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How to disable the new iPhone Search Bar in iOS 16

iOS 16 is hitting iPhones and it comes packing a number of UI tweaks – one such tweak is the addition of a Search bar on the homescreen.

Sitting below your apps on the Home Screen, this new Search bar is a quicker way of accessing the search functionality of the phone. Previously this was accessed by a swipe down.

However, not everyone loves UI alterations and unlike a lot of Apple changes, it’s actually very easy to switch back to the older view. In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to do just that.

What you’ll need: 

The Short Version 

  • Unlock your iPhone running iOS 16
  • Open Settings
  • Scroll down to Home Screen
  • Toggle the Search option
  1. Step
    1

    Unlock your iPhone running iOS 16

    First things first, unlock your iPhone running iOS 16 so you’re looking directly at the Home Screen. Currently, iOS 16 is available in public and developer betas – however, it’ll be made official later in the year.The search bar in iOS 16

  2. Step
    2

    Open up the Settings menu

    Once your iPhone is unlocked, find the Settings menu, This looks like a cog icon, and can either be found on the homescreen or by searching for it in the App Library. Go to Settings

  3. Step
    3

    Scroll down to Home Screen

    In the Settings menu, scroll all the way down until you get to the Home Screen option. When you find it, tap it.Home screen option

  4. Step
    4

    Toggle the Search option

    At the bottom of the Home Screen page there’s a new option added in iOS 16 called Search: Show on Home Screen. This will be on by default, but just toggle the switch to off and the Search bar will no longer show.Show on Home Screen

Troubleshooting

Can you still swipe down on the Home Screen to search?

Yes, swiping down on the Home Screen will still bring up the traditional iOS search bar.

What does the Search bar do?

It’s a quick way of finding apps, finding Siri suggestions for websites, text inside photos and even the ability to search directly within certain apps.

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