How To Configure And Use Search In Windows 10

The search feature in Windows 10 ( keyboard shortcut: Windows key + S ) by default will automatically look for files and folders in your Outlook account as well as OneDrive. It also returns search results from the web with a moderate content filter by default.

Categorizing searches:

You can also directly categorize these searches based on what you are looking for by using various prefixes. For example: to directly see the search results from the web, in the search box, use the prefix web: followed by the search queries to show them.

using prefixes in Windows 10 search

There are other prefixes too that can be used like the ones in the list below. The search results will directly display the results for that category based on these prefixes. So you can make the search more specific by using them.

a list of search prefixes for categorizing search in Windows 10


Here is how to change the search settings for privacy:

Access Windows Settings (Windows key + I) and go to Search.

accessing Windows 10 search settings

Filtering web content searches:

From Permissions & History, you can then configure various search options.

To filter web results depending on the content, you can either change it from the SafeSearch section to Strict or Off, the default being Moderate.

configuring safesearch options in Windows 10

Disable searching in emails and personal documents:

To disable the search from returning results from Outlook and OneDrive accounts, go to the Cloud content search section and turn it off for your account.

disable searching in personal accounts when using windows 10 search

This, however, will display the search results less personalized.

Also, you can delete your search history from the History section. Turn off the option for My Device history and My search history.

delete search history from Windows 10 PC

To delete existing search history, click on Clear my device history. This will clear all the search history from the specific Windows device/PC.

All done.

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