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Someone installed Windows Search on my computer and I hate it. I refuse to spend time setting up the indexer. I just want it gone!

How can I remove it and its indexer from my computer, or at least get Windows Explorer to default to using the Search Companion like it used to?

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I found this to be pretty good after I removed Windows Search. I use – Sun Nov 4 '13 at 17:15
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You should be able to head over to Add/Remove programs and remove it that way. As Diago mentions below, you may have to show the hidden updates to see it.

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I don't see it in Add/Remove programs – Jeff Leonard Jul 30 '09 at 21:28
I assume you are using Windows XP? It would be "Windows Desktop Search 4.0" or something like that. – The How-To Geek Jul 30 '09 at 21:31
In Add/Remove you need to check the box to show updates. It is part of Windows Updates now – BinaryMisfit Jul 30 '09 at 21:52
found it! thanks! – Jeff Leonard Jul 30 '09 at 21:59

It's located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS

not HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS
as another answer suggested.

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In RegEdit, go to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS 

and set ShowStartSearchBand to 0, and you'll get the default search behavior back.

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+1: unknown why downvoted, works here. – RvdK Jan 23 '13 at 12:39

You can Disable the service.

  • Go To Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Services
  • Go down to Indexing Service and change the Startup Type to "Disable"
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I've already done that, but I want to also figure to how to make the old window search panel show up in Windows Explorer when clicking the search button. – Jeff Leonard Jul 30 '09 at 21:32

It's probably seen as a Windows update, you need to look in the list of installed Windows Updates.

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