How to Fix Search Not Working issue in Windows 10 / 11

The Search feature was always present in Windows, but as they kept advancing with the version, Microsoft realized the importance of Search and kept enhancing the feature with every update. It was practically invisible in Windows XP, became a localized search option in Windows 7, started including web search results in Window 8/8.1, and finally introduced Cortana in Windows 10.


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However, as they kept making the search option more and more complex, the possibility of errors increased proportionally. One known issue with the Search option/Cortana in Windows 10 is when it stops giving results. You could search for the most common of apps (eg. Notepad) and it would say “no results” or at times nothing at all.

Cause

The reasons behind this issue could be many but it narrows down to problems with the system permissions and user profile. We could try a few basic steps and check if it works. Restart the system and check if it helps. If not, we could try the following solutions sequentially to resolve the issue.

Solution 1] – End Search process in Task manager

1. Press CTRL + SHIFT + Esc keys together from your keyboard.

2. Now, Locate Search from the list. (Tip: Normally it is under Background processes)

3. Right click on Search and Choose end task.

Search End Task Min

 

Do not worry as it auto restart it self within few seconds.

After few seconds try again.

If it does not work , Right click on Windows explorer and click on Restart.

 

Windows Explorer Restart Min

 


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Your problem will be solved.

Solution 2] Using Registry editor

1. Search regedit in Windows 10 search box.

2. Now, click on regedit from the search result.

Regedit Min

3. Go to the following path in the registry

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search

4. In the right side of the registry editor, right click in any empty space and create a new DWORD 32 bit value named as BingSearchEnabled

 

Dword32bit Min

 

5. Double click on newly created BingSearchEnabled and set the value data of BingSearchEnabled to 0.


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Bing Search1 Min

Close the registry editor and restart PC.

Solution 3] Reset Windows search

1 – Go to this link from Official Microsoft website to download reset search tool

2 – Now, Right click on the downloaded script and click run with powershell

Reset Search Script Min

 

Note: – If you get error message like this Cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system, then do this.

1 – Open Powershell as administrator. Search Powershell and then right click and choose run as administrator

Run the command given below to find out current policy status.

Get-ExecutionPolicy

2 -If it shows restricted, then copy and run the code given below

Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

3 -Now, again right click on the downloaded script and choose run with powershell.

Solution 4] Check Windows Search service

1] Search services in windows 10 search box and click on services to open Services Manager.

Services Min

 

2] Locate Windows Search in the list of services

3] Right click on Windows search service and choose restart.

 

Windows Search Restart Min

 

3] Now, double click on Windows search service.

4] Set startup type to automatic.

5] Click on Apply and OK.

 

Startup Type Auto Search Min

Solution 5]  Rebuild search

Step 1: In Windows 10 search box , type “Indexing Options” and press Enter.

indexing-options

 

 

Step 2: When you open the “Indexing Options”, click on “Advanced” button to open “Advanced Options”.

indexing-options-advanced

Step 3: Now, below “Index Settings” tab, you will see a Troubleshooting section. This section contains a “Rebuild” button. Click on “Rebuild” button. This will help in Rebuilding the Search Engine Index.

rebuild-index


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Solution 6] Kill the Cortana and Windows Search processes in Task Manager

While Cortana and Windows Search are different services, they are closely linked. Thus, for this issue with Windows Search, we would have to kill both the processes in the Task Manager.

1] Right-click on the Taskbar and then on Task Manager to open the window.

2] In the list of processes, right-click and select End task for Cortana and Search.

 

Kill Cortana And Windows Search Process

 

3] Once both the processes are killed, press on the Windows key and check if you are able to search for apps and web links again. This would re initiate the process.

If this doesn’t work, try restarting the system instead of step number 3.

Solution 7] Re-register Cortana

1] Open File Explorer and go to the path C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\.

2] Right-click on Powershell and then on Run as Administrator.

3] Type the following command in the Powershell window and press Enter:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Re Register Cortana

Restart the system and check if you are able to search files using Windows Search now.

Hope it helps!

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