Call me blunt, but the Windows 8 search was a joke. It was buggy, slow, and if indexing was turned on, might not even show results that mattered. Although we saw a number of improvements in Windows 8.1 search, it still didn’t quite function that well.
The Windows 10 Technical Preview introduces an integrated search that takes what were considered the best features of Windows 8 search and made them more accurate and faster. They also made it part of the Start Menu.
Let’s look at Windows 10 integrated search and see if it’s actually worth the upgrade. We’ll also look at how it works, what it can do, and how to change its settings.
Windows 10 Integrated Search
Ready to use Windows 10’s integrated search? It’s easy thanks to Bing.
Click the “Magnifying Glass” in the Taskbar.
You’ll see Recent searches, Trending now, and a search function.
Type in your search query in the search box and click “Enter.”
A full screen search window will open and populate with results.
They’ll be categorized, so you can go through each one, which’ll include the Web.
You’ll also be able to see files on your PC that match the search query.
Settings and apps that match your search query will be displayed, too.
Web images and videos can also be seen from the search app.
You’ll notice right away that Windows integrated search is quicker and more efficient than its Windows 8 predecessor.
Windows 10 Integrated Search Settings
In order to open the Windows 10 integrated search settings, click on the “Gear Icon” on the right hand side of the search results.
Bing, the search engine of no choice by Microsoft, gives you a variety of ways to customize how integrated search works.
The General settings let you choose how SafeSearch works, along with other features.
Web settings’ give you control over the types of location-based results that show up.
News settings let you add news results or not.
Personalization settings allow you to change how your Microsoft Account, which you’ll need to access this area, integrates into search.
Worldwide settings let you customize search to your location in the world.
On the left-hand side of integrates search settings, click on “Interests.”
This area lets you customize how Bing correlates your interests and Web history into search results in Windows 10.
The History settings in the left-hand pane allows you to go through your search history, clear it, and more.
Bing Rewards has been added to search in Windows 10, and this area will allow you to manage your connections to it.
Troubleshooting Windows 10 Integrated Search
Those testing Windows 10 have noted that integrated search doesn’t always find what they’re looking for on their computer, despite it being there. This is a known issue carried over from Windows 8, which relies more on indexing than it actually is related to a bug. If indexing is ever turned off or disabled, even if it’s turned back on, it doesn’t always catch up to what is actually on a Windows machine.
If you notice that integrated search is running exceptionally slow, or returns no results, chances are indexing is taking up too much memory. There’s no real way to fix this, other than installing new RAM into your PC. This is also a known issue Microsoft has been aware of for several years, but they have offered no realistic fix for it.
So far, for me anyway, Windows 10 integrated search has worked exceptionally well. It’s a speedy improvement over search in Windows 8, and I’ve been able to find anything I needed with it. However, reports have come in from other users who’ve experienced the troubleshooting issues above. It really seems to be hit or miss who has issues with no real connections just yet.
Integrated search needs to be fixed and improved upon before Windows 10 is released. This is a feature Microsoft haphazardly threw into Windows 8 with many issues. It’s time they step up, fix those issues, and make integrated search a true measure of Windows’ future success.
If they truly want to integrate Windows into everyday life, such as those who use Windows Phone and Xbox, they have to fix search in their OS first. From there, the sky’s the limit in terms of true integration in the Microsoft family.