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Many Windows users report a frustrating glitch in which their search bar closes as soon as they open it. While the cause of this bug is unknown, it’s very likely due to corrupted system files.

In this troubleshooting guide, we’ll list 8 solutions for both Windows 10 and Windows 11 that should help get your search bar working once again.

Table of Contents

    1. Change the Windows Search Registry Entry

    One of the most common causes for the Windows Search bar to stop working correctly is corrupt registry entries. By deleting these entries, you can force Windows to automatically recreate them, fixing the problem.

    Here’s how:

    1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
    2. Type “regedit” and press Enter.
    Type "regedit" and press OK
    1. Navigate to the following entry:


    1. Select File > Export to back up these registry entries somewhere safe on your PC.
    Select File > Export
    1. Next, delete the Search registry key (and all subkeys). To do so, right-click Search and select Delete.
    Select Search > Delete
    1. Restart your PC, then try to use the Windows Search box again.

    2. Restart the SearchHost.exe and Windows Search Processes

    SearchHost.exe is the application Windows uses to search files on your PC. If Windows Search isn’t working, restarting the host process might help. To do so:

    1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
    2. Scroll down and find SearchHost.exe in the Details tab.
    Select the Details tab and find SearchApp.exe
    1. Right-click SearchHost.exe and select End task.
    2. Confirm your choice, then try to use Windows Search.
    3. Do the same for SearchUI.exe. If SearchUI.exe isn’t present, do the same for SearchApp.exe.
    Right-click SearchApp.exe and press End task

    3. Restart the Windows Search Service

    If something has gone wrong with the Windows Search service, restarting it might get it working again. Here’s how:

    1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
    2. Type “services.msc” and press Enter.
    Type Services.msc and press Enter
    1. Find and right-click Windows Search, then press Restart.
    Right-click Windows Search and select Restart

    You can also restart the search service by using a script created by Microsoft.

    1. First, download the script called “ResetWindowsSearchBox.ps1” from the Microsoft page.
    2. Once downloaded, right-click the file and select Run with PowerShell.
    Right-click ResetWindowsSearchBox and press Run with PowerShell
    1. If asked to confirm your choice, type Y and press Enter.
    Type "Y" and press Enter
    1. Wait for the process to complete. If you receive an error message, type the following command and press Enter:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

    1. Repeat steps 2 and 3, then enter the following command and press Enter:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Restricted

    4. Rebuild the Search Index

    Windows generates a search index that acts like a map of all your files. However, the Windows Search Indexer may have been corrupted, leading to your Windows Search problems. To check whether this is the case, you can try rebuilding the search index as follows:

    1. Press Win + I to open Settings.
    2. Select Search.
    Select Search
    1. Select Searching Windows in the left-hand sidebar.
    2. Scroll down and select Advanced Search Indexer Options.
    Select Searching Windows, then press Advanced Search Indexer Settings
    1. Tap Advanced.
    Press Advanced
    1. Select Rebuild.
    Choose Rebuild
    1. Press OK and wait for Windows to rebuild the search index. Once it’s done, check to see whether the search bar is working.

    5. Repair all Windows Apps Using PowerShell

    Some users report that using a command to repair Windows apps can resolve the search bar issue. Here’s what to do:

    1. Open the Start Menu and type “powershell.”
    2. Right-click PowerShell and select Run as Administrator.
    Press Run as Administrator
    1. Copy and paste the following command into PowerShell, then press Enter:

    Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Search | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register “$($_. InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopmentMode}

    Type the command and press Enter
    1. Then, copy and paste the next command into PowerShell:

    Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_. InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

    Type the command and press Enter

    Next, you need to perform a clean boot of Windows:

    1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
    2. Type “msconfig” and press Enter.
    Type "msconfig" and press Enter
    1. Select System Configuration.
    2. Press the Services tab and make sure that “Hide all Microsoft services” is ticked.
    3. Select Disable all.
    Select Services, check the box next to "Hide all Microsoft services," and select Disable all
    1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
    2. Select the Startup tab and disable all unnecessary services.
    Disable unnecessary services in the Task Manager
    1. Restart your computer and check if the Windows Search bar works.

    6. Run the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

    If nothing has worked, Windows might be able to resolve your search bug via the Search and Indexing troubleshooter. To try this:

    1. Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
    2. Select Update & Security, then choose Troubleshoot.
    3. Select Additional troubleshooters.
    Select Additional troubleshooters
    1. Scroll down to Search and Indexing and select Run.
    Choose Search and Indexing
    1. Select the issues you’re having with the Windows Search feature, then press Next.
    2. Follow the on-screen instructions and reboot your PC once completed, then check if Search is working correctly.

    7. Use the SFC and DISM Tools to Repair Search

    Some users report that the SFC and DISM commands can help resolve problems with Windows Search. Here’s what to do:

    1. Open the Start Menu, type “cmd,” and press Run as administrator.
    Type "CMD," then press Run as administrator
    1. Type the following command and press Enter:

    SFC /scannow

    Type "SFC /scannow" and press Enter
    1. If that doesn’t work, you can try resolving potential file corruption using the DISM tool. Type the following command and press Enter:

    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    The DISM command line

    8. Run Windows Update

    While the Windows Search problem is likely caused by corrupted system files, a simple Windows Update can be enough to get it working again. To check if there are available updates:

    1. Open Settings.
    2. Select Update & Security.
    3. Choose Windows Update and press Check for updates.
    Select Check for updates
    1. If there are any available, install them and restart your computer.

    Search Away!

    The Windows Search feature is the easiest way to find key settings, files, and folders on your PC. If it stops working, it means you’ll have to spend much longer to manually find these files and folders. Hopefully, the solutions we’ve listed help you return the search bar to full functionality.