[Did You Know] Windows 8 “Search Everywhere” Feature Still Works in Windows 10

When Microsoft released Windows 8 operating system, they introduced "Metro UI" (also known as Modern UI) features such as Charms Bar, Start Screen and other new features specially developed for touch-enabled devices.

Since Microsoft removed Start Menu from Windows 8 and replaced it with new Start Screen, they added "Search Everywhere" feature in Windows 8 which allowed users to search for files, etc using a sidebar. On Start Screen or other apps, users could directly access Search sidebar and search for desired things.


But in the latest Windows version i.e. Windows 10, Microsoft re-added Start Menu and introduced "Cortana" digital personal assistant which helps users in searching for stuff. Cortana search box can be found on Taskbar and you can also access it by typing in the Start Menu. The previous keyboard shortcuts WIN+S and WIN+Q to launch "Search Everywhere" feature in Windows 8 now launch Cortana search in Windows 10.


Many Windows 10 users still prefer Windows 8 style "Search Everywhere" sidebar. In fact, many Windows 10 users have disabled or uninstalled the Cortana app in their computers. If you uninstall Cortana, it also removes the "Search" functionality of Start Menu so you can't search for files/folder/apps after removing or disabling Cortana search.

[Tip] Disable Cortana and Bing Search Results in Windows 10

[Windows 10 Tip] Remove Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Other System Apps

Now there is a good news for Windows 10 users! Although Microsoft replaced Windows 8 style "Search Everywhere" feature with the new Cortana search in Windows 10, but the company kept files related to the "Search Everywhere" feature in Windows 10. So using a simple and easy trick you can bring back Windows 8 "Search Everywhere" feature in Windows 10.

If you are also using Windows 10 and want to enjoy Windows 8 "Search Everywhere" feature, following steps will help you in enabling "Search Everywhere" in Windows 10 operating system:

Actually the main DLL file related to "Search Everywhere" feature in Windows 8 was Windows.UI.Search.dll present in C:\Windows\System32 folder. You can also find other resources related to "Search Everywhere" feature in C:\Windows\SystemResources\Windows.UI.Search folder. These files and folders are still present in Windows 10, so we can use Windows 8 "Search Everywhere" feature in Windows 10.

The actual command to launch "Search Everywhere" feature is as following:

%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe -sta {C90FB8CA-3295-4462-A721-2935E83694BA}

Try to launch the above command in RUN dialog box and it'll immediately activate "Search Everywhere" sidebar on right-side of the screen.


Now you can create a direct shortcut for the above mentioned command to launch "Search Everywhere" sidebar anytime you want and then you can pin the shortcut to Start Menu, Taskbar or put it on Desktop or Quick Launch toolbar for easy access.

1. Just right-click on Desktop and select "New -> Shortcut" option. It'll launch "Create Shortcut" wizard.

2. Now enter following string in location box:

%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe -sta {C90FB8CA-3295-4462-A721-2935E83694BA}

3. After entering the location, click on "Next" button. Now type Search or any other desired name in name box and click on "Finish" button.

It'll create the new shortcut on Desktop. You can change its icon using shortcut's properties. If you want, you can pin the shortcut to Taskbar or Start Menu for quick access.

PS: You can also find a ready-made shortcut of the "Search Everywhere" feature in following directory:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

You'll find a shortcut "Search.lnk" in the above mentioned directory as shown in following screenshot:


If you open "Search" shortcut's properties, you'll find the above mentioned command in its Target field:


So either use the ready-made Search shortcut present in "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\" folder to launch "Search Everywhere" sidebar in Windows 8 or Windows 10 or manually create a new shortcut using %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe -sta {C90FB8CA-3295-4462-A721-2935E83694BA} string and then put it on Desktop, Start Menu or Taskbar.


This trick to create direct shortcut forĀ "Search Everywhere" feature will work in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and all Windows 10 Insider Preview builds.

Also Check:

[Tip] Restoring Classic Programs and User Interface in Windows 10


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Posted in: Windows 10, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • This is weird a little bit. It shows only two files results at top. And just below it lists folders I think but they aren't clickable. There might be something missing here- but good find.

  • Sorry but something is missing. Created a shortcut using "%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe -sta {C90FB8CA-3295-4462-A721-2935E83694BA}" but the shortcut doesn't do anything.

  • yeah got it for a while but as previous comment ; it is far from being efficient ...

    show results unclickable , it is a big joke lol

  • VG,I would like to Inform you that this doesn't work on 14332.Looks like they removed it

  • VG

    ^^ Thats sad. I have tested it on Windows 10 RTM and November update build 10586.

    @mykou and aditya
    Its working absolutely fine here on RTM and build 10586.

    @Bob G.
    Which Windows 10 build are you using?

  • Same problem here, not possible to search on the items it shows !
    Win10 x64 1511 build 10586.218 ( latest build)
    A solution would be very welcome , or better remove the shortcut.........

  • VG

    ^^ Its working perfectly here on the same build. I can search for anything and the results are clickable.

  • Then what are we doing wrong, we have all latest updates,system running OK, still this shortcut does not work at all !
    A solution would be very fine..........

  • VG

    ^^ First try to direct running the command using RUN dialog box. Check whether the Search everywhere sidebar appears or not and if appears, try to search for something.

  • Yes ! Indeed it seems to work with RUN dialog box.
    Can not find the search-shortcut in the start-menu. How to make a working shortcut ?

  • VG

    ^^ I have modified the instructions a little to contain more details. Please check again.

  • a great piece of software for search is "everything search engine" by voidtools

  • Work very well for me ( W10 Pro , v 1511 , b 10596.218 ) ! Thank's for the advice !

  • Not work in Windows 10 Build 14332.


  • No, thanks; I'm OK having a search UI that is placed in a sane location (not popping from a random, far away place). Why would I want to regress to the mad UI of Windows 8? Don't take me wrong; I find it very interesting that these tweaks exist and can be done, it's fascinating, actually, to read these articles. But I don't see the point of bothering with this as you can perfectly use Windows 10's default search UI without ever be bothered by Cortana, if one dislikes that feature.

  • VG

    ^^ The point is mentioned in the article: ;)

    Many Windows 10 users have disabled or uninstalled the Cortana app in their computers. If you uninstall Cortana, it also removes the "Search" functionality of Start Menu so you can't search for files/folder/apps after removing or disabling Cortana search. So using a simple and easy trick you can bring back Windows 8 "Search Everywhere" feature in Windows 10.

  • This does not work anymore on the latest 1607 build, I upgraded from 1511 where this used to work flawlessly.

  • It does not work because
    is not in the registry in the latest Windows 10.

  • So how to put the win 8 search bar in the last version win 10? the both "dll" files are ok! on my win10/system32. But Quinto says it doesn't appear on register, so that, how to put it back on the register and maybe try to copy real Windows.UI.Search.dll again on win10..

    I'm few weeks without search bar and any help would be appreciated!

  • I have to agree with everyone. This used to work on both my laptops with Windows 10 home versions but recent updates have stopped it working altogether. The search.Ink shortcut is not in the above mentioned folder and when I type or copy the command into run dialog nothing happens. Same when I make a new shortcut on the desktop as per your instructions. Its a shame because I liked using that secret feature. If there is any way to make it work I wold appreciate knowing. Thanks.

  • If you are not going to answer us because it no longer works in windows 10 how about at least updating this page

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