Windows 11’s File Explorer search not working? Try these fixes

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
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  • The reasons that cause your Windows 11 File Explorer search to not work as it should are various but we still got a list of solutions for you.
  • First and foremost you should try restarting your computer to put an end to any shallow error.
  • Alternatively, you can stop the SearchHost.exe task from your Task Manager.
file-explorer-search windows 11 file explorer search not working

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There are a variety of symptoms due to which your Windows 11 File Explorer search isn’t working as it should. Perhaps you are unable to input anything into the search box, or your files or applications are not appearing in the search results.

If the search button does not respond at all, you will be unable to do even the most basic of searches. Most definitely, future Windows updates will address search difficulties that have arisen as a result of code bugs.

However, all search-related issues in Windows are software-related, so a Microsoft update or some tweaking on your end should be sufficient to resolve the File Explorer search malfunction.

Follow along as we will walk you through a list of solutions that you can implement, right after we see how File Explorer has changed in Windows 11.

What has changed in File Explorer in Windows 11?

File Explorer is nearly identical in functionality to the one in Windows 10 in the following ways: it provides an interface that allows you to interact with the files saved on your computer through the use of a windowed interface.

However, there have been some changes to the way you go about performing that task. Windows 11 File Explorer has a significantly streamlined toolbar when compared to its predecessor.

This interface has been simplified from its previous sophisticated, compartmentalized ribbon design with tabbed File, Edit, and View options. Rather of it, you’ll find a series of straightforward icons that will assist you in doing basic activities such as creating new folders.

file explorer icons windows 11 file explorer search not working

Almost every new major iteration of Windows has been accompanied by a new collection of icons to help you get about. Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system is no exception, as it includes a new set of vibrant icons for its built-in applications that have a flat, shaded appearance.

New File Explorer icons depict generic folders, documents, and specific folders such as Pictures and Downloads, as well as new folder and document icons.

An ellipses (three-dot) menu is available for overflow items such as mapping a network drive, selecting all things in the window, and opening options, to name a few examples.

However, although occasionally the act of simplifying an interface by hiding options might make it more difficult to use, it appears that Microsoft has achieved the perfect balance in this instance.

What can I do if Windows 11 File Explorer search isn’t working?

1. Restart your computer

There are more scenarios in which the well-known restart procedure is helpful than you might imagine. Users typically skip over this step, making their task unnecessarily more difficult as a result of believing a mere restart will do nothing productive.

To begin, restart your computer because any bugs or errors that are superficial might be resolved without the need for you to intervene anymore when the machine has started up.

However, you should go to the next set of solutions if you have already attempted this and your problem has not been resolved yet.

2. End SearchHost.exe

  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DELETE buttons on your keyboard simultaneously, then click on Task Manager to open it.task-manager-home edge collections not syncing
  2. Navigate to the Details tab, then look for SearchHost.exe and click on it followed by End Task from the right-bottom corner.end-task-any windows 11 file explorer search not working

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As soon as the process is completed, try opening a new File Explorer window and searching for the information you were looking for previously.

3. Run the Search and Indexing troubleshooter

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app, and navigate to System in the left panel followed by Troubleshoot from the right side.troubleshoot-option-system edge collections not syncing
  2. Once you are inside the Troubleshoot menu, click on the Other trouble-shooters option.other-trouble edge collections not syncing
  3. Now scroll down until you meet the Search and Indexing troubleshooter and click Run next to it.search-troubleshooter windows 11 file explorer search not working

When the troubleshooter has finished searching for errors, it will reveal the specific bug that has happened as well as instructions on how to fix it. It is critical that you follow the instructions given exactly as they are written.

4. Update Windows

  1. To launch the Settings app, tap on the Windows key + I, then select Windows Update from the left menu.update-windows windows live photo gallery encountered an error loading wix photoviewer.dll
  2. If you need to download any new updates, click the Install now option and wait for the procedure to complete; otherwise, click the Check for updates button.check-updates windows live photo gallery encountered an error loading wix photoviewer.dll

The problem could be caused by an earlier version of Windows, which can be resolved by updating to the most recent version. An update will almost certainly address and repair the File Explorer search problem.

Who can see my OneDrive files?

Since you can easily save files in your OneDrive from FileExplorer directly, the default setting allows only you to access this page. It’s similar to your local disk, my documents feature, or your desktop computer. So there’s no need to be concerned about confidentiality or security.

file explorer onedrive file explorer search not working

If you share a OneDrive file with someone, that person will undoubtedly have access to that file. However, you may always revoke the permissions at any moment by heading to the Sharing option from the drop-down menu.

Don’t even consider saving data on your local desktop in the mistaken belief that they are safer. OneDrive for Business is designed to protect the confidentiality and security of your information. Furthermore, it provides you with a plethora of advantages.

One of those advantages is files on-demand syncing. As a result, customers no longer have to sync their whole OneDrive structures, instead, they can simply select the files that should be made available on specific devices.

Given the fact that mobile phone and tablet storage is limited and generally cannot be expanded, customers have the option to sync documents that they wish to take with them across all of their devices without incurring additional costs.

Another advantage is availability. It is always available. You can rest certain that users will always be able to access the content they have stored on it. In fact, since 2015, Microsoft has maintained at least a 99.97 percent uptime rating for its services.

Accessibility is another great advantage of the OneDrive feature, as you can easily store files and access them right from your File Explorer window.

Content that users generate and collaborate on may now be managed centrally by organizations, and users can now work with content that has been appropriately secured by organizations.

Overall, OneDrive is by far the most user-friendly, most secure, and most integrated personal storage option currently available on the market, according to our research.

If you experience issues with it, we recommend that you check our post on how to get OneDrive to stop popping up on Windows 10/11.

Alternatively, if you are not a fan of the feature, you can remove or disable OneDrive from Windows 11 in no time.

And back to our topic today, users reported their app has been rather slow lately and to this, we have responded with a guide on what to do if File Explorer is lagging in Windows 11.

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments section below as well as whether you are using OneDrive or not.

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