How to Make Windows Use Search Companion Instead of Windows Search

by Andrew Todd

Windows by default includes a feature called Windows Search, which allows you to search the contents of your computer. A major shortcoming of Windows Search, however, is that it only searches indexed locations. When a location is indexed, Windows Search automatically scans the folder and makes a note of its contents. Then, when you search for an item, it compares the search to its notes of the indexed location and then displays the file. The problem is that if a file or folder isn't indexed, Windows Search will not find the file. Windows Search Companion, however, will find the file that you are looking for, as it does not rely on indexed locations. If you would like to change your default search to be conducted by Windows Search Companion, you can do so by editing the Windows Registry.

Log in to your computer using the administrator account.

Open the "Start" menu, then click "Run."

Type "Regedit" into the Run text box, then click "OK."

Double-click "HKEY_CURRENT_USER," then click "Software," then "Microsoft," then "Windows Desktop Search" and finally "DS."

Double-click "ShowStartSearchBand," then change the value contained in the key from "1" to "0."

Click "OK" to close the window, then close the Registry editor. The Windows Search Companion will now be used the next time you search for files and folders.


  • close Do not modify any other elements of the Registry, as doing so could harm your computer's operating system.

About the Author

Andrew Todd has been writing since 2006. He has written for the Consumer Search website and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida. Todd has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida.

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