In case you are here to get the persistent search bar back, scroll to the bottom of the post.
I like to make use of as much screen space as possible on my Android home screen. But on stock Android there’s just one thing that used to annoy me: the persistent Google search bar, which used up the whole top row of my screen. And this applies to a very large amount of Android users out there. It doesn’t matter if you have a Nexus, Sony Xperia or any other Android device, you want more space for your apps on your home screen.
Some people like to have it there all the time, but I prefer to search Google using Google now, voice search or just by quickly opening Chrome.
By removing the Google search bar on top of your screen you will get an additional row, which you can fill with your favourite apps or widgets.
There are four ways you can get rid of the persistent search bar: installing a custom Rom, installing Xposed Framework, using a custom Android launcher or completely disabling Google Now to delete Google’s search toolbar. Except for a few selected launchers, all other methods are completely free.
Before jumping into the different methods, make sure to check if you can actually just remove the toolbar like any other widget. To do that, press and hold on the Google search bar. If nothing happens, read on. If you see a tiny pop-up menu with an option to delete the widget, go ahead and press it. Problem solved.
Disabling Google Now (no root required)
WARNING – do not use this method on stock Android (for example, any Nexus device): Some users have experienced issues with this method running stock Android. If you are running stock Android without a custom launcher, this method might soft-brick your device. If this happened to you, please follow this guide on how to fix a soft-bricked Android device. Jboss found a great fix if this happened for you on a Nexus 5.
If you are currently using the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) you can simply disable Google Now to make the Search bar go away. Go to your Settings > Apps > swipe to the “ALL” tab > select “Google Search” > press “Disable”.
The only thing you need to do now is restart your device and the Search bar will be gone. However, doing so will disable one of the most useful Android features – Google Now. But don’t worry, there are other ways to accomplish the same result without losing your smart assistant.
If, after following the steps above, you will see a grey bar instead of the Google search bar, restart your phone. With this method, however, you won’t be able to use the space, which has previously been reserved for the search bar.
Using a custom launcher (no root required)
If you want to get the most out of your Android homescreen simply go to the Play Store and download the launcher you like most. A launcher is, basically, an app that lets you change the way your homescreen looks and how you interact with it. If you want to learn more about this, check out our post about the best Android launchers out there.
I, for example, use Nova Prime as my go-to launcher. If you are using Nova, go to your Nova settings > Desktop > Persistent Search Bar > None. That’s it.
If you are using another Android launcher, just check your settings and you will most likely find another way to remove the Google Search bar.
Using Xposed framework (root required)
If your Android device is rooted, there is a great way to get certain custom rom features without actually flashing a custom rom – Xposed framework. If you already have Xposed on your Android device, simply download the Xposed GEL Settings app from the Play Store and disable the Search bar in the settings. Works like a charm.
If you aren’t familiar with Xposed Framework and if you want to learn how to install it on your Android device check out our guide on installing Xposed Framework and the best Xposed extensions.
Using a custom ROM (root required)
Most customs come with the Google search bar on the top of your home screen per default. However, most custom ROMs allow you to remove the annoying Google Search bar by simply deleting it like you would delete any other homescreen widget. Pretty straightforward.
Restoring the Google Search Bar widget if missing
Now that you have successfully removed the bar and found yourself missing it, there are a few ways to get it back.
- If you have previously disabled it using one of the methods above, just trace the settings back to what they used to be
- Go to Settings > Apps > find Google Search > check if the app is enabled
- Long-press on home screen > Widgets > Google App 4×1 > place the widget where you want
If only the third method worked out for you and you happen to use a custom launcher, I recommend removing the widget’s margins by long-pressing the widget and selecting the Remove Margin option. This way you will be able to replicate the look of Google’s original search bar.
I see some of you are having troubles removing or getting the search bar back into its place. All of us would appreciate it, if you could mention your device and Android version, so we can all help each other out. If I see a solution that works for a certain device, I will make sure to include it here in the next update to the post!
I dont have Disable button under Apps-All-Google Search. I just have Force Stop.
You just has the updated version of Google Search. Try to remove it. After uninstalling you will be able to disable the Google Search
Turning off the google search bar is actually much simpler: On your home
screen, tap the Menu button, then slide the menu up (or press the 3-dot
triangle). Turn off the option for ‘Search bar’
Thanks for the tip Jahupru! Unfortunately not all devices support this option though.
Cannot be done on my phone.
Disable button under Google Search app is greyed out,
Just switch off the phone and restart…will do
Unfortunately the gained space can not be used, can’t drop icons or widgets there. Any suggestions?
I use Nova Launcher and then press and hold the topmost widget on the home screen and resize it to gain back the space and move the widget where the google search was. That worked for me.
It works! Thanks a lot.
Disabled the search bar on an Android Stock 4.4.4 with no problem. Restarted the phone (Moto G) to fully remove the bar but unfortunately the gained space can not be used, can’t drop icons or widgets there. Any suggestions?
Same here, with the ZTE phone.
Does anyone know how to turn this back on? I have only found how to add the widget but I can’t get it back up the top on all screens?
Reload it from your Play Store.
I removed the google search bar from my Xperia Z3 hoping that it would provide more space on the homescreen for apps and widgets, but nooooooo.. The unused space on the top of the screen is even more annoying so I would like to get the search bar back. Is there anyone who has figured out how to do this yet?? I tried everything and there is nothing I can find on the internet about this..
Don’t disable Google Search on the Nexus 5 with stock Android!!!! I just tried it and now my phone won’t boot up all the way. It sits at the animation screen forever. Now I’m forced to wipe the phone and start over from scratch.
Granted, it’s my own doing to take random advice off the net, but it would’ve been nice to have some kind of disclaimer of possible issues with this step. Thanks a lot.
Really sorry for not putting up a disclaimer Brian! Updated the post. Thanks a lot!
It’s not your fault, it’s Google’s fault for trying to force you to use their search service just because you happen to be using their mobile OS
Thanx for the tip. I managed to disable Google Now but the grey bar at the top remains (Google and the magnifying glass icon are gone though). How can I get rid of the grey bar without downloading something else? Thanx!
oops – all it needed was rebooting — now it’s gone. Thanx! Oh BTW: using a Moto G LTE 8gb…
BE CAREFUL!!! I JUST FOLLOWED THIS ADVICE, DISABLED “GOOGLE SEARCH” APP, AND PHONE NO LONGER BOOTS!!! “GOOGLE SEARCH” IS ALSO THE NEXUS 5 LAUNCHER. DISABLING IT WILL BRICK YOUR PHONE. TO THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE – PLEASE ADD A WARNING!!!!!!!!
added a warning, thanks. Sorry for not putting it there from the beginning
FIX FOR NEXUS 5: If you disabled google search for the nexus 5 and you found out that disabling google search won’t let your phone boot do the following:
1. Turn your phone on (wait for the loading animation)
2. Call yourself with another phone and anwser the call
3. Put your nexus 5 on speaker
4. Tap the go back arrow (left bottom)
5. Unlock screen and open your settings app via the notification center
6. Go to apps and scroll to the “disabled” tab and enable the google search app again
7. Now wait for the message that you need to update google search, update it, and
you have your phone back!
If you are not able to call yourself for any reason, possibly because your sim is locked after rebooting, there’s another fix.
Log in to your Google account (play.google.com) on a different device and install the Google now launcher to your boot looping device even though it says “installed”. Wait until your phone leaves the boot loop automatically (no restart) after installing the launcher. Done.
i tried using Xposed GEL Setting! very effective. you can even use the space used by the search bar
I use bing as my search engine and want to keep it that way but despite trying a few things, every time I put in a search, google searcg supercedes bing even though I have bing down as search engine
Well the bar is only for google search. That would be why it says Google. Bing did not provide that bar, google did.
Nope, didn’t work for me either. Check out the XDA forum solution
How can i get rid of the google search bar in the bottom left corner of my samsung galaxy tab 4?I did it the one way & all it did was disable the search bar but it didnt remove it.pls give me a way that really works.
i need to get back the search engine tool bar . please help in my android device
Using the ADW launcher you can turn it off under Settings>Screen>Actionbar Design>Disabled
not sure if this will work for everyone, but figured I’d share what I did for mine (I’m on Android 4.4.2). it was much simpler, and so far it didn’t cause me any problems. enable Developer Options, go to ‘Select runtime’, and change to ART (your phone will restart, and the search bar will be gone, but I have also disabled Google Apps prior to doing this, so it might also be a factor). this also helps optimize your runtime, and battery life, I heard. I won’t recommend this to people who have no idea what a Developer Options is for, though. and please note that I am not suggesting that this is the best option.
this was really helpful.. i was annoyed with the google tab on screen… its just so easy to disable… Thanx a lot Daniel… 🙂
Works!!! Thanks so much
It’s not a problem.
hi iam using lava x1 selfie mobile, i have remove google search bar on my home screen. help me
Hi, Am using Moto G3 Mobile phone with Android 6.0 Version. I tried all the above mentioned methods remove GOOGLE SEARCH BAR from my home page. Worthless, it still there. Please help me out. Thanks!
Define ‘stock’ android for me please – someone.
I am using Android 5.1 and can enable or disable from Google App setting.
I just purchased an Alcatel One Touch POP 3 (5.0), I’m having the same problem trying to get rid of the Google search bar on the home page. I’ve gone through all the settings and turned off all the Google items, but I can not find any way to get rid of the search bar.
My wife & I do not like using Google because of all there tracking they do.
Bury your bad reputation where one will never reach.
I’ll be bury your unwanted link/search result past the 1,000,000th page of search Engine search results where one will NEVER reach. After that it won’t matter what one searches on search engines. Your unwanted link item will never appear on Google first page anymore.
Contact me for more information; email@example.com
Google has messed with this and now there IS no ‘google search’ in the apps TO disable. And the Xposed Gel app doesn’t work, either. So I guess the last remaining option is a new home screen launcher. Really don’t want to do this but looks like it’s the last option outside a completely new ROM. I’m rooted and not being able to fix this easily is ridiculous….
I really hate how google forces real estate space on our phones.
Should be illegal.
When I got rid of the GO GOOGLE bar on top of my ZTE Max-Pro cell phone (which I just bought yesterday), it disabled my voice-text, so I could no longer verbally send text massages. Also, while the bar was gone, it blocked that space so I couldn’t enlarge my app, or put any other apps in that space where the google bar was. I’m starting to hate google, how they lock you in and force you. Cyber-rape.
got it do9ne on my mobicel android phone by simply restarting my phone after disabling the search bar/google app
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