I'm using Windows 8.1 and when you are in the "start screen" (where all the tiles are), if you type something, a search panel appears on the right side with search results.

In 8.0 it searched within "start menu" shortcuts and control panel elements only (if I remember correctly). In 8.1 it now search "start menu" shortcuts, my library and files and no longer control panel items.

Is there a way to configure this? I use this search solely to locate a "start menu" shortcut and/or control panel element, so I would like to narrow my search to only this.

3 Answers 3


By default, search in Windows 8.1 looks also for Control Panel items. However, if you are not satisfied with the results displayed, you can use the filter on top of the search box. Click Win+W or tap the arrow near the word "Everywhere" and then select "Settings". This will make it display only items from the Control Panel and PC Settings.

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Search in Windows 8.1 also includes search results from Bing. If you want to turn this off and view only local results, from your own computer or device, read this guide and learn how to disable this behavior: How to Customize or Disable Search with Bing in Windows 8.1.

I hope this helps.

  • Yeah I already know that but it's not what I'm looking for... I want to change the default behavior. I don't want to switch what I'm looking for each time and there is no way NOT to search files in the library which is quite annoying.
    – AlexV
    Jun 4, 2014 at 13:06
  • There is nothing else that can be configured by the user, except what I've shared. Sorry. It's a limitation of Windows 8.1. :| Jun 5, 2014 at 14:18
  • Yeah It's what I thought... What an annoying limitation.
    – AlexV
    Jun 5, 2014 at 19:25

When you are in start menu and you are searching for something, there should be written everywhere or something else above the text box , try changing it to settings and you will get only control panel items.


You can configure search menu through indexing on Windows 8.1. Go to control panel - Indexing Options - Modify. Here customize as your wish. You can get help from here: How to Fix if You Can't Search Files on Windows 8.1

  • This method is only to change what files you want indexed, it doesn't restore the ability to search for control panel items from the Start Screen. May 27, 2014 at 22:48

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