Good Gear Guide
In Pictures: The hidden fangs of Windows 8.1 - an...
Solution: Although you won’t be able to benefit from Smart Search’s wonderfully cool offers to sell you things, turning off Smart Search should be the first goal of every new Windows 8.1 user. Unfortunately, there’s no switch that says “Turn off Smart Search,” or even a hint about what’s happening from the Search pane itself.
You just have to know how to turn it off. To do so, bring up the Settings charm (Windows Key + C will do it), choose Change PC Settings. In the upper left, click or tap the back arrow until you can see Search and Apps in the list. Click or tap Search and Apps. Then turn off the switch marked Use Bing to Search Online.
In Pictures: The hidden fangs of Windows 8.1 - and how to avoid them