How to remove the Google Search bar from any Android homescreen

How to remove the Google Search bar from any Android homescreen

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.

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Why remove the Google Search bar?

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.

How to remove the Google Search bar

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.

remove google search bar
Often, it just takes a long press and a drag to say goodbye to the Google Seach bar. / © NextPit

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:

Samsung handsets

  1. Tap and hold on the Google Search bar.
  2. A popup should then prompt you to remove it.
Samsung has anticipated your hate for the search bar. / © NextPit

To retrieve the Search bar:

  1. Tap and hold an empty space on the home screen.
  2. Tap Widgets in the menu that appears.
  3. Navigate to the Google App folder and tap it.
  4. Drag and drop the Search bar from inside the folder to suitable space on one of your home screens.
To bring it back, just check Google in your widgets. / © NextPit

Sony handsets

  1. Tap and hold your home screen. A new menu will appear.
  2. At the top of the screen will be the Google Search bar. Tap and hold it and an option to remove will appear.
Kick that ugly Search bar off your Sony. / © NextPit
  1. Tap your home button or return key. 
  2. 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.

Huawei handsets

  1. Go to your home screen and hold down on the Google Search widget.
  2. Drag the widget up to the top of the screen and over the Remove icon and text.
  3. It will disappear from your home screen once you release it.
remove google search widget
Drag and ditch the Google Search widget on Huawei EMUI. / © NextPit

User suggestions

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:

  1. Open Settings, then open Apps.  
  2. In the All apps list, find Google app, or just Google, tap it and select disable.
  3. 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:

  1. Press on an empty space on your home screen.
  2. Several options should pop, including Settings. Select it.
  3. Deselect "show Google toolbar on home screen" or similar.

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.

AndroidPIT best android themes 6
A custom launcher such as Apex (pictured) can make the Search Bar disappear. / © NextPit

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.

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.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5X 8925
Using a custom ROM is a more drastic way to remove Google Search. / © NextPit

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!

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  • I couldn't remove the google search bar from my Pie version tablet with the suggestions here.

    However, the Nova Launcher was so intuitive that it pretty much pulled me through removing Google search bar and letting me put my default browser and search engine on the home page in a widget that took up half the space. I rooted a device years ago for stuff like this but I'm much more comfortable fixing minor irritants with this type of solution. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Gorj Oct 30, 2019 Link to comment

    I removed the Google search from my Android 8.1 BLU, BUT the box is still there. Can not seem to remove it. Any suggestions? Thanks

  • Nova launcher

  • H8Pie May 27, 2019 Link to comment

    Just figured out that if you have an international version of a phone running Pie you do not have the stupid search bar jammed in the most inconvenient location on your screen. Sounds like the US needs to follow the EU and hit Google with a multi billion dollar fine for being tools. What I am most amazed by is that there doesn't seem to be any press coverage on this. I am coming to the Pie game very late and I am really surprised that no tech reporter has picked up on this, then again Google could just be suppressing the search results. Time to go flame some supposed tech reporters.

  • Alas, I've not been able to remove it on a Nokia 8.1 under Pie. I havn't got as far as installing another launcher or rooting it yet.

  • I just bought a CAT s41, all went well until the last update 2 nights ago, now everytime i restart its resets my font to default and changes my language to Austrian German. Damn impressed with the rest, but it is damn inconvenient to have to go after settings every time, better after i managed to translate enough German to find the fix at first.

  • Google search Bar in Android Pie cannot be disabled on any phone running "stock" Android, i.e. Pixel ; Nokia, Xiaomi A1/A2, Lenovo MOto etc. The same goes for the stupid date/weather widget at the top. The only solution is to install a 3rd party launcher.
    I agree with every comment above: Google is turning Android into IOS, forcing all users to share the same (lousy) experience. If they continue like this they will effectively ruin Android and the freedom of choice that Android users are used to. In the end it's all about promoting Google's own components for commercial reasons without any respect for the end users. I have been using stock Android phones since the beginning but now my journey ends. I will turn to OnePlus for my next phone.

    • Dennis 9 months ago Link to comment

      I agree and have used Nova launcher but I also have removed all shortcuts from a second or third sweep right page. The big advantage is that a photo used as wallpaper stays as you want to view it and is not spread out over multiple screens.

  • In other words, lady, you don't know how to remove it, LOL. On my Nokia 1 this bar came up after I tapped Widgets by mistake. It is not "Google Assistant", just a regular GooSearch bar. Now I can't remove it, and it is doesn't respond to press-hold like a regular widget. Oh, btw, disabling Google App results in an empty Search Bar - it's still there, just empty, white, blank. Obviously, there are launchers, duh. Kinda awkward route - adding one app to remove another. Why writing an article when you have nothing to say?

    • @Alex I rebooted my phone after disabling the Google app and the search bar was gone. Don't assume that your experience applies to everyone, sir. Oh, btw, LOL, obviously. Kinda awkward comment.

    • simk Jul 28, 2019 Link to comment

      its the same for me, i disable google app and the search still appear in home screen with blank and white

  • I was wondering why nothing worked for me, then at the very end it says that this won't work for Pixel 2's ... yup! However, the Microsoft Launcher removes the Google Bar ... Hallelujah! On my Home Page I just want a beautiful Wallpaper, nothing else, especially that ugly Google Bar.

    Love useful articles on how to do stuff ... thank you!

  • I've been with disabling the Google Search app altogether since realizing it's not required except for services I don't use - the ordinary Google Search as default browser box / web page is enough. Instead of launching the app just launch the browser. (I do install Startpage, the Google-based privacy search app, but don't use its widget.)

    • JDR Aug 9, 2018 Link to comment

      So, you've not noticed any reduction in quality or disturbances in other areas of functionality?? tbh I've not noticed much difference myself, and I installed a new launcher in addition to disabling Google (see message below, I am concerned I might unintentionally be disabling other important functionality I may not be aware of)...

      Mind you, my mobile is brand new & I changed a lot of other settings to improve speed & functionality, so it's harder for me to pinpoint causative or even corollary explanations...

  • JDR Aug 1, 2018 Link to comment

    I'm concerned. The only method that works for my Blackview (Europe) is disabling Google. But WHAT ELSE IS ALSO CONNECTED TO THE GOOGLE APP THAT IS NOW ALSO DISABLED??! I feel like I'm likely disabling major functionality (care less about features) for a benign (yet annoying) problem, like I'm amputating my arm cuz I don't like my nail polish colour. Does it work? Yes, but I'd prefer 99p nail polish remover to Saw XXX.

    Personally, I just hate constantly tapping the bar & searching accidentally cuz it's right at the top of Page1 for fex sake as an integrated fixed widget

  • Keith May 23, 2018 Link to comment

    Motorola G5 Android 7. Tried all the above. Even disabling the Google app (leaves the search bar,just stops it working).The only way I found that works is to use another launcher. I think the factory one is called "launcher3". Any other ideas would be welcome.

    • Yep. Disabling leaves an empty white bar. The author doesn't have any ideas of her own. Adding launcher app to remove another app... yeah, well... Off to "real" Android forums.

  • Hallelujah. Thankfully the 'click and hold' routine worked for me. Never did like that ugly search bar. It's an eyesore. Thanks for the tip.

  • Very good sir...Very helpful article

  • Another one of those articles written just for the sake of filling empty space.

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