Google has the incentive to keep users locked into their ecosystem. So, to encourage people to user their services, they put them left, right and center. 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 its just taking up room, here's how you can get rid of it.
Why Google doesn’t want you to remove the Google Search bar
Google wants its Google Now 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. If they made it easy to take the Google Search bar and its microphone button off the home screen, it would affect the success of their product.
Why would you want to remove the Google Search bar anyway?
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 Nyan Cat wallpaper.
How to remove the Google Search bar
Removing the Google Search bar isn't difficult, but the process differs from device to device. 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.
- Drag it to the trash/remove icon at the top of the screen.
To retrieve the Search bar:
- Tap and hold an empty space on the home screen.
- Tap Widgets in the menu that appears.
- Navigate to 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 the Google Search bar. A new menu will appear.
- At the top of the screen will be the Google Search bar, and on the right side it will say Hide. Tap Hide.
- 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 reverse the above steps and hey presto!
How to remove the Google Search bar with a custom launcher
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.Apex Launcher Nova Launcher
How to remove the Google Search bar by rooting your Android device
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!