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How to relocate Cortana search box to the top on Windows 10

Windows 10 includes an array of customization settings to help you make your experience more personal, even when using Cortana. However, the available options provided by the operating system can sometimes be limited, but if you know where to look, you can further tweak and personalize your experience.

For example, on Windows 10, you can change many aspects of Cortana, but you might not know that there are even more options you can configure, including the ability to change Cortana's behavior and move the search box to the top of the app.

While this might seem like a small tweak, it can be especially helpful if you want to keep search suggestions below the search box, just like doing a search on the web. In addition, it can make it a little easier for you to notice and use the search filters, which otherwise you may forget you have them.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to edit the Registry to relocate the Cortana search box to the top of the app.

How to move Cortana search box to the top

Important: As always, this is a friendly reminder to let you know that editing the registry is risky, and it can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. It's recommended to make a full backup of your PC before proceeding.

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type regedit, and click OK to open the registry.
  3. Browse the following path:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting\0\SearchBoxOnTop
  4. On the right side, double-click the Value DWORD, and change its value from 0 to 1.

  1. Click OK.
  2. Close the Registry.
  3. Restart your computer to complete the task.

After completing the steps, as you start a new search in the taskbar, the search box will appear at the top of the Cortana app showing instant suggestions below the box.

If you want to revert the changes, just follow the same steps, but this time on step 4, change the value from 1 to 0.

Keep in mind that Microsoft has previously announced that will be restricting tweaks to Cortana, which means that it's possible that in future updates this may not work. However, at the time of the writing, this tweak works with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

22 Comments
  • I doubt I will ever use this. Still, I love how customisable Windows is!
  • how to completely remove microsofts datamining tools and spyware would be a nicer subject..
  • Great then we have to pay $300 for Windows again and have a dumb system that knows squat about me and what I want to do. Put XP back on your computer if it is so wonderful.
  • the only person that needs to know squat and what you want to do, is you. The computer sending that info to nsa isn't going to help you any
  • I enjoy having all my software knowing what I want to do instead of endlessly retyping the same monotonous stuff. Stop doing crap on the dark web and pirating software then you won't have anything to worry your little head over.
  • ah yes, the naive "u dont have anything to worry about if ur not doing anything bad" argument. God knows Word would have no idea what your recent documents were if it wasn't able to look through your hentai collection lmao
  • Windows 7 was fine, even Vista was fine. Not sure why you're going to XP. For effect? Not really working well here... Since Windows 8, the joy of using a PC has been pretty much destroyed by Microsoft's strategy, for me. I now avoid my PC, because of Windows. Still trying to map out a contingency plan, before I have no choice buy to pay two grand for a MacBook.
  • So, you think Apple doesn't use or mine your data? Have you ever heard of Siri?
  • >Since Windows 8, the joy of using a PC has been pretty much destroyed by Microsoft's strategy in what way?
  • How about good old Windows 3.1?
  • This one is easy. It doesn't even require a whole article. It's called, "how to enable airplane mode."
  • Cortana is a top! Who knew! lol.
  • Exactly!
  • What is the point in moving the box when you can just start typing once you hit the Windows key without having to find the box and click on it to place a cursor.
  • EXACTLY ! Although I like all these tweaking articles by Mauro, this one is pointless. :)
  • I thought this but when you have a larger monitor, and start typing at the bottom, you have to keep looking right up to the top of the screen as you type to see if the results have come up and then looking to the bottom to look at your typing again. Having it at the top keeps everything near your eyeline.
  • Alright, at least there is some use then.
  • And we would be doing for the sole purpose of????? Anything? I swear if windows 10 could make a plan to say ohhh I dunno I want to be come the next US president, I bet you guys would write a stupid article about how to do so using windows 10. These articles get more and more pointless and stupid.....OMG.....
  • Relax, it's not the end of world. Not every guide is meant for everyone. We always try to help and show everyone everything you can do with the operating system. Thanks,
  • We really get some fun police in comments that's for sure. The first comment in the article is (Let's have a little fun!) :)
  • "it can be especially helpful if you want to keep search suggestions below the search box, just like doing a search on the web." This comparison is really interesting and shows really well how a Personal Assistant is different to just doing a search. When doing a search you are essentially sending a query to the search engine, at which it gives a reply, which means that your action in the search bar is the first interaction, thus, the bar is at the top and information is below it A Personal Assistant is different in that regard, as it already has information delivered to you, meaning that your query is a second interaction, as in, a reply to what the PA has already sent you. And thus, the search bar is at the bottom.   In the case of Windows 10 the search bar at the bottom has another advantage in that it doesn't move UI elements you interact with. It's not really great for the UX if you interact with something, and while it does so it automatically moves to another position across half the screen.
  • So i'm a top down, left to right kinda guy. So I've moved my taskbar to the left and my start is in the upper left corner. the thing that sucks is my power button is all the way at the bottom of the Start screen. Do you guys know how to move the power icon up to the upper section of the start screen? An idea for the next article :) Thanks,
    Greg