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How to Fix Windows 10 Search Not Working

How to Resolve and Fix Windows 10 Search Not Working - Step by Step

If you are looking to Fix Windows 10 Search related issues, this article might help.

The Start menu in Windows 10 comes with innovations, but its search button comes with all types of Cortana-related issues. Some Windows 10 users may find problems with using the Cortana or Search on Windows 10 OS. Every Windows 10 users do not face this issue, and it is still vague about its cause.

The methods discussed in this article assist you in fixing Windows 10 search-related issues. If you are facing a problem to search for some specific settings or a program, and the search results do not show anything, then there might be a problem. Occasionally it may happen that you would be unable to search for the in-built applications like MS Word or Calculator.

Why could Windows 10 Search not work at times?

When you proceed to update to the latest version of Windows, it may create issues with search. Occasionally Cortana, known as the smart assistant, which is responsible for driving the majority of the search functionality of Windows can create problems for the whole search tool. Consequently, you will get poor search results, or you would see a blank results page.

So, the search tool for Windows becomes entirely superfluous. The primary issue is the search indexing issue, and due to that, Search is unable to work correctly. Even the basic functionalities will occasionally fail to work. Go through the below sections highlighting the methods to fix search not working on your Windows 10:

How can you fix Windows 10 search not functioning issues?

Method-1: Restart your device – One of the essential recommendations is to restart your device to allow Windows 10 search work properly. If you have not attempted to restart your device, simply reboot the system, and it may fix the problem. It is always better to carry out a restart rather than a shutdown. It is because shutdowns can let your Windows 10 PC go into hibernation mode, instead of fully turning it off and on once more.

Method-2: Restart Windows Explorer-

The first thing to do is reboot your PC as discussed above, but if it does not work, then it is better to restart the Windows Explorer process. It is known that Windows Explorer is accountable for effectively managing files on your computer and also facilitates the flawless working of the Start menu. Follow below procedure to restart Windows Explorer:

First of all, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to go into the ‘Task Manager’ and then click on ‘More details’ in the left corner at the base. In case it is already selected, scroll down to Windows Explorer. Now you have to right-click on it and go for ‘Restart.’ Wait for a moment, and you will see that your Start menu Search button gets fixed.

Method-3: Turn Cortana off and on once more:

Cortana is interconnected the search function of Windows 10, so turning it off and on once more will quickly fix the search problems. Follow the below steps in this method:

  • Step-1: initially right-click on your taskbar; alternatively, you can tap and hold on a tablet, subsequently choose ‘Task Manager’ from the drop-down list being shown.
  • Step-2: Once the ‘Task Manager’ window shows up, look at the expanded options, and then choose the Processes tab.
  • Step-3: Now choose ‘More
    in case your Task Manager shows limited information.
  • Step-4: Now you need to sort the processes based on Name and then choose the proper tab.
  • Step-5: in this step, you have to scroll through the list till you get the Cortana
  • Step-6: Finally, right-click ‘Cortana’ and then choose ‘End
    task’ from the pop-up menu.

Method-4: Use Registry Fix

Follow the below steps:

  • Step-1: On the vacant portion of Taskbar, press Ctrl + Shift + Right-click and then choose ‘Exit Explorer.’
  • Step-2: Now press Windows Key + R and enter ‘Regedit’ in the search result. Now press Enter to Registry Editor.
  • Step-3: Navigate to the below registry key:
  • Step-4: Once the above registry key is found, you have to right-click on {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} and then choose Delete.
  • Step-5: From ‘Task Manager’, launch the ‘explorer.exe’.
  • Step-6: Finally reboot your PC to make sure all the changes are saved.

Method-4: Use the System File Checker:

In this method, you need to right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ and subsequently run as administrator. Now type the below command:

sfc /scannow

The above command would successfully scan your system files to check for any errors and corruptions. Also, it would automatically fix them. Since the Start menu search is essentially a system process, the presence of any errors within it must be identified by the SFC utility.

Method-5: Enlarge paging file size:

  • Step-1: In the first step, press Windows Key + R and in that type ‘sysdm.cpl,’ now press Enter.
  • Step-2: In the System Properties, go to ‘Advanced Tab’ and subsequently click ‘Settings’ which is shown under Performance.
  • Step-3: Once more search for the ‘Advanced tab’ within the Performance Options window and now you have to click on ‘Change under Virtual memory.’
  • Step-4: Don’t forget to uncheck ‘Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.’

How to Resolve and Fix Windows 10 Search Not Working - Step by Step

  • Step-5: After the above option is unchecked, choose the radio button indicating ‘Custom size’ and then adjust the initial size in the range from 1500 to 3000. Set the maximum limit to 5000.
  • Step-6: Once the size is set, you need to click on ‘Set Button’ and after that click OK.
  • Step-7: Now click on Apply and then OK.
  • Step-8: Finally, reboot your computer to incorporate the changes saved.

Method-6: Check Windows Search Service:

One of the reasons why your Start menu search fails to work is because the Windows Search service does not run. Essentially, Windows Search service is a system service, and it operates automatically over the system startup.

To check Windows Search Service, follow the below steps:

  • Step-1: Firstly, check whether the service is functioning or not by pressing Win + R. Now type ‘services.msc’ and navigate downwards to find it. In the status column, it indicates running then you can make sure it is running. Else, you need to start it manually.
  • Step-2: Here, you have to right-click on the ‘Windows Search’ and click on ‘Properties.’
  • Step-3: The Properties window will be shown, now click on the ‘Start’ button to launch this service. Along with this, you need to confirm that the Startup type is either set ‘Automatic’ or ‘Automatic (Delayed Start).’ It will guarantee that the service would automatically commence at all the system startup. After all the necessary changes are done, hit OK.

How to Resolve and Fix Windows 10 Search Not Working - Step by Step

Method-7: Windows Troubleshooter:

Microsoft’s Windows troubleshooter is capable of fixing many of the issues happening in the Windows OS. When you use it, you will get proper guidance and can precisely find out what the real problem is. Since the Windows troubleshooter is a quick and effective solution, you will save time and would get proper outcomes as per the expectations.

  • Step-1: First of all, press Ctrl+I
    to open the Windows 10 Settings. Alternatively, you can choose the Start button and then select the cog icon.
  • Step-2: Choose the ‘Update and security’ from the Settings menu.
  • Step-3: From the left-hand menu, choose ‘Troubleshoot.’
  • Step-4: Navigate through the list of options; now choose ‘Search and indexing.’

How to Resolve and Fix Windows 10 Search Not Working - Step by Step

Step-5: In this step, choose the ‘Run the troubleshooter’ button. Consequently, a new window will be shown and it inquires you about the specific search problem you face. Just keep on following the instructions shown on screen and finally select ‘Next.’ Finally, the troubleshooter will try to resolve the problems.

Method-8: Search the Contents of Your Files

Out of all the methods present in this article, the following one is the simplest. On top of that, it does not take much of your time. Just follow the four simple steps discussed below:

  • Step-1: First of all, open ‘File Explorer’ by pressing Windows Key + E and now click ‘View’ and choose ‘Options.’
  • Step-2: Go to the Search tab and tick mark on the option – ‘Always Search File Names and Contents’ shown below while searching for non-indexed locations.
  • Step-3: Now click on Apply and then OK.
  • Step-4: At last, reboot your computer to include all the changes.

How to Resolve and Fix Windows 10 Search Not Working - Step by Step

Method-9: Disable or restart third-party Antivirus and enable Windows Firewall:

The present method does not imply that the Windows 10 users should disable and entirely discard all the third-party antivirus software from their device. It mentions that there are specific programs which may lead to malfunctioning of Windows Search. Out of different Antivirus software, it is known that Avast is the key cause, so you must attempt to uninstall it and subsequently find an alternative if required. You need to try disabling your Avast shields temporarily, and this will ultimately let you see the Start menu search running flawlessly.

In addition to disabling the Antivirus software like Avast, it is also a recommended idea to enable Windows Firewall. Till now, several Windows 10 users had been benefitted from enabling Windows Firewall. It is generally observed that Search and indexing are unusually responsive to your security settings. Therefore, making some twists among them would provide satisfactory outcomes.

Method-10: Move/Rebuild Swapfile.sys

The Swapfile and Pagefile are interlinked and considered as the essential functions of Windows 10. It is known that the pagefile simplifies the burden on your PC RAM by assigning a fixed amount of hard drive space. This allows it to service IOPS and ensures that there will be no issues of RAM running low on memory. On the other hand, the swapfile accomplishes a similar function, chiefly for Modern Windows apps; therefore, it is more targeted in its range

The Windows 10 users can attempt building the Swapfile to launch it, and consequently, your Start menu search would once again start functioning. The process would incorporate rebuilding the Pagefile. It is because the Swapfile is directly reliant on the Pagefile. It is not recommended to disable the Pagefile completely, but you can quickly transfer it to another drive to successfully restart it. Alternatively, if you wish it to have on the original drive, then you could disable it and reboot your PC. Once rebooted, you can again enable it.

Method-11: Rebuild the Windows 10 search indexing options:

Windows 10 might fail to remember where specific files and folders are located. To let it remember, you can rebuild its indexing options through below steps:

  • Step-1: Press Windows Key+R and type ‘Control Panel’ and hit OK.
  • Step-2: In the ‘Control Panel,’ you would see the ‘Vie by option located in the upper right corner. Now, from there, choose the ‘Large Icon’ from the drop-down menu being displayed.
  • Step-3: From the main menu options, choose ‘Indexing Options’.
  • Step-4: After the above step, select the ‘Advanced’ button and if asked, permit administrator approval to let the process carry on.
  • Step-5: Now choose ‘Rebuild’ and hit OK. It is known that the process of rebuilding makes take a short period based on the drive’s size and the available storage inside the drive.

Method-12: Re-register Cortana:

As discussed in the above sections, the Cortana essentially works as a major cause for the Start menu search not working issue. In case the process of restarting fails to work, then the users can attempt registering the Cortana app again.

To do so, launch the ‘Windows File Explorer’ and reach the below location:


Now you have to right-click on ‘powershell.exe’ and click on ‘Run as administrator.’ Once the PowerShell gets open, copy the below code snippet and run it.

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

After the above command gets executed, shut off the PowerShell, and then restart your system. Finally, you will see that the Start Menu Search works flawlessly now.


The 12 methods discussed above are unique and effective in their ways to make sure the Windows 10 search not working issue gets fixed. Any of these methods will surely yield satisfactory results. But if these fixes still fail to solve the problem then haven’t you needs to work around. Void Tools launched a superb and extremely lightweight tool named ‘Everything.’ This tool will index and search every file present on your PC and that too instantly. It is straightforward to use and found to be speedier than the built-in Windows option.

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