Microsoft

What Is Cloud Content Search in Windows, and How Do You Turn It On or Off?

Sometimes Windows Search goes a bit too in-depth when you look for something. Here’s how to turn the Cloud Content Search feature on or off.

When you search for something using Windows Search, you may notice that it has included results from OneDrive, Outlook, Bing, SharePoint, or other Microsoft Cloud services. This is the Cloud content search feature in action, and Windows enables it by default.

However, there are scenarios where you might not want these results mixed in with the others. For instance, if you have sensitive files and documents on OneDrive, you wouldn’t want others to find them when they’re using Windows Search on your computer.

So here’s how to disable Cloud content search in Windows.

How to Disable Cloud Content Search Through Settings

The easiest way to turn off Cloud content search is to use the Settings app. Let’s start by looking at how to do it in Windows 10.

Right-click Start on the Taskbar and select Settings. In the window that opens up, scroll down and click on Search.

Under Cloud content search, set both toggles for Microsoft account and Work or School account to Off.

To turn off Cloud content search in Windows 11, right-click Start on the Taskbar and head to Settings > Privacy & security > Search permissions.

In the Cloud content search section, turn off the toggles under Microsoft account and Work or School account.

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How to Disable Cloud Content Search With the Local Group Policy Editor

Another way to disable Cloud content search in Windows 10 and 11 is by using the Local Group Policy Editor. Press Win + R to open Windows Run. Type gpedit.msc in the text box and press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

The Local Group Policy Editor isn’t pre-installed in Windows Home editions, meaning you’ll have to add gpedit.msc manually if you want to use it.

Now, Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search. Then, double-click on Allow Cloud Search.

Click on the Enable radial button. Then, under Options, expand the Cloud Search Setting dropdown and select Disable Cloud Search.

Click OK to apply the settings.

Control the Cloud Content Search on Windows

You shouldn’t have to see results from Microsoft Cloud services every time you’re searching for something with Windows Search. And you certainly don’t have to worry about others stumbling onto your sensitive information stored on the Cloud when they borrow your computer and use the search feature.


By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to turn off Cloud content search in Windows.



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