Windows Search is disabled by default in Windows Server 2016

This article provides the steps to re-enable the Windows Search service in Windows Server 2016.

Applies to:   Windows Server 2016
Original KB number:   3204979

Symptoms

When you try to search from the Start menu or from Cortana on a Windows Server 2016-based computer, you may receive no results or inconsistent results.

Cause

By default, the Windows Search service is set to Disabled in Windows Server 2016. It's because indexing of the volumes can cause problems in certain scenarios, including:

  • Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV)
  • Running Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) with multiple simultaneous sessions.

Resolution

You can re-enable the Windows Search service in the following scenarios:

  • You plan to use Windows Server 2016 as your client desktop computer.
  • You want Windows Search functionality from the Start menu.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key‌ Windows logo key+R to open the Run box.
  2. Type services.msc, and then press Enter.
  3. Right-click Windows Search, and then select Properties.
  4. Change the Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start).
  5. Select Apply, and then select Start.
  6. Select OK, and then close the Services console.