Windows 11 desktop search box appears in Insider Build 25120

Windows 11 desktop search bar
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently released Windows 11 Build 25120 to Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • The build includes a search box on the desktop.
  • Microsoft is experimenting with new forms of interactive content on the Windows desktop, including the new search box.

Windows 11 Build 25120 recently rolled out to Insiders in the Dev Channel. The build includes one new feature, a search box on the desktop. The tool can be used to browse the web and functions similarly to the search widget for Windows 11.

Microsoft outlined in February that it would try out concepts with longer lead times in the Dev Channel. The search box in the latest Insider build of Windows is an example of those types of features. Microsoft noted that these types of features may never make their way to Windows but are in place to elicit feedback.

"Starting with this preview build, some Insiders will see one of these conceptual features as we begin to explore exposing lightweight interactive content on the Windows desktop," said Microsoft in its blog post about Build 25120.

"Today, Windows exposes this type of content in the Widgets board. To begin assessing this general idea and interaction model, the first exploration in this area adds a search box displayed on the desktop that enables you to search the web."

You can remove the search box by right-clicking the desktop, selecting "Show more options" and toggling off "Show search."

The search box is the only new feature in Windows 11 Build 25120, but the update includes a short list of fixes:

  • Suggested actions should appear for more date and time formats now.
  • Addressed some issues with certain formats when copying a date and/or time.
  • Improved overall performance and reliability of the feature.
  • Fixed an issue that could crash Settings when opening and looking at the battery usage graph.
  • Improved performance of displaying Wi-Fi networks after enabling Wi-Fi from the Wi-Fi section of Quick Settings.
  • Addressed an issue leading to some unreadable text in the Performance page when a contrast theme was enabled.
  • Fixed an issue which could cause Windows Update to stall and roll back updates for WSA users.
  • Did some work to address a stutter in the progress wheel animation when upgrading to a new build.
Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at