Microsoft Testing New MacOS Spotlight-like Search UI for Windows 10

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Cloud, Windows, Windows 10 with 41 Comments

Microsoft is testing a major redesign of Cortana/search in Windows 10. The company quietly added a secret feature to the operating system with the release of Windows 10 Redstone 4 build 17040.

The new immersive search UI is a lot like macOS’ Spotlight which is arguably one of the best features of Apple’s Mac devices. The new search UI for Windows 10 is very similar to Apple’s implementation, and it’s accessible via the Win + S shortcut, reports Italian blog, Aggiornamenti Lumia.

The feature opens a search dialog in the middle of your screen, and you can search for files, pictures, settings, apps on your device from there. As the feature is powered by Cortana search, it also lets you search the web via Bing which means you can hunt for websites, pictures, and videos online as well. You can also trigger Cortana commands from within the new immersive search experience, but that opens up the classic Cortana UI on the taskbar.

Microsoft’s Spotlight clone seems quite promising at this point in time. The feature is almost exactly like Cortana search in Windows 10 right now, but the new design makes searching for things much easier and more intuitive. It doesn’t do much more than Cortana right now, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Microsoft expands its capabilities over time. The company is still in the early stages of development for Windows 10 Redstone 4, which is set to be released early next year. Windows Insiders can, however, try this feature out right away with a simple registry edit on the latest Redstone 4 build:

  • Open “regedit” via Run (Win + R)
  • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting
  • Create a new “Override” value on the Flighting folder from the sidebar
  • On the new Override value, create a new DWORD with the name ImmersiveSearch and set the value to 1
  • Restart your device to get the new immersive search experience, available with Win + S

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