Customise & Display Android's Search Bar & Widget | Android
Android search bar on phone

How to Customise & Display Android's Search Bar & Widget


Android search bar on phone

The search bar displayed on Android devices is a "search window" that can be used directly from the home screen. It will be useful when you want to look something up right away. This article explains how to display and customise the search bar (search widget).

What is the Android search bar (search widget)?

The Android search bar (or search widget) is a Google search box you can add to your Android device's home screen.

You can think of it as a convenient search window, allowing you to look things up instantly without opening any apps. It's called both "search bar" and "search widget" interchangeably.

The look of the search bar may vary between different Android versions and devices. Displaying it is useful if you frequently search on your Android device. You can place it anywhere and customise its appearance.

Benefits of displaying the search bar

Displaying the search bar on your home screen saves you a step whenever you want to search for something.

Normally on Android devices, you'd have to launch an app like the Google app before searching. But with the search bar on your home screen, you can simply tap it and start typing immediately - no app launching required!

With the newly launched ‘Circle to Search’ feature on newer Android devices, you can now circle, tap or scribble to instantly get relevant information using the search bar.

How to customise the search widget

You can tweak the search widget to match your phone's style or enhance usability:

  1. First, add the search widget to your home screen (instructions below).
  2. Open the Google app,
  3. Tap your profile picture > Settings > Search widget > Customise widget.
  4. Tap the icons at the bottom to tailor the bar's colour, shape, transparency etc. Tap Done when finished.

Google search widget

How to restore a deleted search bar

If your search bar disappeared from your home screen, just add it back:

  1. Long press an empty area on your home screen
  2. Tap the Widgets icon, long press the search widget
  3. Drag it where desired

This covers the key aspects of the handy Android search bar. Try it out and customise it to your liking!

How to clear search history in the search bar

Tapping the search bar on an Android device displays your recent search history. You may want to clear this history from view on your home screen. Here's how to do it:

Steps may vary across Android versions and devices.

Deleting Search History

You can delete specific searches or select periods of time to remove.

  1. Open the Google app and tap your profile icon > Search history.
  2. Choose searches to delete:
  • All history: Tap Delete > Delete all.
  • Specific period: Tap Delete > Delete for a period.
  • Single day: Tap the delete icon next to the date.
  • Single search: Tap the delete icon next to the search.

Hiding Search History Suggestions

The search bar shows related and recommended searches based on your usage when "Customised search" is enabled. To hide these:

  1. In the Google app, tap your profile icon > Settings > General.
  2. Turn off "Customised search."
Deleting search bar history gif

How to reset search bar settings

To revert any widget customizations like colour or shape:

  1. In the Google app, tap your profile icon > Settings > Search widget > Customise widget.
  2. Tap Revert to default style > Done.

Now you know how to display, customise, and clear the search bar on your Android device!

*Some features may not be available on all devices. Availability varies across manufacturers.


Change the contents of the Android home screen | Android Help

Add apps, shortcuts, and widgets to your home screen | Google Search Help

Add and customise a search widget | Google Search Help

Manage and delete your search history | Google Search Help