- If your Windows Explorer search is not working, there is something wrong with your OS.
- You can use an alternative third-party program that searches your Windows files instead.
- Windows 10 explorer search not working can quickly be fixed with the app troubleshooter.
- Users suggested that restarting your file explorer will solve the Explorer search not working issue.
Windows (otherwise File) Explorer is Windows’ file management utility with which users search for documents, images, music, software, and more besides.
However, File Explorer searches might return a No items match your search message for some users even when there certainly are files that match the keywords entered.
Therefore, File Explorer’s search utility can effectively stop working for certain folders or more widely. One user stated on the Microsoft forum:
The search facility in Explorer has stopped working. I can see all files and access them, but when I try to find any of them using the search box it comes up with No items match your search. This facility worked 48 hrs ago, but is no longer!
How can I fix File Explorer’s search utility?
1. Use a third-party software
If your default File Explorer that comes with Windows is giving you headaches, you can use a different file searcher software, and there are plenty on the market to choose from.
These software are designed to allow you to search your computer thoroughly, being able to find even the most hidden files. This includes Office files, Outlook files and attachments.
The app increases productivity because it shortens the time you waste searching for files by creating a keyword map to unlock unstructured data. Moreover, the app is also very secure.
Copernic Desktop SearchFind any file with ease, boosting your production with Copernic Desktop Search!
2. Open the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter
- Click Settings on the Start menu.
- Click Update & Security > Troubleshoot to open the tab in the image directly below.
- Then select Search and Indexing and click Run the troubleshooter.
- Go through the troubleshooter’s resolutions.
3. Restart File Explorer
- Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager.
- Click the arrow to expand it.
- Select Windows Explorer on the Processes tab.
- Then press the Restart button.
4. Rebuild the search indexing
- Press the Windows key + R keys.
- Enter Control Panel in Run, and click the OK button.
- Click All Control Panel Items shown directly below.
- Then click Indexing Options.
- Press the Advanced button.
- Press the Rebuild button, and click OK to confirm.
5. Select the Index Properties and File Contents option
- Click the Advanced button on the Indexing Options window.
- Click the File Types tab shown directly below.
- Then select the Index Properties and File Contents radio button.
- Click the OK button.
Some users have confirmed they’ve fixed File Explorer searches by selecting the Index Properties and File Contents option.
6. Check if Windows Search Service is enabled
- Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open Run.
- Input services.msc in the Open text box, and select the OK option.
- Double-click Windows Search to open the window below.
- Select the Automatic option on the Startup Type drop-down menu.
- Click the Start button.
- Select the Apply and OK options.
7. Assign system permissions to a folder
- Open File Explorer, and right-click the folder searches that don’t work.
- Then, select Properties.
- Select the Security tab.
- The Group or user names box should include SYSTEM. If not, click the Edit button.
- Press the Add button to open the Select Users or Groups window.
- Enter SYSTEM and Enter the object names box as shown below.
- Click the Check Names button.
- Press the OK button.
- Select the Read & execute, Read, and List folder contents checkboxes in the Allow column within the Permissions for System box.
- Select the Apply option to save changes, and click the OK button to exit.
If File Explorer searches don’t work for a more specific folder, check if that folder has System permissions.
Those resolutions will often fix FileExplorer’s search utility. Remember, however, that there are also numerous third-party search tools for Windows that users can utilize as an alternative to File Explorer.
If you have any other questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is surely a problem with your system. Read more about it in this thorough article dedicated to the file manager problem.
You will find some of the best file finder software if you take a look at our top selection dedicated to the best file finder software on the market.
If the Windows Search is not working, follow our wonderful guide containing information about the issue and ways to fix it.