How to Fix "Windows Search Not Working" on Windows 10?

by Linas Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to Fix "Windows Search Not Working" on Windows 10?

Hello, there’s something wrong with Windows search – it doesn’t work anymore. I cannot search for files on my computer, which is frustrating. Can you tell me how to fix Windows search not working problem?

Solved Answer

Windows Search not working error

Windows search is a beneficial service provided by Microsoft Windows OS. It helps to browse and find required files and programs quickly, saving users a lot of time. It goes without saying that we use this feature daily and we probably do not imagine our virtual life without File Explorer or the search engine that can be accessed via the Start menu.

Apparently, losing access to Windows search can significantly slow down your productivity. If the search on your computer suddenly stopped working, it can be hard to identify the issue instantly. There are a few issues that cause the search service to lag or not work properly. For example, if the search service works, but fails to find certain files, you should check if they're indexed.

To find the issue and to fix it, we suggest trying solutions provided by UGetFix team. One of these methods should help you to fix “Windows Search not working” issue.

Fixing the “Windows Search not working” issue on Windows 10

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Method 1. Restart your computer

Sometimes, all that it takes to fix this issue is a simple system reboot. To quickly reboot the computer, use your preferred way or press down Windows + X key on your keyboard. Then hover your mouse above Shut down or sign out button and choose Restart option.

Method 2. Use Windows Search Troubleshooter

This troubleshooter might be or might not be on your Windows computer. If you can’t find it using the provided instructions, download it from official Microsoft’s website first.

  1. Right-click on Windows Start menu and select Control Panel/Settings from the list. You can also open the control panel by pressing down Windows + R keys and entering control panel into the Run prompt. Click OK to activate the command.
  2. Go to Troubleshooting, then to System and Security. Right-click on Search and Indexing and then hit Run as Administrator.
  3. Now, click Next and then look through the list of provided problems. Select the ones you’re dealing with and click Next.
  4. The troubleshooter should attempt to fix the problem. If it doesn’t fix it, try the next method.

Method 3. Fix Windows Search service

  1. Press down Windows + R keys at the same time.
  2. In the Run prompt, type: services.msc and hit Enter.
  3. Find Windows Search in the list and see if its status says Running. If it does, right-click on it and choose Restart. If the status is different, follow these instructions:
  4. Right-click on the service and select Properties.
  5. Choose Automatic in the Startup type option.
  6. Hit Apply, then OK.

Method 4. Add System permissions to folders

The folder that misses the System permission might not appear in the search results. To index these folders, follow the provided steps.

  1. Right-click the folder that you want to add to index and select Properties. Then go to Security tab.
  2. Hit the Edit… button below the Group or user names table.
  3. Hit Add… button and then enter SYSTEM in the Enter the object names to select (examples) field. Then hit Check Names button. Click OK afterward.
  4. Now, select SYSTEM in the list of Group or user names and check its permissions. Make sure that Read & Execute, Read and List folder contents permissions are allowed.
  5. Click on Apply, then OK.

Method 5. Rebuild the index

  1. Go to Control Panel and locate Indexing Options there. You need to access All Control Panel items to see it. Open Indexing Options.
  2. Click on Advanced button and select Rebuild. Click OK to confirm.
  3. Wait until the index is rebuilt and then click Close.

Method 6. Turn off Windows Cortana

Cortana is Windows virtual assistant, very similar to Apple’s Siri. It helps you to search your computer using your voice. Sometimes, disabling Cortana can help to fix the “Windows Search not working” issue.

  1. Open Windows Task Manager (Control+Alt+Delete and click Task Manager).
  2. Click More Details. Look below the Processes tab to locate Cortana process.
  3. Right-click on it and select End Task.
  4. Now, find a process called Search. Right-click on it and select End Task.
  5. Test Windows search to see if it started working.

Method 7. Fix Cortana’s registration

  1. Press down Windows + X keys.
  2. From the menu that appeared on your screen, choose File Explorer.
  3. Go to C:\\Windows\\System32\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\\
  4. Click the powershell.exe file with the right mouse button. Select Run as administrator.
  5. Now, type in the provided command:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml”} and press Enter.
  6. Test Windows search.

Method 8. Make Windows create a fresh UsrClass.dat file

  1. Go to C:\\Users\\[Your computer name here]\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\Windows and find UsrClass.dat file.
  2. Right-click on it and choose Rename.
  3. Now, enter a new name: UsrClass.dat.old and click Enter to save.
  4. Restart your PC. Your computer will create a fresh UsrClass.dat file that doesn’t contain any errors.

If everything else fails, we suggest optimizing your PC. Programs like Reimage or RegCure Pro can come in handy when dealing with Windows Search not working issue.

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About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - IT professional

Linas Kiguolis is a qualified IT expert that loves sharing his excellent knowledge about problems in Windows and Mac operating systems. Linas’ insights often help other team members find quick solutions for visitors of UGetFix site.

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