Sony introduced a persistent Google search bar at the top of its home screen in the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. There are some people who might want to get some real estate back from this bar, especially if you don’t use the bar that often.
However, if you think you can just remove the search bar and get a ‘normal’ home screen then you’d be wrong. Yes the search bar can be removed, but you still won’t be able to use that space for apps or widgets. The annoying part is that if you do decide to remove the search bar, the only way of restoring it is by resetting you home screen to its default state. Therefore, think carefully before you remove it.
Persistent Google Search bar on the Xperia Home Launcher
Sony’s home launcher for the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact has a persistent search bar at the top of each home screen. You can see from the picture below that the bar (top) differs slightly from the Google Search widget (bottom).
To remove the search bar, you simply need to long press the bar which will reveal the following pop-up notification. One of the biggest issues that people have is not reading the notice properly. Once you have removed the search bar, there are no prompts to bring it back unless you follow the below instructions. Most people remove it and then can’t figure out how to bring it back!
Tick the box to remove the search bar. Do note that if you remove the search bar, you can only bring the search bar back by going back to a default home screen configuration. This will mean having to customise your home screen once again to how you like it.
The slightly frustrating part is that once the persistent Google search bar has been removed from the home screen, you cannot use this space for any apps or widgets. You can see from the pictures below the area available which can be used. This still allows a row of four apps as in previous Xperia home launchers.
To reinstate the “Search bar visibility” on your home screen, simply go to Settings > Apps. Swipe over to “All” and find “Xperia Home”. Now click on “Clear data”. When you do this the persistent search bar will be back.
[Note: When you reinstate the search bar, the home screen will return to its default state which means you will have to set up the home screen how you like it from scratch.]