gen-x chronicles

how to use everything toolbar instead of windows 10 search


One of the most frustrating things about software updates is when an appearance change is made that you absolutely cannot change back to the way it was.

The latest one is with Windows 10 21H1. Before this update, if in Colors settings you had default Windows mode as DARK and default app mode as LIGHT, the Windows search background would be light. Great. No problem.

Now it's dark.

"Switch to the light theme", you may say. Then that makes the entire taskbar light, which I want to stay dark.

Not even Winaero Tweaker can fix this one.

Somewhere, probably deep in a registry setting, there is something that changed the Windows 10 search theme from light to dark. Yes, I've already done my online searching to see if there is a workaround to have dark theme taskbar with light theme search results. NOPE!

The fix

This is so, so convoluted just to get proper search back with proper colors. But it works.

  1. Install Everything.
  2. Install Everything Toolbar.
  3. Restart Explorer. CTRL+ALT+DEL, Task Manager, Processes tab, locate Windows Explorer, click once to highlight, click Restart button at bottom right of Task Manager.
  4. Right-click empty area of taskbar, Toolbars, Everything Toolbar.
  5. Launch an Everything Toolbar search, click the triple-dot menu, Preferences, Disable animations.
  6. Launch an Everything Toolbar search, click the triple-dot menu, Preferences, Replace Start Menu search (experimental).
  7. Do what it shows in this video (it's actually a GIF but whatever) to move the Everything Toolbar search box where you want it.

To bring back the regular Windows 10 search, perform an Everything Toolbar search, triple-dot menu, Preferences, Replace Start Menu search (experimental) (which should be checked) to uncheck it, and you get the regular Win10 search back.

A majorly useful tip to launch apps from Everything

I like using the keyboard to launch apps. However, an Everything search can make it difficult to find the shortcut to launch the app...

...unless you know to search for the .lnk extension.

For example, let's say you have Firefox installed. You search firefox. Too many results.

Now try a search for firefox.lnk. Whammo, there it is.

Wait, it gets better.

Now do a search for fox.l, whammo there it is, since that's part of firefox.lnk.

Any app listed in the Start menu has an .lnk at the end, which is hidden by default.

If you search pad.lnk, you'll see Notepad and Wordpad.

If you search edge.lnk, you'll see the Microsoft Edge browser.

You get the idea.

Knowing to search for .lnk makes finding an app to launch way, WAY faster.

Everything Toolbar has the theme option you wish Windows 10 had

Namely, this:


Dark, Light, and most importantly, MEDIUM. Dark top, light bottom. That's what Win10 search used to have. Everything Toolbar has this. So simple, so nice.

Will I stick with this search?

It depends how well or not well I get along with it.

Thankfully, I can toggle it on/off at whim.

gen-x chronicles