Microsoft is testing a new search widget on the Windows 11 taskbar

The latest Windows 11 preview build from the Dev Channel introduced several notable features and UI changes. The tabbed File Explorer is finally available for testing (for some insiders), and the taskbar shows more widgets and information. Turns out there’s another new widget hidden from the public eye.

As Rafael Rivera discovered (@WithinRafael onTwitter), Microsoft is experimenting with another search bar in Windows 11. Build 25136 allows a search button to be placed in the lower left corner of the screen next to the weather widget.

The feature is not available by default, so you have to manually enable it using the vivetool app. Here’s how to do it, At your peril:

  1. Download vivetool from its repository on Github and extract the files to a folder of your choice.
  2. Run the command prompt as administrator and navigate to the folder with vivetool using the CD command. For instance, CD C:vivetool.
  3. Type vivetool addconfig 37010913 2 and press Enter.
  4. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

The new taskbar search widget joins the controversial desktop search bar recently announced by Microsoft for Windows Insiders in the Dev channel (you can learn how to enable it in our dedicated article). It looks like you can’t have enough search boxes in Windows 11, so Microsoft keeps adding more.

It should be noted that enabling experimental features hidden in preview builds of Windows 11 can wreak havoc on your installation. Also, Microsoft’s experiments not means that the company plans to send them to all users of the stable channel. At some point, after gathering enough feedback, Microsoft may change its mind and completely remove a particular feature from the operating system.

Do you like the idea of ​​having Windows Search in the lower left corner of the screen, or do you prefer the current version with the search button next to the Start menu?

Brandon D. James