windows 11 search not working

Is the Windows Search function not working after windows 11 update? Number of users report similar problems, can’t type into Windows 11 search bar or search results aren’t showing up in the list. So why is windows search not working? The latest Windows 11 is still in its infancy so the bug may disabled the search function or not allow you to type anything at all. Here this article explains how to fix Windows 11 Search not working issue with various options.

Windows 11 Search Not Working

When Windows search not working the first thing, you must try to restart your computer. This will clear temporary glitches that may be causing the search function not working properly.

  • To do so right-click the Start button and select Shutdown or sign out > Restart.

If you don’t find the ‘Search’ button you should check the taskbar settings and enable it.

  • Right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar and select ‘Settings’ from the list.
  • Next, select ‘Personalization’ settings from the tabs listed on the left, and then scroll down on the right and click on ‘Taskbar’.
  • Now, check if the toggle next to ‘Search’ is enabled. In case it isn’t, click on the toggle to enable it.

Enable taskbar search windows 11

Restart Windows Search Service

when you have problems with the search function, Restart the Windows Search Service and check that can help you in fixing Windows 11 Search not working issue

  • Press Windows key + R, type services.msc and click ok
  • This will open the windows service console scroll down and locate the windows search service, right-click on it select restart from the context menu.
  • In addition double click on windows search to open its properties, change the startup type automatic

windows 11 search service

Reset Windows 11 search

Windows search relies on searchhost.exe process to function properly. Let’s restart the task and check if this helps fix the windows 11 search not working problem.

  • Open task manager using ctrl + shift + Esc shortcut key,
  • Move to the Details tab, scroll down and locate SearchHost.exe process. Right-click on it select end task from the context menu
  • Restart your computer it will automatically start the process in the background and check the search function working properly or not.

Run Windows 11 Search Troubleshooter

Microsoft also offers build in search troubleshooter and running that automatically detects and fixes search problems on windows 11.

  • Open settings app using windows key + I
  • Go to System then Troubleshoot menu, Other troubleshooters” section.
  • Scroll down and Run the Search and Indexing troubleshooter and Let Windows fix the search and indexing issue for you.
  • It will take few minutes for the troubleshooter to initialize and will prompt to select the problem.

Windows 11 search troubleshooter

The Search and Indexing Troubleshooter will ask you to select the problems you’re running into. The Troubleshooter lists 5 options:

– Can’t start a search or see results;
– Files, folders, apps or settings don’t appear in results;
– Outlook search doesn’t return results; Search or indexing is slow;
– My problem isn’t listed above.

You need to select the options based on the problem you encounter. Then Click Next. The Search and Indexing Troubleshooter will try to find and resolve the problem for you.

Clear Device Search History

Windows 11 save search queries to deliver better search results But sometimes it may lead to Windows 11 search not working issue on your computer. Clear Windows 11 search history from the Settings menu following steps below that help fix the issue.

  • Press Windows key + X select settings then go to privacy & security
  • Scroll down to Search permissions.
  • Select Clear device search history and you are good to go.

Pro tip – From the same menu, you can disable Search history on this device toggle as well.

Disable SafeSearch

Windows 11’s SafeSearch function might be interfering and prevent search results from display.

  • Open the Settings app on Windows 11 (use Windows+I keys).
  • Go to Privacy & security and open Search permissions.
  • The SafeSearch is set at Moderate. You can turn it off from the same menu.

Update Windows 11

Microsoft regularly releases Windows updates to fix small issues with the system. Installing the latest windows update may have bug fix for the problem. let’s update the OS to the latest version from the Settings app.

Maybe the search issues are caused by a bug in the current build, and Microsoft has fixed this issue by releasing a Windows update.

  • Go to the Windows Settings app.
  • Select Windows Update and install the latest Windows 11 build on the computer.
  • If there is an update, please download and install it.
  • Restart the computer after completion and check whether the Windows Search problem has been resolved.

windows 11 checking for updates

Rebuild Windows 11 Search Index

If there is a problem with your search function, rebuild Search Index can help solve the problem of Windows 11 Search not working.

  • Press Windows key + R, type control.exe srchadmin.dll and click ok
  • At the bottom of the Indexing Options window, select Advanced.
  • Click Rebuild button under Troubleshooting.
  • Click OK and confirm the “Rebuild Index” box.
  • It will take some time to complete the process, depending on the amount of data stored on the system.

Rebuild index windows search

Once the rebuild process is done, Perform a search task and see if this issue persists.

Run System File Checker and DISM tool

This issue may occur because some important system files are corrupted. If all the above methods fail to fix the windows search problem run the DISM restore health command and system file checker utility. That helps scan and restore missing system files on your computer.

  • Open command prompt as administrator, type command DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press enter key,
  • Let the scanning process complete 100%, once done run the sfc utility command sfc /scannow 
  • This will scan for corrupted missing system files and if found any the sfc utility try to replace them with the correct one.
  • Let the scanning process complete 100% once done reboot your PC.
  • Check if the Windows search issues persist after the SFC command is executed.

Did the above solutions help fix the windows 11 search not working or lagging issue? If yes let us know which one works for you in the comments below.

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Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.


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