8 Best Ways to Fix Windows 11 Search Not Working

by Parth
fix windows 11 search not working

Windows 11 is a welcome departure from the aging Windows 10 OS. Microsoft’s latest OS brings a new Start menu, redesigned apps, better UI, Android apps support, and more. However, some of the issues remain identical from Windows 10 days. One such annoyance is when Windows 11 search functions fail to work. Here are the top ways to fix Windows 11 search not working issue.

Fix Windows 11 Search Not Working

When you press the Windows key and start searching for an app or file, the OS will showcase a blank space. It’s a headache, especially when you want to quickly search for an app or file. Let’s troubleshoot the issue.

1. Restart Computer

Before we move to advanced troubleshooting solutions, let’s try this tested method to fix any search issues on Windows 11.

restart windows 11

Press the Windows key and open the new Start menu. Click on the Power button and select Restart to reboot the PC.

2. Restart Windows Search Service

Windows search service needs to be enabled from the Task Manager to function properly. Let’s restart the Windows search service.

1. Open Task Manager app on Windows 11.

2. Click on the Services tab.

services tab

3. Select Open Services at the bottom.

open services tab

4. Scroll down and right-click on Windows Search.

5. Select Restart from the Context menu.

restart windows search service

Users should also open the Properties from the same menu and keep Automatic from the Startup type menu.

search properties

3. Reset Windows 11 Search

Windows 11 search relies on the SearchHost.exe process to function properly. Let’s restart the task and check if that fixes Windows 11 search not working error.

1. Open the Task Manager app on Windows 11.

2. Move to the Details tab.

details tab in task manager

3. Scroll down and find the SearchHost.exe process.

4. Right-click on it.

5. Select End task from the context menu.

end task for windows search

6. Reboot the computer and the OS will start the process in the background.

Try searching for an app or file again using Windows Search.

4. Windows 11 Search Troubleshooter

Microsoft offers a built-in troubleshooter tool to fix search-related issues on Windows 11. Let’s use it.

1. Open the Settings app on Windows 11 (use Windows key+I keys).

2. Go to System > Troubleshoot menu.

troubleshoot menu in windows 11

3. Open Other troubleshooters.

4. Scroll down and Run Search and Indexing troubleshooter.

run search troubleshooter

Let Windows fix the search and indexing issue for you.

5. Clear Device Search History

Windows 11 saves the search queries to deliver better search results the next time you try searching for a similar term. Overburden of such search queries may lead to Windows 11 search not working issue on your computer.

You need to clear Windows 11 search history from the Settings menu. Here’s how.

1. From the Windows 11 Settings menu, select Privacy & security.

2. Scroll down to Search permissions.

search permission menu

3. Select Clear device search history and you are good to go.

clear device search history

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

6. Run Powershell Command

Microsoft recommends using Windows PowerShell to run a command to fix Windows 11 search issues.

1. Open the Windows PowerShell app on your computer.

windows powershell

2. Copy-paste the command below in PowerShell and hit the Enter key.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like "*SystemApps*"} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

3. Close Windows PowerShell and reboot your computer.

7. Disable SafeSearch

Are you having issues with specific search terms while using Windows 11 search? Windows 11’s SafeSearch function might be interfering here. Let’s try disabling it.

1. Open the Settings app on Windows 11 (use Windows+I keys).

2. Go to Privacy & security and open Search permissions.

search permission menu

3. The SafeSearch is set at Moderate. You can turn it off from the same menu.

disable safesearch in windows

8. Update Windows 11

Microsoft regularly releases OS updates to fix small issues with the system. Windows 11 search not working on the computer might be related to an outdated build on your PC. You need to update the OS to the latest version from the Settings app. Follow the steps below.

1. Go to the Windows Settings app.

2. Select Windows Update and install the latest Windows 11 build on the computer.

update windows OS

The good news is, you can see the estimated time remaining while installing the new build on the computer.

Wrapping Up: Fix Windows 11 Search Not Working

Windows 11 search not working can be troublesome for many others there. We rely on it to quickly open an app or file stored on the PC. Before you go ahead and reset the PC or roll back to Windows 10, use the steps above and fix Windows 11 search not working.

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