A screenshot of the web search box in the latest Windows 11 Preview Build.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is adding a web search to the Windows 11 desktop in the latest Insider Preview build. The feature is described as lightweight interactive content, the first of many such tools it is considering adding to Windows 11.

Not everyone who signed up for the latest Windows 11 preview build will see the new search box, but anyone who doesn't like it can turn it off by right-clicking on the desktop.

If you are running the latest preview build, you will have to restart your computer to give the search box a chance to show up.

Is web search on your desktop useful?

Is it useful? For some, and probably not for others. If you need to quickly pull up content after starting your machine from scratch, it is a web search, rather than a system search, and could be useful. Most people have at least one browser window open and will probably find it easier to search from there than on the desktop. It is another way for Microsoft to steer users to Edge and Bing.

It is interesting to see the company play with desktopwidgets, as opposed to corralling these tools into a separate panel.