Unable to use the Search feature on Windows 11? Here’s how you resolve the issues leading to the error with these simple fixes.
Windows 11, one of the finest and most refined versions, has been the talk of the town ever since it was released. It offers a refreshing and straightforward interface. Many new features have been introduced, while some from the previous versions have been left out.
But, just like the previous versions, Windows 11 too is prone to errors. One of the common errors that users encounter is with the ‘Search’ option. The ‘Search’ menu lets you explore both the system and the web for data, right from the Taskbar. However, many users have reported being unable to either view the ‘Search’ button or perform a search.
If you too have encountered this issue, execute the fixes below in the sequence that they are mentioned for a quick and effective fix.
1. Check if the Search Button is Enabled
In most cases, you must have disabled the ‘Search’ button from the Settings. Thus, it won’t be displayed in the Taskbar. Therefore, if you don’t find the ‘Search’ button, your primary approach should be to check the Taskbar Settings.
To enable the ‘Search’ button, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar and select ‘Settings’ from the list.
Next, select ‘Personlization’ settings from the tabs listed on the left, and then scroll down on the right and click on ‘Taskbar’.
Now, check if the toggle next to ‘Search’ is enabled. In case it isn’t, click on the toggle to enable it.
After you have enabled the toggle, the ‘Seach’ button should appear in the Taskbar. If it still doesn’t appear or you are facing issues with search results, try the other fixes.
2. Restart your PC
Restarting the PC is another quick fix that helps resolve most of the trivial issues. When you restart the system, Windows is reloaded, thus fixing any minor glitches or bugs that might be preventing the ‘Search’ from functioning.
To restart the PC, click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press the WINDOWS key to launch the ‘Start Menu’, then click on the ‘Power’ button and select ‘Restart’.
After the computer restarts, check if ‘Search’ starts working. In case the issue persists, move to the next fix.
3. Check Internet Connections
Windows Search displays both results from the system and the web. If you are unable to view the web search results, it could be due to network issues. In this case, check if you can access the web on the browser. If you are unable to connect to the internet, here’s what you do.
If you are connected to the Internet via an ethernet, check if the cable is properly plugged in. In the case of Wi-Fi, reconnect to it and if that doesn’t work, reset the router all together. Also, sometimes the servers are down from the Internet Service Provider’s end. Therefore, check with them as well.
If you can access the web on browsers and other applications, execute the other fixes mentioned here.
4. Check for Updates
If the above fixes have not worked, it could be a bug in the Windows itself. In that case, you should update the Windows, since with each update many bugs are removed.
To update Windows 11, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press WINDOWS + X to launch the ‘Quick Access’ menu, and then click on ‘Settings’.
In Settings, select the ‘Windows Update’ tab listed on the left.
Next, click on the ‘Check for update’ option near the top-right. Any pending updates will now be downloaded and installed on the system.
Once the updates are installed, you may be prompted to restart the computer. After restart, check if the issue with Windows Search is fixed.
5. Run Troubleshooter
Windows 11, like the previous versions, has built-in troubleshooters to fix most of the errors. It also has one for ‘Windows Search’ that will help fix the issues which are preventing it from functioning.
To run the ‘Search and Indexing’ troubleshooter, first, launch the ‘Settings’ as discussed earlier. Next, in the ‘System’ settings, scroll down on the right and select the ‘Troubleshoot’ option.
Now, select ‘Other troubleshooters’ from the options.
You will now find a list of troubleshooters, scroll down, locate ‘Search and Indexing’, and then click on ‘Run’ next to it to start the troubleshooting.
When you run the troubleshooter, it will ask you to select the problem. Tick the checkbox for the problems that you encounter while running ‘Search’ and then click on ‘Next’ at the bottom.
Now, wait for Windows to fix the issue and, if prompted, make the relevant changes. After you have run the troubleshooter, check if the issue is resolved.
6. Check the Windows Search Service
Another possible reason for the issue could be a non-functional Windows Search service. Also, many a time, the service may run into an error, thus leading to the error. Both these issues can be easily fixed on Windows 11.
Press WINDOWS + R to launch the ‘Run’ command, type ‘services.msc’ in the provided section, and then either click on ‘OK’ at the bottom or press ENTER to launch the app.
Now, scroll down and locate the ‘Windows Search’ service. The services here are by default listed in alphabetical order. Check the ‘Status’ column next to the service.
If the ‘Status’ column for Windows Search says ‘Running’, right-click on the service and select ‘Restart’ from the menu.
It will take a few seconds for the service to restart. Once it restarts, check if the issue is fixed.
In case the ‘Status’ column for Windows Search is blank, the service is not running. Now, right-click on the service and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.
In the ‘Properties’ window, click on the drop-down menu next to ‘Startup type’ and select ‘Automatic’. Now, click on the ‘Start’ option under ‘Service Status’ to start the service and finally click on ‘OK’ at the bottom to save the changes and close the window.
After you have started the service, check if you are now able to perform searches with Windows Search.
7. Rebuild Search Index
Windows index files to quickly perform a search and display the results. This process consists of looking through files, apps, and other data on the system and then creating a systematic list. As a result, it considerably speeds up the search process.
In many cases, rebuilding the index can help fix issues with Windows Search. Here’s how you do it.
To rebuild the index, search for ‘Indexing Options’ in the ‘Start Menu’ and click on the relevant search result to launch it.
In the ‘Indexing Options’ window, click on the ‘Advanced’ option at the bottom.
Next, click on ‘Rebuild’ under ‘Troubleshooting’ in the ‘Advanced Options’ window.
Finally, click on ‘OK’ in the confirmation box that appears.
Windows will now start rebuilding the index. It will take some time to complete the process, depending on the amount of data stored on the system. Also, you may face trouble accessing Windows Search while rebuilding is in progress, but you can continue to work on other apps while the process runs in the background.
The above fixes would resolve any issue with Windows Search and get it back up and running. With the Search feature working, you can now easily search for files and other stuff rather than navigating to the location where it’s stored.