FIX: Windows 10 can’t type in search box

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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  • 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.
  • Make sure to check out our Windows 10 Hub, for more detailed guides and tutorials.
  • You'll be running into plenty of PC issues, so make sure you also look at our dedicated Fix Hub.
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 having this issue, in this article we are exploring how to fix the Windows 10 search bar not working.

How can I fix the search box not working in Windows 10?

1. 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 the 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.

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.

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2. Use PowerShell command

  1. Right-click on Start.
  2. Click on the 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:
      • $manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + 'AppxManifest.xml' ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest
  6. Once the command is executed, close the PowerShell window.

3. Execute an alternative user input file

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

  4. Close the File Explorer.

4. Restart Cortana process

Windows 10 can't type in search box

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

5. Restart file explorer 

Windows 10 can't type in search box

  1. Open the Task Manager from the Taskbar.
  2. Locate Windows Explorer in the process tab.
  3. Select it and click on Restart.

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. If you want more info on how to open such files, check out this detailed guide.

  • How can I increase the speed of my searches?

Enabling File Indexing will increase the search speeds by a lot. You could also use a third-party PC optimizer to do the job for you.

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 August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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