Top 9 Ways to Fix Search Not Working in Windows 11

is similar to Spotlight search on MacWindows carries similar functions for searching for files, applications, and folders. But what if Windows search fails or shows irrelevant results? You have no choice but to manually search for the things you are looking for, which is time consuming and unproductive. Alternatively, you can use the tricks below and fix search not working in Windows 11.

Windows 11 search is tightly integrated into the start menu. You can press the Windows key on your keyboard and start typing to search for files on your computer. Let’s fix search issues once and for all on your PC.

1. Add a search icon on the taskbar

If you’re having problems searching in the start menu, you have another option to open the search as well. You can place a search shortcut on the taskbar and navigate through queries with a single click.

Noticeable: By default, Windows 11 integrates search on the taskbar. You may have disabled it to free up space at the bottom.

Step 1: Press the Windows Key + I shortcut to open the Windows Settings menu.

Step 2: Go to Personalization and select Taskbar.

Step 3: Enable search toggle.

Click the magnifying glass icon, and try to search for files and applications.

2. Run the search troubleshooter

Microsoft offers a built-in troubleshooting tool for finding and fixing Windows Search problems. Here’s how to use it and fix search not working in Windows 11.

Step 1: Launch Windows Settings and go to the System menu.

Step 2: Select Troubleshoot and open other troubleshooting tools from the following menu.

Step 3: Scroll down and select Run next to Search and Indexing.

Windows will run a troubleshooter and help you fix search problems on your PC.

3. Restart SearchHost services

When you turn on your computer, Windows automatically starts background search services. Sometimes, if the operating system fails to do so, the search will not work. Follow the steps below and restart Windows Search Services using Task Manager.

Step 1: Right-click the Windows key on the taskbar and select Task Manager.

Step 2: Go to the “Details” tab.

Step 3: Scroll to the SearchHost.exe process.

The fourth step: Right-click on it and select End task.

Try searching for something on your computer and Windows will resume the search services.

4. Improved search indexing

Are you having problems finding files within folders? Windows may use classic indexing that searches only the Documents, Pictures, and Music folders. You need to make a modification in the settings.

Step 1: Start the Windows Settings menu and go to Privacy & Security.

Step 2: Select Search Windows under the Windows Permissions menu.

Step 3: Select the radio button next to Enhanced and close the menu.

From now on, Windows will search your entire PC. This may result in high CPU consumption and may affect battery life.

5. Check for excluded folders

If you tell Windows not to search certain folders, the data will not appear in the search results. You can check for excluded folders and remove them if you like.

Step 1: Go to Privacy and Security in Windows Settings (see steps above).

Step 2: Click Search Windows.

Step 3: Check excluded folders from search results. Select the three-dot menu next to the relevant folder and select Remove.

Windows can now search all the removed folders on the computer.

6. Restart Windows Search

If you are still having problems searching on your computer, you can restart the Windows Search service. Here’s how.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Services. Press the Enter key.

Step 2: Scroll down to Windows Search.

Step 3: Right click on it and select Restart.

7. Clear the device’s search history

If your computer is affected by corrupted search data, you may encounter problems. So it’s a good idea to clear your search history and start from scratch. However, after clearing the search history, the initial few searches will be a bit slow.

Step 1: Open the Privacy and Security menu in Windows Settings (check the steps above).

Step 2: Select Search Permissions.

Step 3: Select the Clear device search history button.

8. Check Indexed Sites

When you have important files stored in C: drive or D: drive, you need to make sure that Windows Search can index them.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Indexing options.

Step 2: Click Modify and enable Local Disk Drive.

Press OK, and you are good to go.

9. Update Windows 11

The last resort to fix search not working in Windows 11 is to update the software on your PC. Head over to the Windows Update menu in Settings and install the pending update.

Navigate through search queries on Windows

You don’t need to remember the file location or make your taskbar crowded with dozens of apps and games. Use Windows search and access those apps and documents in no time.

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