How to fix taskbar search not working in Windows 10

How do you fix taskbar search when it's not working 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. Or your PC's index became all mixed up. There are several solutions to this problem — the best idea is to start with 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 folks 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 your taskbar search.

  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. Hit the Windows Key + R shortcut on your keyboard to open the Run window.
  2. Type Control Panel and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Click Troubleshooting.

    Type Control Panel. Click Troubleshooting.

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

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

  6. Click Run as Administrator.
  7. Click Next, and the troubleshooter will run.

    Click Run as Administrator. Click Next.

  8. Click the checkbox next to any problems you're encountering. In this case, you should choose Files don't appear in search results.
  9. Click Next.

    Click the checkbox. Click Next.

Troubleshooter may or may not detect any problems. If it detects 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 the Windows Key + R shortcut on your keyboard to open the Run window.
  2. Type services.msc into the Run field.
  3. Click OK.

    Type services.msc. 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. Click a startup option.

  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click OK.

    Click Apply. Click OK.

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

    Right-click Windows Search. Click Restart.

Change the size of your paging file

We received another potential fix from Windows Central member Charly19932002 in the comments section. It involves increasing the paging file size. Here's how to do so.

  1. Hit the Windows Key + R shortcut on your keyboard to open the Run window.
  2. Type sysdm.cpl.
  3. Click OK.

    Type sysdm.cpi. Click OK.

  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. Click the Settings button in the Performance section.

    Click the Advanced tab. Click the Settings button.

  6. Click the Advanced tab.
  7. Click the Change… button in the Virtual memory section.

    Click the Advanced tab. Click the Change button.

  8. Click the checkbox next to Automatically manage paging file size for all drives so the checkmark disappears.
  9. Click Custom size.

    Click the checkbox. Click Custom Size.

Depending on the size of your hard drive, try going with an initial size of 16MB and a maximum size of at least 2000MB. If you see problems with your PC's performance, reset the paging file by checking the box next to Automatically manage paging file size of all drives.

Disable Zemana AntiLogger Free keystroke encryption

Another suggested fix from the comments section, from member Steve Humphries, involves a compatibility issue with Zemana AntiLogger Free software. More specifically, the keystroke encryption feature causes problems. If you're running Zemana AntiLogger Free, try disabling the keystroke encryption option and see if Windows Search starts working again.

Can you search now?

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

Updated June 27, 2017: We refreshed this article with a couple of new potential fixes to help you get Windows Search working again.