Top 9 Ways to Fix Win­dows 10 Search Not Working

Mehvish

While Windows updates bring new features, at times, they also mess up other things. One of the functionalities that keeps breaking, at least for my system, is the Windows Search. And I am sure many also experience the same troubles. If Windows 10 Search isn’t working on your computer, you are in the right place. You will find 9 solutions in this post to fix various problems related to search on Windows 10 computer.

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For some users, the Windows Search button doesn’t work. That is, clicking on it doesn’t open the search panel. Others are unable to type in the search box. Similarly, while others can type in the search bar, search results do not appear, and the search box appears blank.

Whatever the issue you are facing regarding Windows Search, the following solutions should help. Let’s start.

1. Restart Computer

The first solution that you should try is to restart your Windows 10 PC. Sometimes, such a simple solution saves you from unnecessary tinkering around your otherwise fine system. So save your work and reboot your computer.

2. Enable Search Service

The Windows Search service needs to be running for the search functionality to work properly. Here’s how to restart the service and make sure it’s running on startup.

Step 1: Open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Start Menu icon.

Step 2: Go to the Services tab. Click on Open Services.

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Step 3: The Services window will open. Scroll down and look for Windows Search. Right-click on it and select Restart.

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Step 4: Further, double-click on Windows Search to open its properties. Make sure the box next to Startup type shows Automatic or Automatic (Delayed Start). If it’s showing Manual, click on the drop-down box and choose Automatic. Click on Apply. Also, click on the Start button to start the service. Then, restart your computer.

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3. Restart Various Tasks

You need to restart a couple of tasks from the Task Manager to make Windows Search work. Those include Windows Explorer, Cortana, and Search.

Here’s how to go about it.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start Menu icon and choose Task Manager. You can also right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.

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Tip: Unable to use Task Manager? Check out 8 ways to fix Task Manager not working issue.

Step 2: Click on More details if you see a minimized version of the Task Manager.

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If the expanded version of Task Manager greets you, click on the Processes tab.

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Step 3: Scroll down and look for Windows Explorer. Click on it once. Then click on the Restart button.

Note: Your screen may go blank for a while. Do not worry. The screen will reappear automatically in some time.

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Open Windows Search, and it should work fine now. Similarly, if the issue continues, restart Cortana and Search processes by clicking on the End Task or Restart button.

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Tip: Find out the difference between a process and service in Windows 10.

4. Run CTFMON.EXE

CTFMON.EXE monitors the keyboard, speech recognition, handwriting recognition, and similar input services on Windows 10. You need to enable it if you are unable to type in Windows Search.

To do so, open the Run window. For that, use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut. Or right-click on the Start Menu icon and choose Run.

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Copy-paste the C:\Windows\System32\ctfmon.exe command in the Run box and hit Enter. Open Windows Search. Hopefully, you shall be able to search for your files and documents without any issue.

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5. Rebuild Search Index

Sometimes, broken or old indexes can also cause problems with the Windows Search. To fix it, you will need to rebuild the search index, as shown below.

Step 1: Open Control Panel by going to Start Menu > Windows System > Control Panel.

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Step 2: When the Control Panel opens, make sure View by mode is either selected as Small Icons or Big Icons.

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Step 3: Click on Indexing Options.

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Step 4: Click on Advanced under Indexing Options.

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Step 5: Click on the Rebuild button. Wait for your computer to complete the indexing process. Then restart your computer.

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6. Troubleshoot Windows Search

Another way to fix the problem of Windows Search not working is to use the built-in troubleshooter. To use it, open Windows Settings and go to Update & Security.

Click on Troubleshoot from the left sidebar. On the Troubleshoot screen, click on Search and Indexing. If you don’t see the option, click on Additional troubleshooters followed by Search and Indexing.

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Click on the Run the troubleshooter button.

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On the screen that opens, check the boxes next to the problems that you are facing and click on Next. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.

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7. Use a PowerShell Command

Microsoft user support page recommends using PowerShell to run a command to fix issues with Windows Search. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start Menu and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Step 2: Copy-paste the following command in the PowerShell Window and hit the Enter button.

 
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like "*SystemApps*"} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
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Step 3: Close the PowerShell window and restart the computer. Then check Windows Search.

8. Check Search Settings

Open Settings > Search on your computer. Check whether any setting throws an error. Also, verify whether everything is according to your requirement. Enable/disable various settings to see if something fixes the search problem on your Windows 10 computer.

9. Check Keyboard Language

If you cannot type in Windows Search and other places on your computer, you should check keyboard language. Make sure a supported language is selected.

Open Settings > Time & Language. Click on the Language from the left sidebar, followed by Keyboard.

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On the Keyboard settings screen, select Use language list under the ‘Override for default input method’ drop-down box.

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More Solutions

We hope one of the above solutions should have fixed the Windows 10 Search not working issue. If the above solutions didn’t help, look at the Microsoft support page that also offers a few solutions for the Windows Search problems.

Next up: Check out what is immersive search in Windows 10 from the next link. Also know whether you should enable it or not.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Mehvish

Written By

Mehvish

Mehvish is a computer engineer by profession. Her love for Android made her develop the first app for Kashmir. Known as Dial Kashmir, she won the prestigious Nari Shakti award from the President of India for the same. She has been writing about technology for 3+ years and also has her own Wikipedia page.