Top 5 Ways to Fix Unable to Type in Search Bar on Windows 11

The Search Bar is an essential utility on Windows that allows you to access your favorite apps, settings, and files. And it’s not limited to your local files as you can also search the web from here. But if you haven’t been able to reap the benefits of these features because you can’t type in the search bar on Windows 11, then this guide is for you.

Top Ways to Fix Unable to Type in Search Bar on Windows 11

In this guide, we’ve outlined a few troubleshooting tips that will help fix the Search bar on Windows 11. So, let’s check them out.

1. Run Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

Windows 11 carries a troubleshooter for just about every utility. So, if you can’t seem to enter search queries in the Windows search bar, you can start by running the search and indexing troubleshooter first.

Step 1: Open the Start menu and click on the gear icon to open Settings.

Open Settings on Windows 11

Step 2: In the System tab, scroll down to click Troubleshoot.

Windows Troubleshooter

Step 3: Go to Other troubleshooters.

Other Troubleshooter

Step 4: Scroll down to locate Search and indexing. Click the Run button next to it to begin troubleshooting.

Search and Indexing Troubleshooter on Windows

2. Restart Windows Search Service

Windows Search service is a small program that runs in the background and provides content indexing, property caching, and search results for files, mail, etc. If the service fails to start correctly, the search bar will not work. You can try restarting it manually to see if that helps.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to launch the Run command, type in services.msc, and press Enter.

Open Windows Services

Step 2: In the Services window, scroll down to locate Windows Search. Right-click on it and select Restart from the menu.

If the service is not running, choose Start.

Restart Windows Search Service

Check if you can type in the search bar now.

3. Run CTF Loader

The CTF (Collaborative Translation Framework) Loader is a process that provides text support for handwriting speech recognition and allows you to switch between various input languages. Naturally, if the process is not running, you might have trouble typing in the search bar.

Press Windows key + R to launch the Run command to fix this. Type in the command given below and press Enter.

Run CTF Loader on Windows

Note: You’ll need to be logged in with an admin account to execute this command.

4. Re-register Apps

Sometimes, issues with the default apps on Windows can also translate to such anomalies. If you’re still unable to type in the search bar on Windows, then you can try re-registering the default apps on Windows by running the PowerShell command. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type in Windows PowerShell, and click on Run as administrator.

Open Windows Power Shell

Step 2: Paste the command given below and press Enter.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like "*SystemApps*"} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}
Re Register Apps on Windows

After running the command, restart your PC to see if the search bar is working fine. If the problem persists, then use the following method.

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager.

Step 2: Click on File and select the Run new task option.

Run New Task on Windows

Step 3: Type powershell in the search box, tick the box that reads ‘Create this task with administrative privileges’ and press Enter.

Open Power Shell as Admin

Step 4: In the PowerShell window, paste the command given below and press Enter.

$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + 'AppxManifest.xml' ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest
Re register Default Apps on Windows

Restart your PC one more time and see if the issue is resolved.

5. Run SFC & DISM Scan

Corrupted system files can also lead to such troubles on Windows. You can try running an SFC (or System File Checker) scan to restore any missing or corrupted system files on Windows quickly.

Step 1: Press Windows key + X and select the Windows Terminal (admin) option from the resulting menu.

Open Windows Terminal Admin

Step 2: Paste the command mentioned below and press Enter.

sfc /scannow
Run SFC Scan

After completing the scan, you’ll see a message appear that’ll convey whether or not the scan was successful. So, if the SFC scan fails to find any issues, run the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scan to repair the Windows system.

Launch Windows Terminal with administrative privileges and run the following commands.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

The DISM will connect to the Microsoft server online during the scan to download and replace damaged files if required.

Fetching Results

While such issues with the search bar aren’t unheard of, they can easily leave you frustrated and force you to dig through the files and settings on Windows manually. Hopefully, the above solutions have helped fix the search bar issues on Windows 11. Let us know which one did the trick for you in the comments below.

Last updated on 07 February, 2022

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