[SOLVED] Windows 11 Search Not Working

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[SOLVED] Windows 11 Search not working
Windows 11 Search

Recently, we’ve seen many people report that the Windows Search feature is not working on their Windows 11 machines. If you’re running to the the same issue, you’re not alone. Whether you can’t type into Windows 11 search bar, or the search button doesn’t respond at all, or your files and apps aren’t showing up in the list of search results, you can fix it quickly and easily after reading this article!

Try these fixes

Here are the latest fixes to the Windows 11 search not working issue. You don’t need to try them all. Just work your way down through the list until you find the one that does the trick for you.

  1. Enable the Search button in the Taskbar
  2. Run Windows Troubleshooter
  3. Restart the Windows Search Service
  4. Rebuild Search Index
  5. Check for Windows updates
  6. Run SFC and DISM

1. Enable the Search button in the Taskbar

If you notice that the Search button disappeared in the Taskbar, you can follow the steps below to enable the Search button from the Taskbar settings:

  1. Right-click on the space area of the Taskbar and select Taskbar settings.
  2. Check if the toggle next to “Search” is turned on. If not, click on the toggle to enable it.

    After enabling the Search button from the Taskbar settings, the Search button should appear in the Taskbar. If it still doesn’t appear or if you’re running into issues with search results, restart your PC and try the next fix, below.

2. Run the Windows troubleshooter

The Windows troubleshooter is a built-in feature in Windows 11 that can help you find and resolve some common issues on your computer. Before trying anything more complicated, run the Windows troubleshooter first.

To run the Windows troubleshooter, follow the steps below:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run dialog. Type ms-settings:troubleshoot and press Enter to open the Troubleshoot in Windows 11 settings.
  2. Select Other troubleshooters to continue.
  3. Scroll down to the Others section, then click the Run button next to Search and Indexing.
  4. The Search and Indexing Troubleshooter will ask you to select the problems you’re running into. The Troubleshooter lists 5 options:

    – Can’t start a search or see results;
    – Files, folders, apps or settings don’t appear in results;
    – Outlook search doesn’t return results; Search or indexing is slow;
    – My problem isn’t listed above.

    You need to select the options based on the problem you encounter. Then Click Next.
  5. The Search and Indexing Troubleshooter will try to find and resolve the problem for you. Once the problem is found, it will also recommend fixes for you to try. You just need to follow the on-screen instructions to apply the fixes.

See if the Windows troubleshooter fixed this issue for you. If the Windows troubleshooter failed to locate the problem, or if this issue persists after applying the fixes recommended by the Windows troubleshooter, try the next fix, below.

3. Restart the Windows Search Service

The Windows search feature may not work if the Windows Search Service stopped. If it’s the case, you need to restart the Windows Search Service. Here’s how to do it:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run dialog. Type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services window.
  2. Scroll down to locate the Windows Search service. Right-click on it and select Restart to restart the Windows Search service.
  3. Double-click the Windows Search service and set its startup type to Automatic. Click OK to apply and save the changes.

See if this issue persists after you restarted the Windows Search service. If this fix doesn’t work, try the next fix, below.

4. Rebuild Search Index

If you notice Windows 11 takes forever to show the search results, or if you didn’t find what you need after you clicked the search button, maybe there is something wrong with the indexing. If it’s the case, you can follow the steps below to rebuild search index:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run dialog. Type control.exe srchadmin.dll and press Enter to open the Indexing Options window.
  2. Click Advanced to continue.
  3. Click the Rebuild button in the Troubleshooting section, then click OK in the confirmation dialog box and wait for the rebuilding process to complete.
  4. Once the rebuild process is done. Perform a search task and see if this issue persists.

If the issue persists, try the next fix, below.

5. Check for Windows updates

Microsoft keeps releasing Windows updates to fix bugs, add new features and improve the system performance. Maybe the search issues are caused by a bug in the current build, and Microsoft has fixed this issue by releasing a Windows update.

If you haven’t updated your Windows system for a long time, you can follow the steps below to check for Windows updates:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and I at the same time to open Windows Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Windows Update section and click Check for updates.

If there a Windows update available, just let Windows 11 to download and install it. If Windows tells you that you’re up to date, move on to the next fix, below.

6. Run SFC and DISM

The Windows search issues may occur when there are corrupted system files on your computer. If you are not sure whether there is any system file corruption or not, you just need to run System File Checker (SFC). By Running SFC, you can fix any system file corruption from the the resident component store.

To run SFC, follow the steps below:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time. Type cmd and press Shift, Ctrl and Enter at the same time to invoke an elevated CMD.
  2. In the CMD window, execute the following command:
    sfc /scannow
    Note: this command doesn’t require Internet access.

Check if the Windows search issues persists after the SFC command is executed.

If this doesn’t help, you may need to use DISM command tool to repair the Windows Component Store itself. To do so, just follow the steps below:

  1. In an elevated CMD, execute the following commands one by one (note: this command require Internet access):
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  2. Restart Windows 11 after all the commands are executed and see if this issue get fixed.

Normally this should resolve all issues. If the Windows search issue reappears, you can run SFC again to fix potential system file corruption and verify that the DISM command tool was successful in repairing the errors.


Hopefully, one of the fixes in this article helped you fix the Windows 11 search issues. If you have any questions or suggestions on this topic, feel free to drop a line in the comment area below. Thanks for reading!