9 Ways To Fix Search Bar Not Working On Windows 10 For FREE

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The search bar in Windows 10 is a tool that can speed up your workflow if used to its fullest potential.

But, there can be instances in which the Windows 10 search bar does not work. There can be a few reasons for this issue to arise. In the following article, you will find nine fixes dealing with different issues that might be the problem.

SEARCH BAR NOT WORKING iN Windows 10

Search Bar Not Working On Windows 10

Follow the below steps and your search bar not working on windows 10 issue will be resolved.

Restart Your Windows Explorer

This is an easy way of restarting the search tool in your windows 10. Restarting the search bar will deal with any basic issues windows is facing while trying to run the search bar.

To restart the Windows Explorer follow the steps

Right-click on any empty section of the taskbar (by default position: bottom screen). Click on Task Manager.

You will have to open This PC (my computer) and then minimise it. This will show the Windows Explorer app running in the Task Manager.

end windows explorer

If you still don’t see the Windows Explorer, click on more details on the bottom of the tab.

Once the Windows Explorer app is visibly running, right-click on it and then click on restart.

You will notice the screen going blank for a second. Do not worry, this is the windows explorer restarting.

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End Cortana Task

Cortana on your computer can be the cause of the issue in your search bar. And to solve this problem,  you will have to end the Cortana Task in the task manager.

To do so, as mentioned in the above step, right-click on the toolbar and open the task manager.

cortana end task

In the task manager, press the C key and then find Cortana in the list.

Right-click on Cortana and then select the end task.

After this, try launching the search bar again, the problem should be resolved.

Restore Default Windows Search

It is possible that some changes made in the search options are causing the search bar not to work properly.

If this is the case, restoring all the default settings of the search option could have your search bar running back normally. To do so, follow the steps below:

Open this PC (My Computer) on your windows. Once the tab opens, full screen the tab.

On top of the screen, below the status bar, you will find the File, Computer, and View options, click on View. In the view ribbon, you will find options at the rightmost end.

In the Folder Options window click on the search tab on top of the window.
 You will see a Restore Defaults button in the window, click on it.

include search option and restore default

Make sure always search file names and contents AND include system directories checkboxes are ticked and then press okay.

Enable Windows Search

The search bar service on your Windows should always be in the automatic setting so that it can start running whenever you want it to.

If this is not the case, the search bar will not be activated whenever you try to activate the search bar. To ensure your search bar settings are set at automatic follow the steps below.

On the home screen press windows + R to start the Run tool. Here you need to search for services.msc and then okay.

services

This will open the services tab of your windows where you will find all the services on your computer.

Press w on your keyboard and then scroll down until you find the Windows Search service. Right-click on this service and then go into properties.

In the properties tab, you will find the service status section indicating the current status of the search bar service. It should be on running. If it has been stopped, click on the start button.

Make sure the Startup Type has been set into Automatic (Delayed start) mode or the Automatic mode.

enable windows search

Click on apply and the service status should now turn into running. Click on OK and the search service should now be running if not running before.

Delete And Rebuild Indexing

Windows 10 uses indexing to make the searching of files possible and available. If there is an issue within this index, the running of the search bar.

If this is the case, you can delete the index in your windows 10 and then rebuild the index. This will give you a fresh new index which might solve the problem.

The index can be deleted and rebuilt through the Control Panel, you just have to follow the steps.

As your search bar wouldn’t be working, press the Windows button on your keyboard or the bottom left corner of your screen. And then click on the Settings option.

In the Windows Setting, you will find a search bar on the top of the screen (this will still be functional). On this search bar, search for the control panel and click enter.

ALTERNATIVE: press the Windows + R keys to open the run tool. Here search for control panel

Once the Control Panel has opened you will see the Indexing Options setting. (if you can’t find it, change the view mode to large Icons on the top right corner)

In the Indexing Options, you will find the advanced option on the bottom of the tab. Click on it to open the advanced settings.

Here, inside the Troubleshooting section, you will find the rebuild button. This will delete and rebuild the index on your computer.

rebuild search


 This process of re-indexing the items takes around half an hour to one hour.

Once the re-indexing is done, restart your computer and the problem should have been solved.

Restore Your PC Health

Using the command prompt to run the DISM.EXE software can get your computer back into the original health of your computer. To do so, follow the given steps:

Right-click on the windows icon on the bottom left corner of the screen. You will find two options, Command Prompt and Command Prompt (admin). Click on Command Prompt (Admin) and then

Once the Command Prompt opens, past in it the following command:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

 And then press enter.

The computer will scan for any issues in Windows and restore them if any occur. Once the process is completed, restart your computer.

This should solve the search bar not working issue on the computer.

Troubleshoot Windows Search

Windows comes with a troubleshooter option in it. This is to help you solve any issues that come up in the running of the system.

The troubleshooter can help you solve the search bar issues where the searched item doesn’t show upṣṣ. This issue may arise due to the indexing problem on the computer.

Right-click on the windows icon on the bottom left corner of the screen and then from the options, choose settings.

In the settings window on the left side panel, you will see the Troubleshoot, click on it.

additional troubleshooter

Within the Troubleshooter options, scroll down to the Search and Indexing option, click on it and then select run this troubleshooter.

Windows Troubleshooter will search for any problems in the running of the search

windows search not working

It will prompt you with 4 checkboxes, select
 (1) Files don’t appear in search results.
 (4) My problem isn’t listed above.

It will then prompt you to specify the problem you are facing, you don’t have to type anything and just click on next.

Continue clicking next until further asked Try troubleshooting as an administrator.

Repeat the same process again.

This should find any issues with the search bar and solve it on its own.
 

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Enable CTFMON Loader

There is a service CTFMON present in Windows 10. If and when this service becomes unavailable, it starts creating issues in the search bar function of your computer.

The steps to this are easy and can be done by following these easy steps.

Open the C: Drive in your computer (This PC).

Go into the Windows folder in C Drive

You will find the system32 folder inside the windows folder.

Inside the System32 folder, you will have to find the file by the name CTFMON in the folder. (you can search for it on the search bar available on the top right corner)

ctfloader

Once the search results appear, you will find the CTFMON.EXE. Right-click on the file and then under the send to section select send to desktop (create shortcut)


 
And then click yes on the pop-up window. The shortcut would be created on the desktop.

Once the shortcut has been created on the desktop.
 Press the Windows and R key together to open the Run menu.

In the Run menu, search for shell:startup

shell startup

Once the window opens, you will have to copy the CTFMON.EXE shortcut from the desktop to the folder. (drag and drop or Copy and past both works)

Now close the window and from the toolbar present on the bottom of the screen right-click on an empty space and open task manager.

In the task manager, you will find the Startup tab on top, open this (if you don’t, click on more details button to show the expanded window)

You will find the CTF Loader in the startup menu, make sure that its status is enabled. Once it is enabled, restart your computer and then make sure the CTF Loader is running automatically on start-up.

enable ctfloader for startup

If this happens successfully, the problem  should be resolved.

Powershell Execution Commands

Using the Powershell or the Command Prompt (administrator) you can run the following programs, these will solve the issues that you might be facing with the search bar on your Windows 10.

Right-click on the windows icon on the bottom  left corner of your screen.
 From the menu, open the command prompt (admin) and then past the following commands one after the other.

COMMAND 1:

PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

Press enter after pasting the command and then wait for the command run to be completed. After this, past the second command.

COMMAND 2:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like “*SystemApps*”} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

Press enter after pasting this command and then wait for its run to complete. (This command will take time to process. Wait for it to finish)

COMMAND 3:

$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + ‘\AppxManifest.xml’ ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest

Past the command once command 2 has finished running, and then press enter.
 The command will start running and you can see the processing, wait for it to complete.

After all the commands have finished running, restart your computer and the issue with the search bar on your Windows 10 not working will be solved.

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Conclusion

I hope your Search Bar Not Working On Windows 10 problem was fixed using above 9 solutions if not let me know in the comment section I am happy to help you.

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Jayendra Sinh Rajput
Tech Entrepreneur, Founder & Chief Editor of Technical Jayendra. I love to explore, explain, and create content related to Technology in all formats.

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