Why is Windows 10 Search Not Working on My Computer?

Windows 10 was a great improvement, and a big step forward after Windows 8.1 New released brought many awesome features including the search bar that was integrated into the Windows taskbar. However, Windows 10 is not a perfect system, and sometimes users have problems with certain functions. The search function is not an exception and occasionally stops functioning properly or even pretends dead. If you have problems with Windows 10 search not working, read this article to find out why it is happening and how you can fix it.

Known Windows 10 search bar errors

The search bar in Windows 10 is available not just in the form of the search box on the taskbar but as a function in the Start menu. It allows users to find any file, program, or game on the computer in a few seconds. Unfortunately, this search function just like all other apps and services may fail with no apparent reasons.

Also, the Start menu may also refuse to work properly in some Windows 10 builds. Sometimes users just cannot open it, or it freezes while browsing, and then your system terminates the process due to an unexpected error. But fear not as both these issues can be easily fixed by anyone. Problems with not responding search bar, errors in the process of searching, or unexpected closing can be fixed manually.

The easiest thing to do would be to restart your computer and see if the search function is working properly now. If search still ends with an error or does not work at all, you should try to fix it using Services:

  • Press Win+R and type services.msc in the small window that will appear. Hit Enter.
  • In the Services menu, look for the submenu called “Windows Search” – its status must be “Running.”
  • If it is not, then double-click “Windows Search” to open its Properties menu.
  • Change its startup type to Automatic.
  • Apply changes and click “OK.”

After doing so, you must reboot your computer. This should fix your search bar in Windows 10.

Windows 10 search button is not working

Windows 10 search bar is not responding may not be critical, but what to do when the Start menu is not functioning as well? Usually, this you get an error with the message: “Critical error. Start menu and Cortana are not working. We will try to fix it the next time you sign in.” When this occurs (or when you have other problems with using the Start menu), you need to use Command Prompt to fix it.

  • Run Command Prompt as Administrator (exe file can be found in the C:\Windows\system32 folder – right click it and select the needed option).
  • Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
  • Wait for the scan to end.

This method might help you to fix all existing problems including the “search not working” error. However, if the error is still there, you can try another solution:

  • Go to “Settings” – “System” – “Tablet Mode.”
  • Find “When I sign in” option and set it to “Use tablet mode.”
  • Now go to “Settings” – “Personalization” – “Start.”
  • Toggle “Use Start full screen” to “On.”

In most cases, turning this options on is enough to make your Start menu and search bar work as intended. But sometimes you need to go deeper and perform a Start menu reset. Follow these instructions:

  • Run PowerShell (it can be found in the C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0 folder).
  • Type (or better copy/paste) the following command: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
  • Hit Enter.

This command will reset your Start menu to default settings. After that, you shouldn’t have any errors or problems such as freezing with the menu and search bar as well.

How to hide search bar in Windows?

After resetting back to default, you might want to disable the search box integrated into the Windows taskbar, so it won’t “eat” lots of free space that can be used for pinning additional icons. You can easily hide the search box by right-clicking on the taskbar to open a context menu where you need to find a submenu “Search” and check “Hidden.”

The search box will disappear from the taskbar the same moment as all changes are applied immediately. You can reverse all changes the same way – just go to the “Search” submenu from the taskbar context menu and check “Show search box.” Windows 10 also allows having a minimized version of the search bar – in the form of a small icon with a magnifying glass on it. It is a good alternative for using search without opening the Start menu. You can enable or disable that function by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting the “Search” submenu, then checking (or unchecking) the “Show search icon” option.