good idea to block notifications, especially at work. Studies have found that notifications ruin your concentration, even if it’s a small beep. In fact, it’s as disruptive as actually using your phone.

Here’s how to turn off notifications on Android altogether, or stop notifications for select apps. Note that these steps are based on a phone with stock Android 8 Oreo. The menus and instructions may vary slightly depending on your device and Android version.

How to Turn Off Notifications on Android

Android has a built-in option to turn off notifications, or only allow certain contacts to call or text. It’s called Do Not Disturb, and you can find it in Settings. We’ll look at how to switch it on and customize Do Not Disturb settings.

There are also options to block notifications from specific apps. You can do all of this without third-party apps.

Before you dive in, remember that some notifications are important and necessary. Thus, you probably don’t want to turn off all notifications. But while you do need to see an important text, you probably don’t need to know that Amazon has a sale on kitchen items today.

Use these tools to stop unwanted notifications and reclaim your attention.

How to Activate Do Not Disturb on Android

The best way to activate Do Not Disturb and turn off notifications on Android is through the pull-down Quick Settings menu:

  1. Pull down the top bar on your phone, and pull it down once more to show the Quick Settings menu. You can also pull down once using two fingers to jump right to this menu.
  2. Find and tap Do not disturb.
  3. You have three options:
    1. Total silence: Blocks all sounds and vibrations.
    2. Alarms only: Blocks everything except alarms.
    3. Priority only: Blocks everything except alarms, reminders, events, and important callers. You can customize this option, which we’ll examine in the next section.
  4. Under the mode you choose, set how long you want to activate Do Not Disturb. Set it on a timer for an hour or more, or until you manually switch it off.

How to Customize Do Not Disturb on Android

Android lets you customize Do Not Disturb preferences through the Settings menu. You can also set it up to turn on automatically based on calendar events or clock times. To change this:

  1. Go to Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb preferences.
  2. Tap to Priority only allows. Here, switch the toggles as you see fit. You can switch off reminders and events and choose who can call or message you: no one, anyone, contacts only, or starred contacts only.
  3. Next, look at Block visual disturbances. Here, you can choose to prevent notifications showing when the screen is on, or prevent notifications from turning on the screen.
  4. Finally, head to Automatic rules > Add more > Event/Time rule and set up a new rule. Here, you can set Do Not Disturb to activate based on certain events on your calendar or at certain time or day. You can choose from the same three modes: Priority only, Alarms only, or Total silence.

How to Turn Off Notifications From Any App in Android

Depending on the version of Android you’re running, there are two ways to easily stop notifications from a particular app.

First, you can go through Settings to customize notifications. This method works on everything from Android 5 Lollipop up through Android 10.

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > App notifications.
  2. Here, you’ll see a list of all apps installed on your Android device. Scroll and tap any app whose notifications you want to customize.
  3. Next a list of all types of notifications the app can send will appear. Toggle each type of notification on or off as desired.
    1. For finer control, tap a notification type and you can change its sound, vibration, and other settings. You can also toggle the main switch to block all notifications from that app.
  4. Some apps have extra notifications in their app settings. This is indicated by the Additional settings in the app button. Tap it to access the app’s settings, and customize further notifications there. Obviously, what you see depends on the app.

Second, you can change an app’s notifications settings when it sends you a notification. Like the above, this works on Android 5 Lollipop through Android 10:

  1. When you see a notification, long-press on it or swipe it slightly to either side to reveal a settings cog icon and a clock icon.
  2. Tap the settings cog icon to be taken directly to that app in the App notifications menu.
  3. From here, follow steps 3 and 4 from the first method.

Note: The clock icon you revealed is a Snooze button. It does not turn off or disable notifications. Instead, this lets you temporarily stop notifications from that app for a set amount of time.

How to Turn Off Notifications on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to 4.4 KitKat

How to turn off app notifications in Android 4.1 Jellybean to Android 4.4 KitKat

If you have an older Android phone that can’t run Lollipop, don’t worry. You can still block notifications on your device without much fuss, as long as you are running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or newer:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Tap the app for which you want to stop unwanted notifications.
  3. Uncheck the box for Show notifications.

How to Turn Off Notifications on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or Older

Unfortunately, there is no way to disable notifications from an app in legacy versions of Android. If you have an extremely old device, you’ll need to either upgrade your phone or install a custom Android ROM


How to Install a Custom ROM on Your Android Device




How to Install a Custom ROM on Your Android Device

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to gain this functionality.

How to Turn Off Lock Screen Notifications on Android

To ensure that your lock screen does not show any notifications in Android, perform the following:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications.
  2. Tap On the lock screen and choose Don’t show notifications at all.
  3. If you’d rather, you can choose to Hide sensitive notification content. This will, for example, let you know that you have a new text message, but won’t show who it’s from or what the message says.

How to Recover Dismissed Notifications

If you accidentally cleared all notifications, or missed an important item, you can get it back. Android lets you accomplish this using a simple widget that shows your entire notifications history:

  1. Tap and hold anywhere on your Home Screen to bring up the Widgets dialog.
  2. Tap Shortcut > Settings Shortcut > Notification log. On some versions of Android, you may have to select the Settings widget first.
  3. You’ll see a new Notification log icon on your home screen. Tap this to bring up your entire notification history.
  4. Tap any app in this list, and you’ll be taken to its Settings entry.

When You Can’t Disable Select Notifications

Unfortunately, what notifications you can and can’t disable depends on the app. Since Android 8 Oreo introduced notification channels


All the New Ways to Use Notifications in Android 8.0 Oreo




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, most apps have updated to support custom notification options for different types of alerts. However, some still only have an all-or-nothing option.

If you don’t see the notification options you want, it might be worth reaching out to the developer and asking to add this functionality to the app.

Do More With Android Notifications

You can turn off annoying notifications that just pester you, as well as use these utilities to make Android notifications more efficient. By setting custom ringtones and alerts for the various notification channels, you can make them better than ever before.

Notifications are awesome if you know what to do with them. Aside from the built-in features, there are third-party apps to let you do more, like Smart Replies and quick shortcuts. Here are a few apps and tricks to master your Android notifications


Master Your Android Notifications With These 11 Apps and Tricks




Master Your Android Notifications With These 11 Apps and Tricks

Take control of your notifications on Android. We show you how to silence notifications, review them later, and much more.
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.



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How to Disable Interactive Pop-Up Ads on Your Roku TV

A TV with a Roku logo on it.
AhmadDanialZulhilmi/Shutterstock.com

Roku TVs are now displaying pop-up advertisements over commercials on live TV. Whether you’re watching cable TV or free OTA channels via an antenna, you’ll see an occasional Roku advertisement above a commercial. Here’s how to disable them.

These ads were first spotted by Cord Cutters News. An advertisement promoting “Ghost Town” on the Roku Channel, a program sponsored by GEICO, appeared over a GEICO commercial while watching live TV. The ads appear to be part of the Roku OS 9.2 update.

The good news is that these only appear during commercial breaks. If an advertiser has partnered with Roku, that advertiser can display an interactive pop-up advertisement over the normal commercial. These ads will only appear when commercials are already playing on your  TV.

A GEICO advertisement displayed over a commercial on live TV on a Roku TV.
Cord Cutters News

If you don’t want to see these advertisements, you can disable them. To do so, head to Settings > Privacy > Smart TV Experience and disable the “Use info from TV inputs” feature on your Roku TV.

This will also disable suggestions like “More Ways to Watch,” which uses Automated Content Recognition (ACR) to analyze what you’re watching and recommend additional episodes of the show on streaming services as well as similar shows and movies you may be interested in watching.

Disabling the "Use info from TV inputs" advertising feature on a TCL Roku TV.

These advertisements are only available on Roku TVs at the moment. If you have a TCL Roku TV or a Roku TV made by another manufacturer, this affects you.

If you just have a standard Roku stick or streaming box, you won’t see these ads or the option to disable the “Use info from TV inputs” feature.

RELATED: The Smart TV Crapware Era Has Already Begun






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How to Disable the Apple Watch’s Always-On Display

Apple Watch Series 5 Always-on Display
Justin Duino

Early Apple Wach models lacked one significant feature: an always-on display. That changed with the Series 5, which includes a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) display. The option shouldn’t affect the Apple Watch’s battery life, but here’s how to turn it off.

Disable It from the Apple Watch

Start by pressing the Apple Watch’s digital crown.

Apple Watch Click Digital Crown

Locate and tap on the “Settings” app. The icon looks like a gear.

Apple Watch Tap Settings

Scroll down and then select “Display & Brightness.”

Apple Watch Tap Display & Brightness

Tap on the “Always On” option.

Apple Watch Tap Always On

Tap on the toggle next to “Always On” to turn the feature off.

Apple Watch Toggle Off Always On

Alternatively, you can leave the always-on display enabled and toggle on “Hide Sensitive Complications.” This setting won’t turn off the Apple Watch’s display, but it will keep any private information from showing when the screen isn’t completely awake.

Disable It from the Watch App on iPhone

You can also disable the Apple Watch’s always-on display through the “Watch” app on your iPhone. To do this, open the “Watch” app from your homescreen. To locate it, use Apple’s Spotlight search to find the app.

Apple iPhone Select Watch App

Scroll down and then select “Display & Brightness.”

Apple iPhone Watch App Tap Display & Brightness

Tap on “Always On.”

Apple iPhone Watch App Tap Always On

Select the toggle next to “Always On” to disable the Apple Watch’s always-on display.

Apple iPhone Watch App Toggle Off Always On

Again, you can toggle on the “Hide Sensitive Complications” option if you want the Apple Watch not to display private information when the screen isn’t fully awake.






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How to Disable or Enable Tap to Click on a PC’s Touchpad

An index finger on a PC laptop's trackpad.
Anna Volgina/Shutterstock.com

Windows laptops often let you tap one or more fingers on the touchpad or trackpad to click. If this gets in your way, you can disable it—or enable it if it’s not working.

Different Laptops Have the Option in Different Places

Generally, you can tap with one finger to left-click and tap with two fingers to right-click. This option is relatively easy to enable and disable, although it’s in different places depending on the touchpad hardware your laptop manufacturer included and how they configured it. If you disable tap-to-click, you can still click by depressing the trackpad or pressing the buttons on it.

Many modern Windows laptops have Precision Touchpads. If your laptop does, you can configure tap-to-click and other touchpad settings directly in Windows 10’s Settings app.

How to Disable or Enable Tap to Click

To check whether these features are available on your PC, head to Settings > Devices > Touchpad. (You can quickly open the Settings app by pressing Windows+i on your keyboard.)

Under Taps, enable or disable the “Tap with a single finger to single-click,” “Tap with two fingers to right-click,” and “Tap twice and drag to multi-select” options. The exact options available will depend on your PC. But, if you don’t see them, your PC doesn’t have a Precision Touchpad, and these options must be configured elsewhere.

Disabling tap-to-click in Windows 10's Settings app.

If you don’t see the options here, you can likely click “Additional settings” under Related Settings on the Touchpad settings pane.

Opening additional touchpad settings on Windows 10.

This will generally open your touchpad’s settings panel in the old Mouse Properties window.

On an HP laptop with a Synaptics touchpad, it took us to the “ClickPad Settings” pane. We could click “ClickPad Settings” to access the touchpad’s settings.

(You can also find these options by heading to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Mouse and looking for the touchpad options your laptop’s touchpad drivers added to this window. This is where you’ll find them on Windows 7 PCs.)

Launching Synaptics ClickPad settings on an HP laptop.

We could then entirely disable “Tapping,” or disable “Two-Finger Tap,” “Three-Finger Tap,” or “Four-Finger Tap.” Finally, we could save the settings by clicking “OK” twice.

Disabling tap-to-click in the Synaptics touchpad settings window.

Again, the exact options available, as well as the name of any settings here, will depend on your laptop manufacturer, how it configured your touchpad, and the drivers it used. While many laptops have Synaptics touchpads and will look similar to this, some have ELAN trackpads.

In some cases, some laptops may not even offer an option that lets you disable tap-to-click. However, most laptops do offer this option.





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How to Disable Bing in the Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows 10 Start Menu search with Bing web results for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Windows 10, by default, sends everything you search for in the Start Menu to their servers to give you results from Bing search—so you better make sure that you don’t type anything private into your own PC’s Start Menu. Or, you could just disable the Bing integration in the Start Menu.

Update: We now have a new solution that works in modern versions of Windows 10! We tested this method with both Windows 10’s October 2018 Update and the May 2019 Update. It works in both.

It’s worth noting that Android’s default search and even iOS will also send your search results to their servers to try and get more relevant results—but somehow it seems different when you’re on your personal computer in your house trying to search through your personal files.

We’re definitely glad that they included a way to easily disable the web integration—it’s just worth noting that if you want to use Cortana, you don’t have any choice in whether the Start Menu uses Bing, so you’re going to have to disable Cortana to disable the web integration.

How to Disable Bing Integration in the Start Menu

You must edit the Windows registry to disable web searches in the Start menu.

Here’s our standard warning: The Registry Editor is a powerful tool and making the wrong change can make your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a straightforward change and, if you follow the instructions, you should be fine. But if you’ve never used it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor. We always recommend backing up your Registry (and your computer) before making changes.

To start, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit”. Double-click the “Registry Editor” shortcut that appears (or press Enter) and click Yes to the UAC prompt.

Start Menu Search with arrows pointing to regedit search and registry editor result.

In the Registry Editor use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionSearch

Registry Editor with box around Search key

Right-click the Search icon and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value BingSearchEnabled.

Registry Editor with box around BingSearchEnabled DWORD.

Double-click the new BingSearchEnabled value to open its properties dialog. The number in the “Value data” box should already be 0—just ensure it’s still 0. Click OK to continue.

DWORD properties dialog with box around Value and arrow pointing to OK button.

Below BingSearchEnabled, you should see  CortanaConsent. Double-click this value to open its properties dialog. Change its “Value Data” box to “0”.

If you don’t see CortanaConsent, create it by following the same steps you used to create BingSearchEnabled.

Registry editor with box around CortanaConsent DWORD.

You can close the Registry Editor now. If you search your start menu, you should now see only local results. If the change doesn’t take effect immediately, restart your PC.

Windows 10 desktop with Start Menu search and no Bing web results

If you want web search results back, all you have to do is open the Registry Editor and change the BingSearchEnabled and CortanaConsent values back to 1.

Download Our One-Click Registry Change

File Explorer with registry files.

If you’re not comfortable making Registry changes yourself, we’ve created two downloadable files you can use. One file disables web searching from the Start Menu, and the other file will re-enable web searches. Both are included in the following zip file, and each just functions by changing the values we demonstrated how to change above. Double-click the one you want and click through the prompts. The change should be immediate—if it isn’t and you still see Bing results in your Start menu, restart your PC.

Download Web Search Override Files

How to Disable Bing Integration in the Start Menu, the Old Way

Update: Microsoft removed this easy graphical option from Windows 10’s Anniversary Update. Even if you turn Cortana off with a registry or Group Policy tweak, Windows 10 won’t disable web searches in the Start menu. You can, however, make the Start menu search Google instead of Bing, if you want.

RELATED: How to Make Cortana Search with Google and Chrome Instead of Bing and Edge

Luckily Bing is really easy to disable, and you’ll just need to get to the Cortana search settings screen — the easiest way to do this is to type “cortana settings” into the Start Menu and choose the “Cortana & Search settings” item.

Cortana & Search settings option in Windows 10's Start menu

This will bring up the settings dialog, which is going to look different depending on whether you’ve already disabled Cortana or not.

If you want to disable the Bing integration, you’re going to also have to disable Cortana — so flip that switch to Off.

Old Start menu option to disable Cortana on Windows 10

Now that you’ve disabled Cortana, the rest of the dialog will change and you’ll see an option for “Search online and include web results”, which you are going to want to disable as well — this is how you actually disable Bing from the Start Menu.

The option to disable web search results in the original version of Windows 10

And now when you search for anything, it’s going to only search your own PC.

Windows 10 Start menu search showing only local results

Notice how clean it is now — and it says “Search my stuff” instead of “Search the web”.

Note that If you want to disable the Search box from the Taskbar, you’ll need to right-click it and choose the Hidden option.





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