Windows 10 Taskbar Search
One of the most under-appreciated and underused features of Windows 10 is Taskbar search. We use it all the time, and you should too. Why? Because it will save you a lot of trouble and a lot of time.
First, you can show Taskbar search in your taskbar as a search box or as a search icon. We prefer the Taskbar search icon because it takes up less room on the taskbar. Right-click on the taskbar and choose “Show search icon” or if taskbar real estate is not important to you, choose “Show search box”.
And if you’re a minimalist, you can choose “Hidden”. But don’t worry, even if you hide it, you can still use it. Just press Windows Key + S and Taskbar search will pop right up for you.
Here are some examples of how taskbar search can save you time.
First just opening taskbar search shows you the apps you use most. As you can see my top four are File Explorer, FastStone Capture, Google Chrome, and Firefox.
You’ll also see recently opened folders and apps and more.
And you can use the taskbar search for a lot more. For example, if you are looking for System Restore, you can fumble around in Settings and be redirected to System Information/System Protection. But if you type System Restore in the taskbar search, you’ll find it as fast as you can type System Restore. Just by typing “system restore” (no quotes) in the taskbar search, you’ll immediately be able to create a manual restore point. And if you need to use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous time? Type “RSTRUI” (no quotes) in the Taskbar search and press Enter.
Here are more examples of things you can do with the taskbar search that will save you a lot of time.
To open Notepad, type note and click “Open”.
To open MS Word (if installed) type word. To open WordPad, type wordpad. Open Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Emsisoft, and many other (but not all) programs. Just type the program’s name and press enter.
And you can also run some commands from taskbar search. Here are some of them:
Just type the command (or word) in the taskbar search.
Here are some to try (words to type are bolded):
Opens a command prompt. If you need a command prompt with administrator privileges, type cmd in taskbar search, and click “Run as administrator” when the command prompt options open.
Tells you the Windows 10 version you’re using
Open Windows Services where you can start, stop and configure other settings for each service.
Open the Control Panel.
Run the Windows disk cleanup app.
Choose your default apps
Open System information where you can find out almost anything about your computer.
Check for Windows updates
Open Power & sleep settings
Open a run command/run box
Open System File Checker. You’ll need to click on “Run as administrator” to run it.
Learn all about your PC
Open System Information
Open the Windows 10 weather app
Open the Windows 10 Event Viewer)
Open user account control settings
You can also open other programs using the taskbar search such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, Windows 10 Mail App, and more. Just type the name of the program you want to run into the taskbar search. Note: This does not work with all programs, so you’ll have to experiment a bit with it.
There are a lot of things you can do with taskbar search, and the examples we’ve shown you should be enough for you to see that the taskbar search is a quick way to perform different tasks, launch programs, run commands, and more.
And if you type a file path like C:\Windows\System32 and press enter, you’ll go directly to that folder. No more digging around in File Explorer.
If you’re not using the taskbar search, you’re missing a lot. Try some of the things shown in this article. And don’t be afraid to experiment with the taskbar search on your own. We think once you start using it, you’ll keep using it, we tells ya!