Google has the incentive to keep users locked into their ecosystem. That's why the Google Search bar is sitting there, taking up space on the home screen of every brand new Android device. If you don't use the Search bar and it's just taking up room, here's how you can get rid of it.
- Why remove the Google Search bar?
- How to remove the Google Search bar with simple gestures
- How to remove the Google Search bar with a custom launcher
- How to remove the Google Search bar by rooting your phone
Google wants its Assistant service to be successful. So, they've put the little microphone icon on their Search bar with the hope that you'll use it thanks to its convenient placement. But if you're not into it, removing the Search bar is often quite easy on most phones, if not exactly obvious.
The most common reason is on-screen real estate: that bar takes up space that could be put to better use by displaying app icons or more of your snazzy wallpaper.
Removing the Google Search bar isn't difficult, but the process differs from device to device. Most of the time you just need to long-press the bar itself and an option to remove or hide it will pop up.
On Samsung and LG handsets, for example, you just remove it like you would any other home screen widget. On Sony Xperia handsets, however, this process won't work.
Below are a couple of examples of how to do it. All devices should follow fairly similar steps, so try the first example, and if it doesn't work, move on to the next:
- Tap and hold on the Google Search bar.
- A popup should then prompt you to remove it.
To retrieve the Search bar:
- Tap and hold an empty space on the home screen.
- Tap Widgets in the menu that appears.
- Navigate to the Google App folder and tap it.
- Drag and drop the Search bar from inside the folder to suitable space on one of your home screens.
- Tap and hold your home screen. A new menu will appear.
- At the top of the screen will be the Google Search bar. Tap and hold it and an option to remove will appear.
- Tap your home button or return key.
- The Google Search bar should now be hidden.
If you want to get the Google Search bar back once you’ve removed it, simply tap and hold your screen again, open Widgets from the bottom menu and select Google.
- Go to your home screen and hold down on the Google Search widget.
- Drag the widget up to the top of the screen and over the Remove icon and text.
- It will disappear from your home screen once you release it.
There's more than one way to solve a problem like Google Search, and our readers have chimed in with a few helpful techniques in the comments section. We've now included them in the main section of the article for your convenience.
Disable the Google App
Danielle Furry recommends disabling the Google app in settings, which works for a range of Android versions. Here's how it works:
- Open Settings, then open Apps.
- In the All apps list, find Google app, or just Google, tap it and select disable.
- Reboot your phone and the Search bar should be gone!
If you disable the Google app, don't worry about breaking your phone. Apps like Google Play Services are essential for your system (unless you build your OS outside of Google's ecosystem), but your other apps will work fine without the Google app.
Do be warned, however, the Google Assistant and voice search depend on the Google app, so disabling the Google app will also negatively affect dependent services such as Google Home, Google Lens, and Google's notifications about weather and transport, for example.
Check your settings
Courtesy of Kenneth Cyr, here's a simple method that could work for many:
- Press on an empty space on your home screen.
- Several options should pop, including Settings. Select it.
- Deselect "show Google toolbar on home screen" or similar.
Another simple way to get rid of the Google Search bar is to simply find yourself a custom launcher such as Nova Launcher or Apex Launcher. These can completely customize your Android device to look and work the way you want it to, and you can even get some launchers for free.
Third-party custom launchers are brilliant things, and Nova and Apex aren’t the only ones out there. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best Android launchers available, and we’re pretty sure at least one of them will excite and delight you.
It should be noted that installing a custom launcher is the only way to get rid of the Google Search bar on Google's own Pixel and Pixel 2 phones.
This won’t come as a surprise to those of you who have heard of this process. If you root your phone, you can remove the Google Search bar. If you don’t already know about rooting, it’s when you grant yourself complete control over your phone – at the "root" level. A rooted Android is almost infinitely customizable, and once you’ve rooted your device, almost any custom ROM will let you uninstall the Google Search app. We've written a complete guide to rooting, which will tell you not just how to do it, but how to do it as safely as possible.
Worried that rooting will void the warranty on your device? Don’t be: we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to root your Android device without voiding the warranty.
Have you removed Google Search from your home screen? Did the process cause problems on your Nexus, or perhaps was it smooth on your Samsung? Share your experience in the comments!