If you don’t like looking at that Google search bar that’s always sitting across the top of your screen and you’re using Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, there are various ways of going about removing it. Let’s dive right in!
The Easiest Way
The easiest way, in either version of the OS is to open your Settings, tap Apps, select All, and find “Google Search”. From there simply tap “Disable” and “OK”, and you’re all set! No more search bar!
There are some side-effects.
The space the Search Bar took up isn’t available for you to use it’s just empty space. Additionally, your Google Search app won’t work while it’s “Disabled”, and on Jelly Bean this includes Google Now. Also in Jelly Bean you’ll have a gray bar where Google Search used to be, but that goes away after a reboot.
If you want the search bar (or Google Now) back, just reverse the steps above. Don’t freak out when you can’t find Google Search in the All Apps list. Disabled apps are at the bottom.
The Custom Launcher Route
Since the search bar is an element in the launcher, all you have to do is replace your launcher with one that either doesn’t include the persistent search bar, or allows you to remove it. If you want to keep the ICS or JB feel, try something like Holo Launcher. You won’t have Google Search on your screen unless you add it as a widget!
The Custom ROM Route
If you’re already running a custom ROM, check the settings, you may already have an option to turn the search bar on and off.
There are so many versions of so many custom ROMs, for so many devices that I can’t possibly name all the ROMs that support this functionality. Check and see if yours does, and if so: problem solved!
Do you know of another way to remove the persistent Search Bar from ICS and/or JB? If so, please share what you’ve learned in the comments below!