Disable the little drawing (known as search highlights) in the Windows 10/11 search bar

After deploying new Windows 10/11 images with the latest updates, Microsoft has included Search highlights. You can see if you have search highlights enabled when having a little drawing in the search bar. When clicking on the search bar it extends with graphics and more crap.

So what are search highlights?

Designed to help Windows users discover more information and related content, search highlights present noteworthy, informative, and interesting information of what’s special about each day—like holidays, anniversaries, and other moments in time both globally and in your region

This new feature can be nice for home users but not for most enterprise environments. So I disable this feature for all the Windows 10/11 deployments.

Disable search highlights by using a Group Policy Object (GPO) 

  • Make sure you have at least the Administrative Templates (admx) for Windows 10 November 2021 Update (21H2) – v2.0 (link).
  • Copy the ADMX files to the Group Policy Central Store in the sysvol folder (example: \\<fqd domain name>\SYSVOL\<fqd domain name>\policies\PolicyDefinitions)
  • Create or edit a Group Policy Object (GPO) to the OU where the computer objects are placed
  • Browse to Computer Configuration – Policies – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Search
  • Open the “Allow search highlights” setting and select Disable
  • Perform a “gpupdate /force”  on the Windows client

 

Disable search highlights by registry setting

Another method is by creating a registry key on the Windows 10/11 machine.

  • Execute the following command as administrator:
REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search" /v "EnableDynamicContentInWSB" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f

Disabling this setting turns off search highlights in the taskbar search box and in search home.

Check the hardware acceleration settings in you’re VDI environment

When having for example Windows 10 VDIs it important to know the hardware acceleration setting of you’re applications. When there isn’t a GPU (such as NVIDIA M10 or a NVIDIA Tesla T4) installed and hardware acceleration is enabled in the application this can introduce strange problems such as black screens and performance issues.

When no GPU is installed: disable hardware acceleration and when a GPU is installed: enable the hardware acceleration in the application.

I created a script to check the GPU hardware acceleration registry keys for the following applications:
– Office 2016/365 (For Office 2013 and 2019 you need to change the script)
– Google Chrome
– Mozilla Firefox
– Internet Explorer 11
– Microsoft Edge based on Chromium

If you have other applications to check let me know. The script can be found on my GitHub page found here.

Windows 10 with Horizon View Agent generates BSOD

After installing the VMware Horizon View Agent (6.1.1)  on a Windows 10 (tested with build 10240), it generates a Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) when pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del/Ins.

PSOD

 

The error is: DRIVER_IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (kbdclass.sys).

To fix the problem (The solution was found on the Microsoft Community site, link):

  • RDP to the Windows 10 VM
  • Edit HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96B-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\UpperFilters
  • Put the kbdclass before the vmkbd value
  • Reboot the VM

Upperclasses Uppper2

After changing the UpperFilters value I was able to login the Horizon View desktop without BSOD.