• If you're in a hurry and need to quickly access a Windows 10 feature, then that is when the Windows search box definitely comes in handy.
  • There are plenty of reasons why the search box may have issues in Windows 10, and we will be covering them, as well as their solutions, in the article below.
  • This guide is part of our much larger dedicated hub for troubleshooting Windows 10 issues, so make sure you bookmark it in case you run into such problems again.
  • You'll be running into plenty of PC issues, so make sure you also look at our dedicated Fix page.
Windows 10 Search bar not working

The Windows 10 search bar makes it easy to search for the files as well as the apps installed on your computer. You can access the search bar by pressing the Windows key.

Sometimes, the Windows 10 search box may not work. Several users have reported Windows 10 can’t type in search box issue in the Microsoft community.

After I updated to Windows 10 the search box on the taskbar was working.
A few days later I discovered that I couldn’t search anything from this box.
If you have fixed this or know how to fix please share your knowledge as I rely on the search box.

If you are also troubled by this issue, here is how to fix Windows 10 search bar not working problem.

How can I do if I can’t type in the search box in Windows 10?

1. Use PowerShell Command

  1. Right-click on Start.
  2. Click on Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.
    Windows 10 can't type in search box
  3. In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press Enter to execute the command.

    • Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like “*SystemApps*”} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}
  4. After the command is executed, close the PowerShell window.
  5. Press the Windows Key and try to search for any keyword in the search bar.

If the issue persists, try the following PowerShell command.

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Click on File and select Run New Task.
  3. In the Run box, check the “create this task with administrative privileges” option.
    Windows 10 can't type in search box
  4. Type PowerShell and click OK.
    Windows 10 can't type in search box
  5. In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press Enter:
    1. $manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + ‘AppxManifest.xml’ ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest
  6. Once the command is executed, close the PowerShell window.
  7. Type anything in the Windows 10 search bar and check if the issue is resolved.
  8. If not, reboot the computer and check again.

2. Execute Alternative User Input File

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location:
    C:Windowssystem32
  2. Inside the directory, search for ctfmon.exe.
  3. Right-click on ctfmon.exe and click Open.

  4. Close the File Explorer.
  5. Type anything in the search bar and check for any improvements.

If the issue occurs again after every reboot, you may need to create a task that will run the ctfmon.exe file automatically after the restart.


3. Use a dedicated file finder/search software

One of the easiest solutions to avoid such errors especially when you really need to find something very quickly on your PC is to have third-party file search software installed on your PC.

We recommend you check Copernic Desktop search, which is a leader on the market. This software will let you search through your files and folders by creating an index while executing the search command.

copernic desktop search product box

The program is available for free but it does not allow more than 100 file types. If you lost important files with specific software extensions that are not included in those over 100 searchable file types, you will need to get a paid license.

You don’t need to worry about the price as it is not so high: starting from $14.99/year the basic paid version.


4. Restart Cortana process

Windows 10 can't type in search box

  1. If the issue persists, try to restart the Cortana process in the search bar.
  2. Right-click on the Taskbar and open Task Manager.
  3. Locate Cortana process in the Process tab and select it.
  4. Click on the End Task button to kill the process.
  5. Close and click on the search bar again to restart the Cortana process.

6. Restart File Explorer 

Windows 10 can't type in search box

  1. You can also fix the issue by restarting the File Explorer.
  2. Open the Task Manager from the Taskbar.
  3. Locate Windows Explorer in the process tab. Select it and click on Restart.
  4. Check if the Windows 10 can’t type in search box issue is resolved.

FAQ: Learn more about the Search feature in Windows 10

  • Why is the search bar useful?

Sometimes the search bar can increase work productivity by allowing you to access a specific Windows feature instead of going through many menus and sub-menus.

  • Why can’t I find certain results using the Search feature?

Files and folders that are marked as Hidden will not appear in search results unless you specifically set it to do so. This is a failsafe feature that Windows uses to prevent you from finding and accidentally deleting important system files.

  • How can I increase the speed of my searches?

Enabling File Indexing will increase the search speeds by a lot, but it will take quite a lot of disk space, and it may also reduce your PC’s overall performance.


By following the steps in this guide you should be able to regain full functionality of the search box again. This ill allow you to search for whatever file or folder you want within your Windows 10 system.

Let us know which of the above-written steps helped you the most by leaving us a message in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019  and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Was this page helpful?
Thanks for letting us know!
Get the most from your tech with our daily tips
Tell us why!