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Windows Search down for many — here's the fix

Windows Search results blank
Windows Search results blank (Image credit: Windows Central)

Updated February 5, 2020: The issue seems related to Bing. We've updated our guide to fixing search related issues to include a partial fix and added the steps to the bottom of this article.

What you need to know

  • Windows Search is down for several users.
  • The issue causes Windows Search to show a blank box and no search results.
  • Microsoft recently issued an updated addressing search issues, though that may be unrelated.

Windows Search is down for many Windows 10 users. Reports on Reddit appeared recently with many people seeing nothing but a blank box inside Windows Search. One Reddit post states that the issue persits even after rebuilding the index of Windows Search. Another post says that online resources do not help.

Updated February 5, 2020: In an update to its support page (opens in new tab), Microsoft says that the issue was resolved earlier today. However, you may still need to restart your PC and "in rare cases, you may need to manually end the SearchUI.exe or SearchApp.exe process via Task Manager," Microsoft says.

With issues like these, it's usually unclear how widespread the issue is, but based on how quickly discussion of the issue is travelling on Reddit, Discord, and Twitter, it appears this issue could be widespread. The issue currently affects my system, though that's just one example of course. Many people online point out that several PCs they own see the same issue.

Windows Search blank

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

We've found a partial solution to this issue and update our guide on fixing search issues to include this current bug. The issue seems related to Bing, which you can disable with the following steps. Following these steps will show local search results, but will not show web results.

Remove Bing from your searches

In light of the recent Windows 10 Search issues where nothing is displayed in the bar or window, many have found a fix by disabling Bing integration. This does require working with RegEdit, so doing a backup of both your PC and its registry are recommended.

Once you've performed any necessary backups, run through these steps to get Search working again. Multiple people here at Windows Central have performed the same steps with success.

  1. Hit the Windows Key + R shortcut on your keyboard.
  2. Type regedit and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Double-click HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  4. Double-click SOFTWARE.
  5. Double-click Microsoft.
  6. Double-click Windows.
  7. Double-click CurrentVersion.
  8. Double-click Search.
  9. Right-click the right pane of the RegEdit window to bring up the menu.
  10. Click New.
  11. Click D-WORD (32-bit) Value.
  12. Type BingSearchEnabled and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  13. Double-click the BingSearchEnabled entry you just created.
  14. Type 0 in the Value data field. (It should already be 0 but make sure).
  15. Click OK.
  16. Double-click CortanaConsent.
  17. Type 0 in the data field. (It should also already be 0 but make sure).
  18. Click OK.
  19. Restart your PC.

This should bring Windows 10 Search back online.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

56 Comments
  • Thank you Microsoft. I am one of the users experiencing this retarded issue. It comes along with some lag as an extra :)
  • Experiencing the same problem here. I've tried all the steps in the troubleshooting guide and in addition even uninstalled KB4532695 but still it persists.
  • Same. I guess if everyone with windows on their PC restarts they will experience the same problem too. As a lot of users are reportedly getting this same error. Did windows 10 get breached? Is there an attack happening on the systems? Hopefully not but I think yes.
  • I have seen this happen before. In the past, I had to run command lines to fix Cortana's drivers. Just windows have some things that break every once and a while.
  • One of the users in the reddit threat posted this link https://www.howtogeek.com/224159/how-to-disable-bing-in-the-windows-10-s... .
    You need to set only the regkeys and restart your machine.
  • Disabling the Bing search feature solved this problem for me.
  • This worked for me. Thank you.
  • Thanks, it worked well
  • Thank you so much, I thought something was wrong with my PC.
  • Worked for me - many thanks!
    But no need to restart Windows, you can just restart explorer.exe as follows: 1. Either use Task Manager to kill the "Windows Explorer" service (explorer.exe).
    Windows will automatically restart the service. or 2. Create a simple batch file (eg using Notepad) with the following content (and remember to change the file extension to .bat)
    taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
    start explorer.exe
    exit Does the job :)
  • Maaaaaan! this post was quick to appear! I was experiencing it just now too! Followed the steps exactly and worked like a charm! Thank you!!!!!
  • One thing that bugs me about the windows search is that if it isn't working, or loading correctly, I can't search for things on my computer. The amount of times I have to go into file explorer because I just get the three dots constantly when clicking in the search bar is depressing.
  • Thanks. It solved my issued, faced after recent windows update.
  • Thank you. This worked for me. I was so worried when it did not work.
  • Thank you, this works
  • I can confirm with Windows 10 1903 (OS Build 18362.535) that the registry changes here have fixed Windows Search, but this ultimately may disable the Bing functionality, which you may not want.
  • Thanks, Monday I bought the Surface Laptop 3 and today search did not working... I assumed off-course something was wrong with the installation of Windows, until this article showed up :) Thank you!!!
  • Thank you WindowsCentral for a timely posting of this issue with the fix.
  • Aaah, Windows updates strike again. Thank you MS for keeping us I.T. geeks employed!!! I used this fix on a computer who's search suddenly stopped working this morning and this fix does work. Thank you Sean Endicott for getting this fix posted.
  • Thank you guys, almost gave up ... The search was working fine in the morning, but it was malfunctioning since the evening. Almost went for a Fresh Install.
  • We have a small company that works on refurbished Windows machines. Every single one that was fine on setup now has a blank search box. Also, every employee but 1 is affected. This regedit to disable Bing search is the only one that worked. STOP TRYING TO KILL GOOGLE, MICROSOFT. NO ONE USES BING, MORONS!
  • As a matter of fact I actually use Bing all the time.
  • Why would you use Bing instead of Google? You would also be the first to ever tell me they prefer Bing to any other search engine.
  • I use Bing, it finds all the same information Google does but I get rewards points for using it so why wouldn't I?
  • Cheers, a brilliant answer. Thanks.
  • I made an account for this website just to make this comment, @SEAN ENDICOTT I have never found a more useful guide for anything in my life and I am 20. Maybe because it is almost 3 am but I still appreciate it a lot, I followed your guide to remove bing and boom works again. Thank you for your brain.
  • Right on, thanks.
  • Today (Feb 5, 2020), it happened after an update pack. Anyway, thank you for help, I spent 2 hours just to only fix this issue.
  • Thank you very much for your help! I have spent a lot of time searching for the solution of this issue. I confirme that it worked with no problems. If Microsoft doesn't stop adding bugs with each update I will definetly migrate to Linux.
    THANK YOU again very much!!!
  • Same problem happened here. Thanks for the fix!
  • I am finding that this is related to a pending .net framework Windows update. After the installing the updates the pc will reboot and the search will still not work. After checking for more Windows updates and being told that the pc is up to date, and restarting the pc again seems to fix the issue.
  • THE SEARCH IS INSTANT. Not only did this fix my problem completely as I've tried every other method and it did not work, it made the searching of the programs on the PC INSTANT. I'm doing this on every PC. Before there was a delay when searching. Google felt way faster but now, this happens so fast that I just don't even know how it's so fast. It's like, AI fast.
  • Thank you. This worked for me.
  • It's worked for me on Windows 10 build 1903.
    Thanks a lot.
  • Hi, I experienced the same issue. I tried to remove the Microsoft Account from Windows 10 and using local account works fine. After that I added again the Microsoft Account, and continuos working fine. Thanks to all.
  • I can't believe THIS ACTUALLY WORKS! I thought this site is just another fxxking fake virus-solution-apps downloading sites.
    ғᴜᴄᴋ Microsoft for creating these fxxing stupid bugs.
    Thx a lot btw.
  • I couldn't find the PANIC button in the desk drawer, so I just waited a bit and search now works. Wasn't gone long so it wasn't a big deal for me. Can't speak for others though and YMMV. :-)
  • Only Microsoft could think that linking local search with internet search was a good idea...if the latter isn't up you can't search locally as well... pathetic. Most likely they will end up changing this behavior, current one is a PoS.
  • I have solved the problem by following these instructions. Thank you!
  • I am on 19555 and was having the same problem. Just adding the BingSearchEnabled=0 key to my regisry seems to have fixed the issue. Thanks.
  • Well, let's all trot out the excuse MS has been preparing for the last few years now: "You get what you PAY for, FOOLS!" [Bwaa- ha-ha-ha-ha!]
  • I had this problem 2 hours ago and it got fixed by itself after who system restarts.
  • This was the fix for me!!! Thank you so much.
  • Terrible engineering. Who ever is making these decisions needs to be fired. One bad decision after the other. Why is local searches dependent on being connected to a server? Glad I'm still using Windows 7. I'm hoping in 3 years Microsoft finally figures out what they want to do with Windows. I don't want half-assed touch interfaces and apps on my desktop. I do not want my OS connected to any cloud nonsense. I don't want sever side changes to my OS, and I don't want telemetry.
  • Elevated cmd prompt Get-AppXPackage -Name Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"} restart
  • Thank you so much! It helps me a lot
  • Microsoft has release one hot fix for this issue, by applying the patch KB4532695 for your windows version will solve the issue.
  • Thank you
    It appears blank suddenly yesterday
    But now fixed after tweeking with your assistance. I set the cortanaConsent value to 1" , now both Cortana assistance and search are working. Is it good or bad please
    please please please please answer
  • The fix is a lot simpler: End Task SearchUI.exe That's all I had to do. Oddly a reboot didn't work.
  • Try this.. Simple and sorted process to get rid of it. End the SearchUI process to restart Windows Search. To do this, follow these steps: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, and select Task Manager.
    In the Task Manager window, select the Details tab.
    In the Name column, right-click SearchUI.exe, and then select End task.
    When you are prompted to end SearchUI.exe, select End process.
  • Thanks Gaurav, your solution worked for me
  • Thank you! Worked for me.
  • Thanks Sean, another annoying Win10 problem solved!
  • It Really Works Thank You
  • Thanks! This works! I had lost search plus for some reason apps like NotePad and SnippingTool disappeared. Now the search works and got the lost apps back
  • YOU ******* SAVED MY ASS
    I WILL BE THANKFUL FOREVER