How do I fix my taskbar search in Windows 10?

Once in awhile, Windows 10 decides it doesn't want to search from the taskbar anymore. Why? Detective work is hard work. Or Cortana got stuck somewhere else. Or your PC's index became all kinds of mixed up. There are several solutions to this problem — the best idea is to start at the easiest and move down the list if the problem persists. Let's see if we can't fix your taskbar search in Windows 10.

Restart your computer

Before rushing to the comments section to explain how useless this step is, remember that even the most tech proficient sometimes — under the right conditions — forget this step. If your search problems persist following a restart, read on!

End Cortana's process

Ending Cortana's process in Task Manager might just do the trick. After ending the process, it will automatically restart almost immediately.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Task Manager.

    Right-click the Start button. Click Task Manager.

  3. Click Cortana. You might have to scroll down a bit to find it.
  4. Click End Task.

    Click Cortana. Click End Task.

Did restarting Cortana do the trick? If not, keep reading.

Restart Windows Explorer

Another quick fix attempt, restarting Windows Explorer might jump-start the taskbar search into working again.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Task Manager.

    Right-click the Start button. Click Task Manager.

  3. Click Windows Explorer. It's located near the bottom of the Task Manager menu.
  4. Click Restart.

    Click Windows Explorer. Click Restart.

Read on if you still can't search from your Windows 10 taskbar.

Use Windows troubleshooter to restore indexing services

The much maligned Windows troubleshooter might just do the trick here.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Category near the top right corner of the window.

    Click Control Panel. Click Category.

  4. Click Large icons.
  5. Click Troubleshooting.

    Click Large icons. Click Troubleshooting.

  6. Click System and Security.
  7. Right-click Search and Indexing.

    Click System and Security. Right-click Search and Indexing.

  8. Click Run as Administrator.
  9. Click Next. Troubleshooter will detect problems.

    Click Run as Administrator. Click Next.

  10. Click the checkbox next to any problems you're encountering. In this case we click Files don't appear in search results.
  11. Click Next. Troubleshooter will detect any problems.

    Click the checkbox next to any problems you're encountering. Click Next.

Troubleshooter may or may not detect any problems. If it does detect a problem, it will attempt to fix it. Search still not working? Keep reading!

Set startup options and restart Windows Search

Your PC might have been distracted during startup and forgot to start Windows Search. Going into Services and setting startup parameters and finally restarting Windows Search will hopefully get your taskbar search working again.

  1. Hit Windows key and R simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Run window.
  2. Type services.msc into the Run field.
  3. Click OK. The Services window will open.

    Type services.msc into the Run field. Click OK.

  4. Right-click Windows Search. It's located near the bottom of the list.
  5. Click Properties.

    Right-click Windows Search. Click Properties.

  6. Click the dropdown menu next to Startup type:.
  7. Click Automatic (Delayed Start) or Automatic depending on your preference.

    Click the dropdown menu next to Startup type. Click Automatic (Delayed Start) or Automatic.

  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click OK.

    Click Apply. Click OK.

  10. Right-click Windows Search again.
  11. Click Restart.

    Right-click Windows Search again. Click Restart.

Can we search now?

Did one of these steps help you get your taskbar search working again? Let us know in the comments section below!