How To: Disable Proactive Search on Your iPhone or iPad in iOS 9

Disable Proactive Search on Your iPhone or iPad in iOS 9

Apple certainly took a page from Google Now with its new "Proactive" search page in iOS 9. Located to the left of the home screen, the page provides quick access to contacts you've recently corresponded with, suggested applications, nearby places, and news articles based off of your Safari activity.

Although some may love this new feature, you may find it, or aspects of it, just an annoying as contacts in the app switcher, so I'm going to show you how to get rid of it. Unfortunately, you can't actually disable this page in iOS 9 (at least, not yet), so I'll be showing you how to customize it by toggling off certain features.

Disable Recent Contacts

iOS 8 had a similar feature that placed contacts within the app switcher, and as you can imagine, some of us preferred to refrain from showcasing who we've recently been in contact with.

To disable this from the Search page, navigate to the stock Settings app, then to General -> Search. Now tap on Contacts to uncheck and disable them from showing in the Search screen.

The contacts will no longer show up, but be aware that disabling them will prevent contacts from showing in Spotlight search results (that pull-down action you're probably not using).

Remove App Suggestions

Like the contacts, just navigate to the same Settings menu and tap on Applications to remove suggested apps. Again, this will disable applications from showing in Spotlight search results.

Nearby & News

Within the Search preferences, tap Safari Suggestions to disable both the Nearby and News sections. It's unfortunate that these two are clumped together for those of us who want to keep one or the other, but that's just how it is for now.

How do you like the new Proactive Search feature in iOS 9? Love it or hate it? Let us know!

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2 Comments

HATE HATE HATE HATE IT. My OCD can't handle it, please make it go away!!

I thought the apple ethos was to do one thing well..? Why did they add a way to do the same thing two different ways, making both of them unavoidable? The pull down spotlight search at least pulls up the keyboard straight away, whereas this new window that lives PERMANENTLY on the left side of the screens just leads to a search bar (I turned off nearly every option in the Spotlight Search settings to get rid of those "recommendations"). I am the user of the device. I do not need suggestions from the device on what I should or might want to do. The previous OS incarnation was so smooth and quick that it didn't take any extra time or effort to do EXACTLY what I wanted to do with the device. Now I have to waste time wading through settings and suggestions and accidentally activating features that I don't need or want. Why do they insist on "fixing" things that aren't broken? Building a device and OS marriage that responds quickly and intuitively negates the premise of getting the device to suggest its use to the user. Shameful.

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