Fix: Instant Search Doesn’t Work in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Last update:
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How do I fix instant search in Windows 10 when it does not work?

  1. Run a selective startup
  2. Run an SFC scan
  3. Use Windows Feedback app
  4. Restart Windows Explorer

This article is intended for those of you who are having issues with the search feature available in Windows 10 metro apps after pressing the Start button or the Windows button. You can rest assured that by the end of this article you will be able to fix your search feature in Windows 10 metro apps and get your operating system up and running in no time.
How to fix Instant search in Windows 10
The search feature usually stops responding in Windows 10 especially for ultrabooks and even if you press the F3 button or the taskbar search button it will not make your search feature operational. You might get this issue from a third party application you previously installed on your Windows 10 device or you might have some registry keys damaged nevertheless you can read the lines posted in the tutorial below for a detailed explanation about how to fix your search feature in Windows 10

Tutorial for fixing the Instant search in Windows 10 Technical Preview:

1. Run a selective startup

  1. Press and hold the “Windows” button and the “R” button.
  2. Now you should have the “Run” window in front of you.
  3. In the run box write the following: “msconfig”.
  4. Press the “Enter” button on the keyboard or left click on the “OK” button.
  5. Now the “System Configuration” window should pop up on the screen.
  6. Left click or tap on the “Services” tab situated in the upper side of the window.
  7. Now check the box next to the “Hide all Microsoft services” situated in the lower left side of this window.
  8. After you checked the box from the step above left click or tap on the “Disable All” button situated in the lower right side of this window.
  9. Left click or tap on the “General” tab situated in the upper side of the window.
  10. Left click or tap on the “Selective Startup” feature.
  11. Uncheck the box next to “Load Startup items”.
  12. Close the “System Configuration” window.
  13. Reboot your Windows 10 operating system.
  14. When the system starts you will have to check if the Instant Search feature works in the metro apps from Windows 10.
  15. If the feature is not working then proceed with the next method below.
  16. If the Search feature works then you will have to disable each application at a time from the start-up menu by following the steps above but disabling them separately by unchecking the mark next to each one and see what app is causing your system to malfunction in such a way that your search feature stops responding. If you find the application then you will have to uninstall it or just update it to the latest version available for Windows 10 systems.

2. Run an SFC scan

  1. Write in the search box present on the Start menu the following: “cmd” without the quotes.
  2. After the search has finished right click on the “Command Prompt” icon that shows.
  3. Left click or tap on the “Run as Administrator” feature.
  4. Left click or tap on the “Yes” button if you are prompt by a user account control message.
  5. Now you have the command prompt window in front of you.
  6. Write in the command prompt window the following: “sfc /scannow” without the quotes.
  7. Press the “Enter” button on the keyboard.
  8. Let the System file checker finish the process.
  9. After the process has finished close the command prompt window.
  10. Reboot your Windows 10 operating system.
  11. Check to see if you Instant search feature works in your Windows 10 operating system.

3. Use Windows Feedback app

Seeing that the Windows 10 Technical Preview version is not as stable as we would hope you will have to follow the lines below and write a feedback to Microsoft about your issue.

  1. In the search box in Windows, you will have to write the following: “Windows Feedback” without the quotes.
  2. Left click or tap on the “Windows Feedback” application.
  3. From the Windows Feedback application, you can follow the instructions on the screen and explain your issue regarding the Instant search feature of Windows 10.

4. Restart Windows Explorer

Many similar issues may be solved by simply restarting Windows Explorer. IN order to restart this, these are the steps you have to perform:

  1. Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del)
  2. Be sure that ‘More details’ option is activated. If it is not, click on the feature’s button:enable more details task manager windows 10
  3. Now find Windows Explorer, right-click on it and select restart:restart windows explorer screenshot
  4. Wait until all disappear from the screen, and comes back. Check if the search feature works.

You may also encounter problems after using the search feature a while. Many users reported that Windows search suddenly stopped working. Hopefully, you can find the right solutions on our site. If the fix does not work, do not bother as there are many search tools for Windows that you can use on your PC.

That’s it, folks, you have above some steps to follow and fix your Instant search feature in Windows 10 in no time. But if you have additional questions regarding this subject you can write us below in the comments section of the page and we will help you further.

READ ALSO: Cortana Search Box Missing on Windows 10

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One thing I’d check is the security properties for the files not being indexed. Make sure that the machines administrators group has access. This is what caused my search to break down when I switched my OS over to a SSD.

I have easily fixed the search by cleaning folders containing Cortana’s caches and settings in the path C:UsersAdministratorAppDataLocalPackagesMicrosoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy. It is important to clean contents of all folders in the path above (removing folders themselves will cause Cortana fail to start). During cleaning Cortana app should be stopped or user should be logged into another account, etc. to do that.

Thanks so much, this solution worked. I tried a couple of other sites that asked me to modify msconfig and other programmy stuff that I was not comfortable with. This was a simpler and more effective way to resolve the problem.

I had a similar issue. My normal user account could get to the start menu, but clicking the cortana menu or trying to search in the start menu wouldn’t do anything.

I saw a post where a suggestion was to create a new account and copy my files over from the old to the new using an admin account. Tried it. It worked fine BEFORE I copied the files over, but after the copy I had the same result but didn’t have access to the start menu at all.

So, I started experimenting with the file system. Setting groups of directories to .old and then logging into my normal account and see if it fixed the problem to gradually narrow down the problem. After about 45 minutes, I narrowed it down to a file in C:UsersBrianAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsUsrClass.dat.

I changed this UsrClass.dat to UsrClass.old.dat. When you log in, Windows doesn’t find UsrClass.dat and creates a new one, but now Cortana is working and I can search in the start menu and nothing in the start menu has changed. There must have been some kind of bad data in that file.

Thank you SO MUCH! All I had to do was step 1 and search is back… plus the added bonus of my boot time being a fraction of what it was before.

I have given up. Everything works on the right click Start except Search. The left button Start just gets zombies – nothing.

To get the ‘Search Anywhere’ window to open create a shortcut using the following location: %windir%system32rundll32.exe -sta {C90FB8CA-3295-4462-A721-2935E83694BA}

Cannot run the command prompt button as administrator because the left click on the start button doesn’t work either. What a load of c..p Windows 10 is!

I can’t read anything in this article because it’s all one really long run on sentence and it gets really hard to read when it’s a run on sentence like this one because there’s no commas or semicolons or periods or anything so maybe next time we can get a little bit more punctuation next time thanks.

true, but for some reason it seems to work, the only thing I can search for is “CMD” nothing else haha