Microsoft is making a tweak to a key Windows 10 feature that nobody asked for

Windows 10 problems
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Microsoft’s attempts to get us to love its Edge web browser continue, with news that the company is looking to integrate it more with the search box in the Windows 10 taskbar – something that may irritate as many people as it pleases.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft is testing a new feature that brings information from the Microsoft Edge browser, so when you use the search box, you can now search for your bookmarks, browsing history and recent tabs as well.

The idea seems to be that you’ll now not only be able to look for files and folders using the search box – which was its original purpose – but you can search websites you’ve browsed in the past as well.

How useful people find this will vary, with some making use of it, while others find it a distraction that fills their search results with results they weren’t looking for. There’s also a privacy aspect, as it means your search history and bookmarks are shown on the desktop.

Of course, you’ll need to be an Edge user for these results to be any use. While Microsoft has done a decent job of increasing Edge’s user numbers, the reality is that the vast majority of PC users still use Google’s Chrome browser – so the feature will be useless for them. Microsoft clearly hopes that by integrating it more into Windows 10, people will start using Edge more due to the extra features it provides.

However, Microsoft’s sometimes aggressive pushing of the Edge browser could do the opposite – causing people to be annoyed at Edge before they’ve even used it.

Turning it off

The good news is that this feature looks like it will be relatively easy to switch off. There will be an option to disable the feature and stop your browsing data being shared with ‘other Windows features’.

The feature hasn’t made it to regular users either. For now, it’s only available to people testing out an early version of Edge; Edge Canary version 91.0.831.0.

If the integration goes well, however, you may start seeing more Edge results in Windows 10 search. It seems Microsoft is serious about trying to get people to use its browser, whether they want to or not.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.