Fix: Windows 10/11 search bar is not typing

by Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Are you in a hurry and need to quickly access a feature? This is when the Windows search box comes in handy.
  • Unfortunately, Windows 10 search bar not typing issues are not uncommon and there can many reasons behind it.
  • Sometimes, the Windows 10 search bar is not working after language changes or after an update.
  • Take a closer look at the ctfmon.exe process and don't overlook Cortana as well as the File Explorer.
Windows 10 Search bar not working

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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.

But sometimes, the Windows 10 search bar is simply not typing. Several users have reported they can’t type in the Windows 10 search bar all over 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 do I fix Windows search bar not typing?

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 finder software installed on your PC.

Third-party software apps come with up-to-date features like keywords maps that can search through unstructured data, giving you more results than your standard operating system search feature.

On top of that, dedicated file searchers can also look for keywords in your emails or document type of files to ensure you find what you are looking for.

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.

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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. Use the Registry to reset the Search bar

How do I fix the search bar in the Windows 10 registry?

  1. Open the Registry Editor app and check the left pane.
  2. Navigate to this directory: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search
  3. Now, on the right pane, you should see an option called SetupCompletedSuccessfully.
  4. Right-click this 32-BIT DWORD and choose to modify its value from 1 to 0.
  5. Finally, restart your device and see if you still can’t type in the Windows 10 search bar.

If PowerShell seems too overwhelming, you might find it easier to implement a Registry fix to resolve the Windows 10 search not working issue.

4. 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.

Fixing Ctfmon.exe will also solve the Windows 10 search bar not typing issue.

5. 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.

While it’s super handy, Cortona itself can sometimes struggle with the search box missing from sight, so restarting the associated process can set you on the right track.

Tip icon
Tip
Did you know that Cortana is by default removed in Windows 11?

Don’t worry, you can still use the search bar without Cortana. Wheter you tweak the visibility settings on your search bar or choose to work closely with the File Explorer, there is no shortage of alternatives.

6. 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.

This method will also help when the Windows 10 Explorer search bar is not typing. If this does not solve it, we prepared even more solutions to resuscitate the File Explorer’s search functionality.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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