Fix problems in Windows Search

If Windows Search is unresponsive or the search results don't appear as expected, try any of the following solutions that provided in this article.

If you're running Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) or later versions and Windows can detect a problem, we will run the Search troubleshooter automatically. This troubleshooter will reset Windows Search back to the default experience. View your troubleshooter history under Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > View History. Follow the steps below if your issue is still not resolved.

Original product version:   Windows 10 - all editions
Original KB number:   4520146

Check for updates

Windows 10 lets you choose when and how to get the latest updates to help keep your device running smoothly and securely. To manage your options and see any available updates, select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates. Install any available updates, and then restart your computer if the updates require this.

For more information, see Update Windows 10.

Run the Search and Indexing troubleshooter

Your PC automatically indexes content to deliver faster search results. Learn more about Search indexing in Windows 10.

Use the Windows Search and Indexing troubleshooter to try to fix any problems that may arise. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select Start, then select Settings.
  2. In Windows Settings, select Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Under Find and fix other problems, select Search and Indexing.
  3. Run the troubleshooter, and select any problems that apply. Windows will try to detect and solve them.

You can also use a command prompt to open the troubleshooter. To do this, press Windows logo key+R, enter cmd in the Open box, and then select OK. At the command prompt, run the following command:

msdt.exe -ep WindowsHelp id SearchDiagnostic

Restart Windows Search or your device

End the SearchUI process to restart Windows Search. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and select Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager window, select the Details tab.
  3. In the Name column, right-click SearchUI.exe, and then select End task.
  4. When you are prompted to end SearchUI.exe, select End process.

Note

The Windows Search process will automatically restart the next time that you search.

If this doesn't fix your problem, try restarting your device. This will also install any pending updates.

Note

You may want to bookmark this page before you restart.

Try resetting Windows Search. To do this, use the method that's appropriate for your version of Windows.

To determine which version of Windows your device is running, follow these steps:

  1. Select Start > Settings > System > About.

  2. Under Windows specifications, check which version of Windows your device is running.

Note

Resetting Windows Search does not affect your files. However, it may temporarily affect the relevance of search results.

Windows 10, version 1809 and earlier

If the Windows 10 October 2018 Update or an earlier update is installed, reset Cortana to reset Windows Search. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select Start, right-click Cortana, select More, and then select App settings.
  2. In the Cortana settings, select Reset.

Windows 10, version 1903 and later

If the Windows 10 May 2019 Update or a later update is installed, use Windows PowerShell to reset Windows Search. To do this, follow these steps.

Important

You must have administrator permissions to run this script.

  1. Download the ResetWindowsSearchBox.ps1 script from the Reset Windows Search PowerShell script, and save the file to a local folder.

  2. Right-click the file that you saved, and select Run with PowerShell.

  3. If you are asked Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?, select Yes.

  4. The PowerShell script resets the Windows Search feature. When the word Done appears, close the PowerShell window.

  5. If you receive a Cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system error message, enter the following command on the command line of the PowerShell window, and then press Enter:

    Get-ExecutionPolicy
    

    Note

    The current policy appears in the window. For example, you might see Restricted. We recommend that you note this value because you'll have to use it later.

  6. Enter the following command on the command line of the PowerShell window, and then press Enter:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
    

    Important

    You'll receive a warning message that explains the security risks of an execution policy change. Press Y, and then press Enter to accept the change.

    To learn more about PowerShell execution policies, see About Execution Policies.

  7. After the policy change is completed, close the window, and then repeat steps 2-4. However, when the Done message appears this time, DON'T close the PowerShell window. Instead, press any key to continue.

  8. Revert to your previous PowerShell execution policy setting. To do this, enter the following command on the command line of the PowerShell window, press the Spacebar, enter the policy value that you noted in step 5, and then press Enter:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy
    

    For example, if the policy that you noted in step 5 was Restricted, the command would resemble this:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Restricted
    

    Note

    You'll receive a warning message that explains the security risks of an execution policy change. Press Y, and then press Enter to accept the change and revert to your previous policy setting.

  9. Close the PowerShell window.

Important

If your organization has disabled the ability to run scripts, contact your administrator for help.

Help us improve Search in Windows 10

If the previous suggestions don't fix the problem, let us know by sending feedback in the Feedback Hub. Provide details, such as a description of the problem, screenshots, log files, and any other information that might be helpful. In the Feedback Hub, select the appropriate category and subcategory. In this case, submit your feedback in the Cortana and Search category.

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