How to Get Rid of Search Box in Top Bar of Excel

If you have an Office 365 subscription you may have noticed a new search box appeared in the top bar of your Excel window recently. If you prefer not to have the search box visible, we’ll tell you how to disable it.

Microsoft Excel for Office 365 Updates

One of the benefits of having Office 365 is that Microsoft releases updates pretty frequently. So, new features, functions, formulas, etc are being added all the time. That’s great if you like the new features. But, not so great if you don’t like them.

Recent Addition to Top Bar of Excel (Desktop)

In a recent update Microsoft added a search box to the colored bar at the top of your Excel window.

Note: This applies to the desktop version of Excel, not the online version that you can go to inside an internet browser.

You’ll notice the large search box at the top of the Excel window in this screenshot:

new search box at top of excel window

I use multiple monitors and like to move applications around the screen as I work. To do this, I typically click on the top colored bar of the window and drag it to the desired location. However, since the search box was added, there’s a lot of information in the top bar of my Excel windows (yes, I usually have several open). As a result, I find it difficult to click on the top bar to drag the window without inadvertently clicking an icon or in the search box of the top bar.

So, I decided to get rid of this new box that takes up all that real estate.

How to Remove the Search Box in the Top Bar

To remove the Microsoft search box in the top bar of your Excel window:

  1. In the upper left hand corner of your Excel window, click File
  2. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen that opens
  3. In the bottom left, click Options
  4. In the new screen that opens click on General on the left side (you may notice that General is already selected)
  5. On the right side of the screen, under User Interface Options, click the checkbox next to ‘Collapse the Microsoft Search box by default’
  6. Click OK
how to remove the search box from the top bar of excel

That’s it! Now I can move my windows around my screens and get back to providing Excel support to my clients.

Note: If you’re interested in learning more about the search box, check out the full explanation on the Microsoft website.