Microsoft Surface Search and Apps Options - dummies

Microsoft Surface Search and Apps Options

By Andy Rathbone

The catch-all Search and Apps category for Start screen items lets you control the Charm bar’s Search and Share commands on your Surface, as well as how apps behave. Check out the Notifications area of the Search and Apps category; all of the PC Settings categories look very similar.


  • Search: Drop by here to delete your past Search History — the words that appear below the Charms bar’s Search box when you begin typing.

    The Charms bar’s Search box routes your searches to the Internet using Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, in an effort to grab related information. If you find that to be snooping, toggle off the Use Bing to Search Online button.

  • Share: This rarely used setting lets you choose which apps appear on the Share pane’s list of destinations. (To see the Share pane, open the Charms bar and tap Share.)

  • Notifications: When an app gets excited, it often sends you a notification: a little box in your screen’s top-right corner, accompanied by a beep sound. You may see notifications of a new instant message, for example, or an upcoming appointment. This section lets you turn off all notifications and their announcement sounds.

    For a less heavy-handed approach, scroll down the screen to the Show Notifications from These Apps section. There, you can choose which specific apps may send notifications, quieting all the rest.

    If you value your sleep time, visit the Notifications area’s Quite Hours section to set your evening hours when you don’t want to be disturbed by notifications from night owls.

  • App sizes: Should your Surface grow short on storage space, tap this to see a list of installed apps, sorted with the largest ones at the top. Delete the biggest hogs to regain some space. (Apps can’t be stored on your memory card, unfortunately.)

  • Defaults: When the wrong program keeps opening your files, visit here. It lets you choose which program should handle your e-mail, music, video, photos, calendar, and other common chores.