[SOLVED] Windows 10 Search Bar not working

Aug 30, 2021
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This problem has been discussed here and in other forums before, but none of the suggested fixes I tried solved it.

The search box in the taskbar sometimes accepts 1 or 2 keystrokes if you’re quick enough. Usually, when you just click on it, it looks like it has the focus (marquee around the box), busy cursor for a few seconds, then seems to give up, i.e. the focus (and any text you may have been able to get in) disappears.

The other related feature that doesn’t work is the search in Settings. I can type text in the box, e.g. “Update”, it searches for about a minute and tells me “No results for Update”.
Not sure if this is relevant here, the touchpad cursor briefly hangs every few minutes or so, even though the CPU or Disk activity is not overly high.

Windows Explorer Search works fine!

The machine is an Acer Aspire E1-570.
Windows 10 Home, vs 20H2, 19042.1165, Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.3530.0
No 3rd party virus checker

I don’t know at what point this problem first occurred, what update etc. It came with problem to me.

What I have tried (throughout these steps the problems stayed exactly the same, rebooted between steps etc.):
  • Applied the latest W10 updates. It was way behind, took about an hour and a few cycles to bring up to date.
  • Ran the Search and Index Troubleshooter
  • Toggled the Taskbar Settings for Search between: Hidden/Show Icon/Show box
  • Effectively most Fixes in https://www.wintips.org/fix-cannot-type-in-windows-10-search-bar:
    • Restarted Explorer and Search
    • Ran ctfmon.exe
    • Re-registered Modern Apps (Powershell Get-AppXPackage |…)
    • Ran DISM .exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth & SFC /scannow
    • But NOT: Repair Windows 10 with an in-place Upgrade (too onerous for now)
  • Powershell: $manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation +… (possibly the same as Re-registered Modern Apps above)
  • Increased the page file size (which someone suggested)
  • I read about Cortana but am confused. Some say to disable it, others to restart it etc. Originally I found it running as a task. I did the Repair and Reset functions in Settings/Apps, no change. When I execute Cortana from the Start Menu, it hangs around for a while, then tells me it is not available in my region (New Zealand). So I terminated it and disabled it from running at start-up. When I click on “Type here to search” box (which still doesn’t accept text and loses focus), it does not start a Cortana task. (A second, fully functioning machine on my desk doesn’t run a Cortana task either.)
  • Microsoft recommends to end SearchUI, and thereby force a restart upon use (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-client/shell-experience/fix-problems-in-windows-search). However, there is no SearchUI process in the Taskmanager/Details list. The functioning machine also has no SearchUI process.
Any suggestions are appreciated (short of re-installing W10 ;-)
 
Aug 30, 2021
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Thanks for the suggestion, but no luck.

Cortana is now in the Task Manager, in the Details tab its status shows as "suspended". (As I said, I have a working machine with no Cortana running).
 

MJS WARLORD

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Jul 3, 2016
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I had a problem like this and it might be easier to fix than you imagine.
Sometimes after a windows update the lights of my keyboard do random patterns ( no keyboard software installed ) and i cant type anything.
This quick fix works for me so just give it a try , before you turn your pc on unplug your keyboard and wait till you get to the desktop , after a short while you will see a keyboard not detected message , not plug in the keyboard and see what happens.
 
Aug 30, 2021
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Thanks, I've seen this suggestion somewhere before. But this is a conventional laptop, short pulling it to bits, I cannot unplug the keyboard.
 
Aug 30, 2021
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Thx for pointing me this way, Kerberos. (Never in 40 years of IT did I have a need for the Event Viewer ;)) I had dozens of the same error (Event ID 1000) referring to SearchApp.exe.

Under https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/windows-searchapp-error/8db410bd-6fc7-4d9e-a971-7fdb46371c97 I found one thing I hadn't seen - or taken notice of :cautious: - in 3 days of working on this, namely just deleting files under ...Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy\Settings

The author forgot to mention to stop the SearchApp first otherwise deleting all files is not possible. After that the search worked instantly, also the search in Settings. No reboot necessary. Yeah!!!

I could have easily reinstalled Windows or some similar invasive operation. But who knows, all these other things I did earlier may have been necessary too, just didn't take effect with some faulty settings still in place. BTW, Cortana is not necessary for the Search. I disabled it and all's still well, and it seems snappier now, perhaps because it doesn't look on the web or engages fancy AI stuff, which is not supported in this country anyway.
 
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