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Windows SafeSearch can sometimes keep you a little too safe and refuse to turn off. Here’s how to shut it down for good.
Windows comes with several features to keep people from accessing inappropriate content. One of these features is SafeSearch, which is enabled by default on every Windows computer.
If want to turn off SafeSearch so it doesn’t limit your search results, you may notice that it doesn’t actually turn off and stays active. If this happens, let’s explore how to disable Windows SafeSearch for good.
1. Update Windows
If you’ve recently noticed that you can’t turn off safe search anymore, a missing update could be the culprit. To update your system, press Win + I to open Settings and go to Windows Update. There, click the Check for updates button.
If you don’t have the time right now, you can schedule the update for later, so you don’t have to deal with unexpected system restarts. See how to manage Windows Update for more information.
2. Change Windows Settings
The easiest way to disable SafeSearch on your computer is by accessing Windows Settings. Here’s how you can do it:
- Open the Start menu and go to Settings.
- Click Privacy & Security.
- From Windows permissions, select Search permissions.
- From SafeSearch, select Off – Don’t filter adult content from my web results.
3. Create a New User Account
If the Safe Search feature is still acting up on your Windows computer, you should try setting up a new user account. You should set up a Local account so the person who’ll be using it can’t change your system settings. Check out how to set up a local account on Windows for more information.
4. Edit the Group Policy Editor
If creating a new account didn’t work, you can use the Group Policy Editor to change your system settings and turn off Windows SafeSearch:
- Press Win + R to bring up the Run dialog.
- Type gpedit.msc and click OK.
- In the Group Policy Editor window, head to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
- In the right pane, locate and open Set the SafeSearch settings for Search.
- Set it to Not Configured.
- Restart your computer and check if SafeSearch is now disabled.
If you’re using Windows 11 Home edition, you can’t access the Editor. However, there are several solutions to bring back the Group Policy Editor in Windows 11.
5. Disable Any Third-Party Antivirus Programs
If you’ve installed a third-party antivirus on your computer, it might interfere with your search results even if you’ve disabled SafeSearch. To test it, temporarily disable your antivirus and check if the search results are still restricted. Because each antivirus program is unique, you should consult your antivirus’ manual or support page for information on how to do this.
Now You Can Search With No Restrictions
Even if you’ve successfully disabled SafeSearch, it will not impact your browsers and search engines, except for Bing and Microsoft Edge. In this case, you’ll have to individually change the settings for each app.
Using multiple internet browsers might help you by having different search settings for each of them. And that’s only one of the advantages.