Fix Search Not Working or Returns Blank in Windows 10

»»»Fix Search Not Working or Returns Blank in Windows 10

Search is one of the cornerstone of Windows 10, where the search icon sits prominently on the Taskbar. In addition, user can just start searching by simply typing in Start Menu or Start Screen, or by speaking into the Mic when the Cortana, the voice-controlled intelligent digital personal assistant, is enabled and integrated with the search.

However, Windows 10 Search may not be working 100% perfectly all the time. On and off, the search may simply not working anymore. It can return no search results, simply presents a blank page, or just displays the “searching” animation indefinitely without returning any results. To make matter worse, the search was just working a while ago, but suddenly stopped working.

There can be many causes for search in Windows 10 to malfunction. For example, the search service may hang or stopped functioning, or the search index may be corrupted. Here’s a few suggestions and possible solutions for the search issues in Windows 10.

Kill & End Cortana’s Process

If you have enabled the Cortana to power the Windows 10 Search, try to end the process of Cortana in Task Manager.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shirt + Esc keyboard shortcut simultaneously, or right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager to open Task Manager.
  2. Hit the More details to expend Task Manager if you don’t see any tabs.
  3. Go to Processes tab.
  4. Select and highlight or right click on the Cortana process listed under “Background processes”, and hit End task.

    Kill Cortana Process

  5. The Cortana process is automatically restarted by the Windows 10.

Prevent Cortana from Accessing Internet

For some reason, some users with Cortana enabled will have Windows 10 Search returns blank, if the PC is connected to Internet. When the PC is not connected to Internet, the search works well.

In order to quickly determine if Cortana with Internet access causing the failure for Windows 10 Search to return correct results, you can disconnect the computer from Internet and then perform a search. If search works instantly and has proper results, then you can follow the steps below to block Cortana from accessing Internet in firewall, while allowing Internet access for all other applications.

Some Cortana functionality that requires Internet access may not be available once it’s blocked via firewall rule, which may almost equivalent to disable Cortana.
  1. Open Win-X menu.
  2. Open Control Panel.
  3. Go to System and Security -> Windows Firewall.
  4. Hit Advanced settings on the left to open Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
  5. Select Outbound Rules.
  6. Locate the following rule:

    Cortana

    or,

    @{Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_x.x.x.x_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy?ms-resource://Microsoft.Windows.Cortana/resources/PackageDisplayName}

    where x.x.x.x can be any version number.

  7. Double click on the rule, or right click on the rule and select Properties from the context menu.
  8. In General tab, select Block the connection under Action section.

    Block Cortana Connection

  9. Click OK to apply the change.

Try to search again, and the search functionality should work immediately.

Restart Windows Explorer

Restarting Windows Explorer service may help to resolve issue related to Windows Search.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shirt + Esc keyboard shortcut simultaneously, or right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager to open Task Manager.
  2. Hit the More details to expend Task Manager if you don’t see any tabs.
  3. Go to Processes tab.
  4. Select and highlight or right click on the Windows Explorer process listed under “Windows processes”, and hit Restart.

    Restart Windows Explorer

Search and Indexing Windows Troubleshooter

  1. Open Win-X menu.
  2. Open Control Panel.
  3. Go to System and Security -> Security and Maintenance -> Troubleshooting.
  4. In Troubleshooting, go to System and Security.
  5. Right click on Search and Indexing and select Run as Administrator.
  6. Select at least Files don’t appear in search results when prompted what problems do you notice.
  7. Follow the wizard to let it detects and fixes any possible problems found.

Restart Windows Search Service

The search in Windows 10 depends on Windows Search service, which may get hang, corrupted, interrupted, frozen or simply not running.

  1. Press Win + R keyboard shortcut to open Run dialog.
  2. Enter services.msc and hit Enter to run Services app.
  3. Right click on Windows Search and select Restart.

    Restart Windows Search Service

Restart the Computer

If all methods above fail to resolve the search issue, try the last resort – restart the computer.

By | 2017-01-10T01:10:59+00:00 January 10th, 2017|Categories: Windows|Tags: , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

LK is a technology writer for Tech Journey with background of system and network administrator. He has be documenting his experiences in digital and technology world for over 15 years.

Connect with LK through Tech Journey on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!