How to Work When Windows 10 Search Bar Not Working?

There are several steps you can do for solving the Windows Search Bar not working problem. There are numerous features from Microsoft that were added to Windows versions, from Windows 95 to Windows 10. To stay close to all these features, files and apps, Microsoft made a truly powerful search engine. With its help, you may find anything you want. In a few seconds, you will find anything you want from the Windows database.

Helpful tips

Windows 10 Search usually works properly and without any glitches. However, no one can guarantee that it will work forever. If it stops working, no need to panic. It should not freeze your work. This article was made to help you to find the solution to this problem. If you have other useful tips, leave them in the comments below.

Restarting computer

Restarting process screenshot

Well, this is definitely the easiest and the first step that must be done. It is a common rule for all the devices you work with. Once it stopped working, the first thing you can try is to restart it. While computers were made to handle the pressure of working 24/7, it does not necessarily need to be this way. Besides, if you turn off the computer when you are not using it, you will save the electricity, let the machine cool down and prolong its life.

What can restart give you? This procedure may free RAM and bring its occupancy to 0 points. If you don’t turn off the computer for several days, Windows Search and other processes stay open in RAM, and after some time, can turn glitchy. Once you restart the computer, system files will start with a new copy loaded in internal memory, so it may solve the problem.

Windows Trouble-Shooter in action

Trouble-Shooter has been created by Microsoft to help users to find the problem with Windows and fix it automatically. This option may be not as famous as other similar helpers, but it still works and can identify the problem and its cause. So, when restarting the computer does not help, try Trouble-Shooter.

To run this option in Windows 10, you have to do next:

  • Reach the Settings menu by pressing Windows key and letter “l” on the keyboard;
  • There will be various options on your screen, and you have to pick “Update and Security”;
  • The new window will appear. From its menu on the left side choose “Troubleshoot”;
  • On the right section scroll down and search for “Search and Indexing”;
  • Pick “Search and Indexing” and click the button signed up as “Run the Troubleshooter”;
  • Now you will have to read all the instructions and follow them, answer the asked questions to receive the resolution.

While this procedure is not hard to perform, there is another way to start Trouble-Shooter. You will receive the same result by doing a different action. You may need this alternative, just in case.

  • Open the Run window, by pressing the letter “R” and Windows key;
  • In the box that appeared type “Control Panel” and push Enter;
  • Find “Troubleshooting” and pick it;
  • Under the Troubleshoot problems pick “System and Security”;
  • In a new window find “Search and Indexing”, click it with the right-click;
  • In the appeared windows click “Run as Administrator”, and after that click Next;
  • Follow all the instructions of the Trouble-Shooter and answer all the questions that the program asks. It will help to identify the problem and find a solution for it.

After all these steps are done, the Windows problems’ fixer will help you to restore the work of Windows Search. While it may not help to get rid of all the problems with the computer, but it will find the cause of the problem. You will more likely find the solution to the glitch when you know what to look for.

System File Checker

System File Checker screenshot

Besides Trouble-Shooter, Windows has a special tool made by Microsoft to check all the system files and fix broken. The tool checks the integrity of operating system files and restores them to their default position if it is needed. This service is able to repair files that do not work well but can’t be replaced. It runs in two parts: SFC and DISM. If you want to start the service, you have to run these commands first. You can do this with the Administrator's rights. Usually, it is easy to reach them via the search feature. But this time, your search option is unavailable, and you have to restore it. What can you do?

  • Push the “R” letter on the keyboard and Windows button, so you will open window Run;
  • In the Open box you will have to type “cmd”, but do not press the OK button yes;
  • Pick CTRL+SHIFT and press Enter on the keyboard. In Administrator Mode Command Prompt will be open.

Beware! There is a difference between elevated command prompt and simple command prompt running via the Admin rights. Simple command mode does not need your Admin permission until you open the window. The location of command prompt windows is different. After the command prompt is switched on in the Admin, you may copy + paste the next command at the place where you see blinking cursor:

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

After that, the command is going to scan corrupted files image and fix them. The damaged files are kept in the log file. The whole process will take up to 1 hour of your time, maybe less. When it is finished, you have to type these words:

  • sfc /scannow

It will start the search for corrupted files. However, it has to appear without any errors as the DISM part has worked on fixing errors. The whole procedure may take less than a few hours. You will have to perform all the steps one by one in the same order.

Task Manager for restarting processes of Windows 10

And there is another way to solve your problems with Windows 10 Search. You will have to close the Cortana service and run the search. If you are worried about the possible risks of stopping Cortana, don’t be. This process starts almost immediately again after you end it in a taskbar. When the taskbar is closed, you can return to work. If nothing works, you have to try this option. RAM will be cleared and you will receive newly restarted Cortana.

  • Here are the steps to restart your Cortana:
  • Use the right click on the computer’s taskbar;
  • Now pick the Task manager and click on it;
  • Pick the first in default tab “Processes”. Go for the process that is named “Cortana”. You will have to scroll down the list till you finally see it;
  • After you found it, use the left click to select it and right-click for End option;
  • Now find the “Search” process. End it the same way;
  • Pick the “Windows Explorer” process. Use the right-click and pick “Restart”. It will restart the service of Windows Explorer;
  • Open Search bar. Try it. Start work.

As you can see, the restarting of several other processes may solve the whole issue. They are relevant to Windows 10 Search. All you need is repeating these steps.

Put Antivirus out of action

Antivirus picture

The main goal of any Antivirus is to protect your software from external viruses and different threats. Sometimes Antivirus programs are too careful, and they may find other tools on your devices as a threat. To see whether the main problem was in your Antivirus, you have to open its interface and disable it just for several minutes. During this time, check the Windows 10 Search. If the tool is working, well, you understand that either you change the Antivirus or work without the Search box somehow. You will have to uninstall your current Antivirus and find the one that really works with Windows 10. And don’t forget that you still need to switch the antivirus after you checked the theory.

Rebuild the Indexing

If you want to find the file that is located on your computer but you don’t know how to use the Index Rebuilding system. It is an incredibly powerful feature. If Windows Search can’t find the file, but you know that it is somewhere there, it is the time to use the Indexing. How can you run this process?

  • Press the “R” letter and Windows button on your keyboard, so the Run window will appear;
  • Type there “Control Panel”, and press OK;
  • In the control panel pick Indexing options;
  • In the newly appeared Indexing Options on your screen, select button Advanced;
  • Find in the list the “Rebuild” option and click on it;
  • Enter the system password if you need it.

Make sure you have enough time! Indexing is not a really fast process, as it has to process every file from the system. It can take up to several hours.

Last Step

If you have already tried everything, but Windows Search does not work, you have one final step left. It will definitely solve all your problems. The operating system needs to be restored to the factory state. You have to make a backup beforehand, as all your files may be deleted.

Is it so awful?

Well, the lack of a working Search Bar may be a huge problem, but it is not really a total disaster. You may follow all these steps or come up with some fresh ideas. You can ask for professional help or contact the Windows support team. In any case, you will definitely find the solution.