How to Remove the Persistent Search Bar from Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean

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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!

Other Ways?

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!

Here's a hint

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy".By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video.Read more about Joe Levi here.