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Windows 10 search not working? Here’s how to fix it.

Huawei Windows 10 tablet showing Start menu, windows 10 search not working

Is your Windows 10 search not working properly? Microsoft’s desktop operating systems live in over 75% of all computers (according to Statista), and over 55% of those run Windows 10. You are not alone, and this issue is more common than you may think. In this article we will teach you a few methods that are sure to get you up and searching in no time.

Windows 10 search not working? Try restarting your computer.

Huawei Windows 10 tablet showing Start menu.

As silly as this may sound, a simple restart tends to be the solution to most software issues you may encounter. Click on the Windows button, select the power option, and hit Restart.

Use Windows Troubleshooter

Windows 10 search not working. Windows 10 troubleshooter.

Using Windows 10’s stock troubleshooter does not always provide a solution, but it at least can lead you in the right direction to find out what the problem is, so it’s worth a try.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Update & security.
  3. Select Troubleshoot.
  4. Select Search and Indexing.
  5. Select Run the troubleshooter.
  6. Answer the questions and follow instructions.

Use the System File Checker

This tool checks all your system files and make sure all are operating correctly. Give it a go and see if it fixes the issue.

  1. Find the Command Prompt app. It is usually under Windows System in the Start menu.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type in sfc /scannow.
  4. Let it do its thing.

Use the Task Manager to close Cortana and Search

Windows 10 search not working - task manager. Closing and restarting software is a solution worth trying. To do this follow the steps below.

  1. Right click on the taskbar.
  2. Select Task Manager.
  3. Look for Cortana. The process list is long, but you can organize alphabetically and type in Cortana to more easily find this one.
  4. Highlight it and click on End task.
  5. Follow the same steps for the Search process.
  6. Try to use the search function again.

Restart Windows Explorer

Restarting Windows Explorer can sometimes bring your search function back to life.

  1. Right click on the taskbar.
  2. Select Task Manager.
  3. Look for Windows Explorer. The process list is long, but you can organize alphabetically and type in Windows Explorer to more easily find this one.
  4. Highlight it and click on Restart.

Your antivirus may be the culprit

Antivirus software keeps your computer safe, but it also has a way of bringing up unexpected problems. Apparently some programs deem the search function unusable, so try to disable or uninstall your antivirus and see if that fixes the problem. If it does, it may be time to find another solution for keeping your computer protected.

Antivirus software keeps your computer safe, but it also has a way of bringing up unexpected problems.

Edgar Cervantes

Start Windows Search

Windows 10 search not working. Window Search service start.

Windows Search may be turned off for some reason. Better make sure this isn’t the case!

  1. Press the Windows button and the R button simultaneously.
  2. In the Run window, type services.msc.
  3. Find Windows Search.
  4. If it’s not running, right-click on it and select Start.
  5. Also make sure to go into its properties and switch the Startup type to Automatic.

Rebuild indexing

  1. Click on the Start menu button.
  2. Look for Control Panel and open it. It is usually under Windows System.
  3. Under View by, select Small icons.
  4. Select Indexing Options.
  5. Select Advanced.
  6. You may be asked for your password. Input it.
  7. Under Troubleshooting, select Rebuild.

Factory data reset?

Huawei Windows 10 tablet turned on.

Maybe what your computer needs is a fresh start. Performing a factory data reset will bring its software back to its factory settings. Just keep in mind that this will delete all your files, so back up any important documents before you do this.


Have you encountered this issue? How did you fix it?

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