Win7 killed a feature I love in Vista!

All my friends have updated to Windows 7. My 14-year old son is running Win7. I'm the only one I know that's not running Windows 7. The reason? Windows 7 took away a feature I use all the time, as shown on the right: Search the Internet.

Here's what I do all day, every day in Vista: Ctrl+Esc to bring up the Start menu, then I start typing. If I'm searching on my HD, I immediately get matches and I can choose one with just the arrows and the Enter key. If I'm typing in the name of a program in the Start menu, I get those matches and choose one. If I want "calc" or "notepad" I can just type those and those work.

However, 80% of the time, I want to search the internet, so enter my search term, optionally including attributes like "site:", I press, down-arrow once, highlight "Search the Internet" and press Enter. This brings up my default browser with my search results in my default search engine without me having to move the mouse or open the browser and wait for the home page or even decide where I want the search results to come from until after I've entered my search phrase.

And they took it out of Windows 7. : (

I logged the bug and heard nothing.

Does anyone know of I 3rd party program I can run that will work exactly like the Vista Start menu under Windows 7? Please?

Comment Feed 18 comments on this post


Google Desktop search allows you to bring up a search dialogue by hitting control twice - you can then enter your search term and either search your machine or the internet (either can be set as default action)

Friday, Apr 17, 2009, 12:41 PM

Metro Sauper:

You mean "Win7 DROPPED/LOST/REMOVED/FORGOT/NEGLECTED a feature I love in Vista!"?

Friday, Apr 17, 2009, 12:57 PM

Alastair Upton:

Read this:

and this:

Friday, Apr 17, 2009, 1:12 PM


I second that.

Launchy will solve your issue, and many others you didn't even know you had...

Friday, Apr 17, 2009, 2:57 PM

Ted Jardine:

I used to do Launchy, now I'm onto Way more powerful and looks almost as good.

Friday, Apr 17, 2009, 4:06 PM

Shawn Wildermuth:

I love launchy and use it usually in place of ctrl-esc.

Friday, Apr 17, 2009, 4:26 PM

Rob Cannon:

The global policy post suggestion worked for the web searches. But, another feature that is missing (at least in the Beta) is that the search does not find favorites. We have a couple of applications at the office that are web site. I could hit ctrl-esc and start typing 'time' and get the timesheet link. I really miss that feature.

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009, 1:26 PM

Jeff Key:

Win+1 to launch Chrome, type your query, press Enter.

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009, 7:39 PM

I'm a launchy guy too.

Monday, Apr 20, 2009, 3:32 PM


Will it be wrong to tell a Microsoftie to use a Google product? Google Toolbor 6 for IE gives you a quick search box/ bar which you can launch by selecting one of the few shortcuts like windows key/ Ctrl + Space (This is big NO for VS developers as it replaces auto complete) or Ctrl twice and so on. It does a neat job and is light enough on RAM. SOme people have reported issues on this but worked for me so far. Here is the link:
Hope this does the job for you.

Monday, Apr 20, 2009, 5:59 PM


Before i got my mac I used enso. Enso vs Launchy on google leads to a good comparison.

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009, 3:24 PM

Krasimir Evtimov:

Again, Launchy is the right answer :)

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009, 11:45 PM



Monday, Apr 27, 2009, 1:00 PM

Chris Sells:

Shawn, have I ever told you that I love you?!

Monday, Apr 27, 2009, 6:42 PM


Anyway, try the start++ utility which adds more to your start menu. Meanwhile, you don;t need keep it running, just install and use the very basic features.

Monday, May 25, 2009, 10:32 AM


This is one of the features I really hate about the Vista start menu (actually using Server 2008). If I want to search the web I'll open my browser, if I want to search the file system I'd rather open a search window, or use the textbox in windows explorer. When did Microsoft become so over-focused on search? I used to be able to add icons to the top level of the start menu and, for example, press WinKey, then 'E' to launch Excel. Now all I get is the letter 'e' in a search box.

Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009, 7:38 AM

Chris Sells:

// SearchTheInternet.reg
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Thursday, Mar 24, 2011, 3:08 PM


Poor, poor, baby!!! I am still running Windows ME & Win 7 is frustrating. So many nice little things like the folder I click to expand stays there - not jumping to bottom so I have to scroll up; additional mouse keys actually function; type really goes in highlighted area; ect. And the "Help", brings back to mind of old joke about helicopter pilot not familiar with area came down along side a tall building and had passenger hold up sign asking "Where are we?" Ever so helpful MS Help writers put up sign saying, "In a helicopter."

That 11 yr old laptop--fan died some five yrs ago, hard drive start-up sounds like a banshee--but still is easier and faster to use!!!

Thursday, Jun 2, 2011, 2:22 PM

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