Although Google Desktop was discontinued long ago, I kept the installer and was able to continue to use it. The functionality that I used the most was "hit Ctrl twice and bring up a Google search". This is not "bring up Google.com in the browser" but it is a search box that appears on top of whatever windows I have open, and after typing the query and hitting Enter it directs me to Google.com with the search results displayed.

I still have it installed, but somehow the Ctrl-Ctrl hotkey stopped working. (Maybe because of a Windows update.) What I'm looking for is

  • Repair the hotkey if possible; what may have turned it off and how to restore previous behaviour
  • Or else: software offering similar functionality

Of course if neither is possible, I may set up AutoHotkey or something to associate Ctrl-Ctrl with Google.com.

(I don't need the Desktop Search functionality, only Web Search.)

  • This is known as the old google quicksearch box. The best way to get it is from the I.E. google search bar. Is there a Google button beside your start button on your taskbar? – Darth Android May 16 '13 at 18:31
  • @DarthAndroid Nope. I'm on Windows 7 if that matters. – marczellm May 16 '13 at 18:33
  • Oh sorry, asked too early. Restarting GD fixed the hotkey. Should I close the question now? – marczellm May 16 '13 at 18:45
  • 1
    You could also post that as an answer and accept it (i.e., "Restarting Google desktop reregistered the hotkey.") That way, others experiencing the same issue will find your answer! – Darth Android May 16 '13 at 18:47
  • I wrote a version in Python: gist.github.com/marczellm/9bb3a39c14fdf5a28c47ff132307aff6 – marczellm Dec 26 '17 at 12:00

Exiting and restarting Google Desktop should restore the hotkey.

(Note that this hotkey does not always bring up the search box, such as when running a browser in fullscreen mode.)


You can configure a hotkey to directly start your browser, then search directly from there; usually most keyboards and laptops have a dedicated "home page" launcher key that serve this purpose.
That's kind of a workaround, but the result is the same.


You can restore the hotkey with restarting Google Desktop. This would fix your prob. Btw. I think the performance is a little bit low. This is why I use third party software to replace Google Desktop as Windows Search solution. I know this is a little bit expensive but to me it is worth. With the performance of the web search there's no trouble at all. I'm fine with it

  • This duplicates the accepted answer and adds no new content. Please don't post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute. – DavidPostill Mar 11 '15 at 22:12
  • @DavidPostill This answer contributes something new, namely a recommendation for a software replicating the functionality of Google Desktop, which was the second part of the question. – marczellm Mar 12 '15 at 10:55

An alternative could be the free or paid tool Lookeen. The free version offers all features of the paid version but only indexes drive C: . Another nice feature you may like is the the start on double ctrl tap ;).

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