Windows search is perhaps the most convenient tool for any Windows OS user. However, the Search bar app can crash and stop responding without notice, or it may not show any results at all.
In such cases, the most basic fix for this issue is to restart the search application from the Task Manager. If the issue persists even after restarting, you can try some possible fixes below.
Causes of Windows Search Not Working
Some possible causes for the Windows Search issues are:
- Corrupt search index
- Buggy search app
- Corrupt system files
- Bugs in Windows update
How to Fix Windows Search Not Working?
Before you begin, it’s best to check the event viewer app for more details on search program errors. The event viewer app records all errors that occurred in your computer system.
- Press Win + R, type
eventvwr, and press Enter.
- Expand Windows Logs and click on the system.
- Click on Filter current log on the right panel.
- Tick on Critical and Error to filter out critical errors. Press OK.
This will filter out all the recent errors on your system. You can pinpoint the search error by sorting it according to the date. You can try launching the search again so that a new error will be logged in the event viewer.
Nevertheless, here are some fixes to fix Windows search not working properly:
Restart Search App
The first option you want to try to fix a rebelling search bar is to restart it. You can do so from the Task Manager. Follow these steps to learn how to do it.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
- Go to the Processes tab.
- Sort by Name for easier navigation and find Search.
- Right-click on Search and press End task.
This will end the search application. But you can restart it by simply clicking on the search button on the taskbar.
If you’re using Cortana to search, you can try restarting Cortana as well. Here’s how you can do it:
- Open Task Manager.
- Go to the Processes tab.
- Search for Cortana and click on End task.
Run the Search Troubleshooter
The Windows troubleshooter can identify any problems and fix them for you. It can also pinpoint search and indexing-related issues and notify you of the results. Here’s how you run the search troubleshooter.
- Open settings by pressing Windows key + I.
- Go to Update and security > Troubleshoot.
- Click on Additional troubleshooters or other troubleshooters.
- Navigate to Search and Indexing and click Run the troubleshooter.
- Tick the relevant issues and click Next.
The troubleshooter will then search for issues and show you the results of the whole troubleshooting process.
Reset the Search Index
Search indexing is a Windows process that creates a catalog of possible terms and their location. It helps Windows provide search results faster.
If the index catalog is corrupt, the search service will stop working. You need to rebuild the index to replace the corrupt catalog.
- Press Windows key + R, type control panel, and press Enter.
- Search for Indexing options
- Go to Advanced.
- Click on Rebuild under troubleshooting.
- Click on OK to confirm.
Reset the Search App
For later versions of Windows, you can use the PowerShell to reset the Windows search. You will have to reset a lot of components which is why Microsoft created a ready-made script to reset them all at once. However, you’ll have to turn on PowerShell scripting first.
- Press Windows + R, type PowerShell, and press Ctrl + shift + enter to open PowerShell.
- Run the following command to check if the scripting is enabled.
- If the powershell shows restricted, you will have to run the
Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSignedcommand to enable scripting. Type ‘Y’ and press enter to confirm.
After this, you can download the script and execute it. Here’s how you do it:
- Download the Windows Search Reset PowerShell script and save it at a familiar location.
- Right-click the downloaded file and click Run with powershell.
- Click ‘Yes’ to execute the script. This will automatically run the script to reset the Windows search.
You will be notified with a message that says, “Done” after the process is complete.
The Windows update generally contains fixes for any bugs and issues. In case a buggy Windows update breaks your search bar, the Windows update will most probably include a patch to fix it. You can check for updates by following these steps:
- Go to settings by pressing Windows key + I.
- Click on Update and Security.
- Go to the Windows Update tab on the left sidebar and Click on Check for updates. It will check for any available updates and notify you to download if any are available.
Using the SFC Command
If the system files are corrupt, all the other files dependent on those files may not work either. You can check your system for any such corrupted files by using the SFC commands. This command will check for the integrity of all system files and fix any problems that are found.
- Press Windows key + R, type
cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run as administrator.
sfc /scannowand press Enter.
This will start the scan process and tell you if it encountered any issues.