How can I change the default text in the site search box?

I know how to do this with a search box web part but am having trouble changing the site search box. I tried changing the two control display templates in the search folder but that didn't work. I also looked through the master page and didn't find anything.

I can change the value after the page loads via jQuery, but by doing that I physically change the value and the existing script gets messed up. For example, if I were to use the drop down to search for 'People', when I click it it will run the search because my new value is inserted by the script.

Is there somewhere that I'm missing to go and change the default title and/or value of that search box?


1 Answer 1


Modifying the display templates is the only option

  1. Open Display Templates -> Search
  2. Edit file Control_SearchBox
  3. Replace the value for the promt variable with the text that you want to display.

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  1. Save the file. (If required publish and approve)

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Source - http://blogs.technet.com/b/tothesharepoint/archive/2013/09/19/how-to-change-the-text-that-is-displayed-in-the-search-box-web-part-in-sharepoint-server-2013.aspx

  • I tried this. "I tried changing the two control display templates in the search folder but that didn't work." Is there another place that the default site search box is being used in?
    – Jordan
    Dec 29, 2014 at 22:36
  • From what I can gather is that the above solution only works if you are inserting a search box web part and using that display template.
    – Jordan
    Dec 29, 2014 at 22:40
  • In the display template, remove the if($isNull.. condition and set the text in all cases. Try that and let me know. Dec 29, 2014 at 22:44
  • Taking the condition out didn't fix it either. I added in the actual search box web part to make sure the changes were occurring at all and they are working for the inserted web part.
    – Jordan
    Dec 29, 2014 at 22:50
  • 1
    Strange. Are you on-premise. Then try opening C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\OSearchBasicFeature\SearchArea.xml and add a new node <Property Name="InitialPrompt">New Search Prompt</Property> Dec 29, 2014 at 23:01

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