How to Enable or Disable Visual Search on Hover in Microsoft Edge

This article explains how to enable or disable the visual search feature, which shows an icon when you hover over an image in the Microsoft Edge browser.

The Microsoft Edge browser is the default browser in Windows 11. However, users can switch to their preferred or favorite browser anytime. Edge is based on Chromium, similar to Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers today.

Edge has a new feature called Visual Search that shows an icon at the top right corner when you hover over an image on the web. When you click the Visual Search button, Edge tries searching for additional content related to the image.

This feature is part of the Smart Explore functionality that offers users contextual options to discover and explore more content while browsing.

Turn or off Visual Search in the Microsoft Edge browser

As described above, the Edge Smart Explorer feature lets you discover additional content online when browsing. The Visual Search is part of the Smart Explorer functionality that allows users to find more content about an image when they hover over it.

Here’s how to enable or disable it in the Microsoft Edge browser.

First, open the Microsoft Edge browser.

Then click on Setting and more (Alt+F) 3 horizontal dots button on the top right corner and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge browser has more options and settings

Next, click on Appearance on the left panel.

microsoft edge settings appearance
Microsoft Edge settings appearance

On the Appearance page, select the Hover menu tile under the Context menu to expand it.

Microsoft Edge visual search hover tile
Microsoft Edge visual search hover tile

On the Appearance -> Hover menu settings page, toggle the “Show hover menu on image hover” tile, then toggle the switch to the On position to enable.

To disable it, toggle the button back to the Off switch.

Microsoft Edge visual search hover button
Microsoft Edge visual search hover button

Your changes should apply immediately. Exit and restart the Microsoft Edge browser.

Turn on or off Visual Search in Edge via the Windows Registry Editor

Alternatively, users can use the Windows registry editor to turn Visual Search in Edge on or off.

To do that, open the Windows Registry, and navigate to the folder key path listed below.


If you don’t see the Edge folder key, right-click on the Microsoft parent key, then create the subkey (Edge) folder.

microsoft edge show or hide sidebar via registry
Microsoft Edge show or hide the sidebar via the registry

Right-click on the Edge folder key’s right pane and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Type a new item named VisualSearchEnabled.

Double-click the new item you created (VisualSearchEnabled) and make sure the Base option is Decimal, and then update the Value data:

  • To turn this feature on. Type 1.
  • To turn this feature off. Type 0.
Windows vistual search enable or disable registry
Windows virtual Search enable or disable the registry

That should do it. Restart your computer for the changes to apply.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to enable or disable visual Search on hover in the Microsoft Edge browser. If you find any errors above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.