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How to Disable Search Feature in WordPress

How to Disable Search Feature in WordPress

There is a fact that the search feature is useful for some WordPress sites. But it will also do harm to websites in some cases, leaving a bad impression on audience. Indeed, some WordPress sites can function better with the search feature disabled. Since we have often been asked how to disable the search feature in WordPress, we write this article to benefit more readers who come across the same situation.

Why Disable Search Feature in WordPress?

Websites which come along with much limited content and those who work with a one page theme have no need for the search feature at all. Under these circumstances, the removal of search feature can deliver a better user experience. One of the benefits is that you now have the ability to avoid unrelated links in the search results.

Method 1. Disable Search Feature in WordPress via a Plugin

The extension of WordPress functionality can be possible with a pool of plugins. In most cases, newbies will find it much easier to extend the WordPress functionality with the selection of a proper plugin. This is because plugins will provide the possibility to achieve the same goal without editing code snippets.

With much limited knowledge, you will probably be blind to which one can be selected from the market. Our research into the market points out that Disable Search plugin should deserve your choice.

Disable Search Feature in WordPress - Plugin

What comes first is to install and activate the plugin in your WordPress site. The Disable Search plugin is available from the WordPress Plugin Directory without any money required. Take a close look at the below steps in detail.

  1. On your admin area, Plugins > Add New is the place where you should go and use the search box to find the Disable Search plugin.
  2. Click on the ‘Install Now’ and ‘Activate’ button.

The Disable Search plugin which works out the box has no settings to configure. Once activated, the plugin will automatically remove the default search feature from the front-end. Then users will be redirected to a 404 error page when entering a search query URL.

An attention should be paid that your admin area can still work with the search functionality. You have the freedom to use the search bar for the selection of your posts and pages.

Method 2. Disable Search Feature in WordPress via Code

There is a great possibility that some of our readers continue to look for a manual method. With the aim to control the number of plugins, you will be more willing to edit code if possible. Before the adding of the below code, the theme’s functions.php file should be found from Appearance > Editor. This is a place where the code can go to work properly.

After saving your changes, the code will return a 404 page to all the search inquiries. From now on, the search form can be invisible from the front-end.

Disable Search Feature in WordPress - Code

Wrap Up

It is up to you whether to use Disable Search Plugin or edit code through manual efforts. Without more advanced technical skills, however, you are advised to adopt the former method.


Zoe is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Zoe loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.