Fix: Windows 10 can’t type in search box


Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
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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 to fix Windows 10 can’t type in search box

1. Use PowerShell Command

  1. This error can occur if the issue is with your Windows Store app. To fix this, run the following PowerShell command and check for any improvements.
  2. Right-click on Start.
  3. Click on Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.
    Windows 10 can't type in search box
  4. 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”}
  5. After the command is executed, close the PowerShell window.
  6. 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:
    $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. Windows 10 search bar may not work properly if the ctfmon.exe process is not working. To fix this, you need to manually run the file from the directory.
  2. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location:
    C:\Windows\system32
  3. Inside the directory, search for ctfmon.exe.
  4. Right-click on ctfmon.exe and click Open.

  5. Close the File Explorer.
  6. 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 to 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.

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