Windows Search Missing in the Start menu

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If the Windows search in the Start menu is missing, you may be interested in this article.

Using the Windows Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

This tool helps diagnose and fix common issues with Windows Search.

  1. Access the Troubleshooter:
    • Go to Start > Settings.
    • Select Update & Security.
    • Choose Troubleshoot.
    • Under ‘Find and fix other problems’, select ‘Search and Indexing’.
  2. Run the Troubleshooter:
    • Start the Search and Indexing troubleshooter.
    • Select the problems you’re experiencing when prompted.
    • Allow Windows to detect and solve the issues.
  3. Review the Results:
    • After completion, review the solutions or recommendations provided.
    • If issues are resolved, no further action is needed.

For command line enthusiasts, open the troubleshooter via the command prompt:

  • Press Windows key + R, type cmd, and select OK.
  • In the command prompt, execute: msdt.exe -ep WindowsHelp id SearchDiagnostic.


Restart the Windows Search Service

This process helps in refreshing the Windows Search functionality.

  1. Open Task Manager:
    • Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys simultaneously.
    • Select ‘Task Manager’ from the options provided.
  2. Find the SearchUI Process:
    • In Task Manager, select the ‘Details’ tab.
    • Look for ‘SearchUI.exe’ in the list.
  3. End the Process:
    • Right-click on ‘SearchUI.exe’.
    • Choose ‘End Task’ from the context menu.
    • Confirm the action if prompted.
  4. Restart Your Computer:
    • After ending the SearchUI process, restart your computer.
    • This will ensure that the changes take effect and the search service restarts properly.

Note: The Windows Search process will automatically restart the next time you use the search function. However, if the issue persists, consider other troubleshooting methods or contact Microsoft support for further assistance.

Reset Windows Search

Resetting Windows Search can resolve issues with search functionality. Follow the steps below based on your version of Windows.

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For Windows 10, version 1809 and earlier:

  1. Reset Cortana:
    • Select Start, right-click Cortana, then choose More > App settings.
    • In the Cortana settings, select Reset.

For Windows 11, Windows 10, version 1903, and later:

  1. Use PowerShell to Reset Windows Search:
    • Download the ResetWindowsSearchBox.ps1 script from the official Microsoft website.
    • Right-click the downloaded file and select ‘Run with PowerShell’.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.

    Note: You might need to change the PowerShell execution policy to run this script. Follow the instructions carefully and revert any changes to the execution policy after completing the reset.

After resetting, restart your computer and check if the search functionality is working correctly. If issues persist, consider other troubleshooting methods or contact Microsoft support.

For more detailed instructions, visit Microsoft’s official guide.

Disable Windows Search Integration with Bing

Disabling Bing integration can sometimes resolve issues with the Windows Search functionality. This process involves modifying the Windows Registry, so it is recommended only for advanced users.

  1. Open Registry Editor:
    • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
    • Type regedit.exe and press Enter or click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Modify Registry Settings:
    • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search.
    • Locate the BingSearchEnabled and CortanaConsent parameters.
    • Set the value of both parameters to 0. If these parameters do not exist, you may need to create them as REG_DWORD values.
  3. Restart Your Computer:
    • After making the changes, restart your computer for them to take effect.

Be cautious when editing the registry as incorrect changes can cause serious system problems. Always back up the registry before making any changes.


Advanced Steps to Reset and Reinstall the Search App

These advanced steps involve using PowerShell commands to reset and reinstall the Windows Search app. They are recommended for experienced users.

  1. Run PowerShell as Administrator:
    • Right-click on the Start button and select ‘Windows PowerShell (Admin)’.
  2. Stop the Windows Search Service:
    • Type the command Get-Service WSearch | Set-Service -StartupType Disabled -PassThru | Stop-Service -Force and press Enter.
  3. Restart Windows:
    • Restart your computer to apply the changes.
  4. Remove the Universal Search App:
    • Execute the command Get-AppxPackage -Name *Search* | Remove-AppxPackage and Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name *Search* | Remove-AppxPackage in PowerShell.
  5. Delete the Application Folder:
    • Manually delete the folder %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Search_cw5n1h2txyewy.
    • Change the owner of the folder to the local Administrators group before deleting.
  6. Reinstall the Universal Search App:
    • In PowerShell, run Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name *Search* | % {Add-AppxPackage -Path ($_.InstallLocation + "\Appxmanifest.xml") -Register -DisableDevelopmentMode -ForceApplicationShutdown}.
  7. Restart the Windows Search Service:
    • Run Set-Service WSearch -StartupType Automatic in PowerShell.
  8. Final Restart:
    • Restart your computer again to ensure all changes are correctly applied.

Be cautious when performing these steps, as they involve significant changes to system settings. It’s recommended to back up your system before proceeding.




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