8 Effective Solutions to Resolve Windows 11 Search Issues

Windows 11 has brought a breath of fresh air to the world of operating systems, with its new Start menu, revamped apps, improved user interface, and even support for Android apps. However, some issues that plagued Windows 10 still persist, one of which is the search function failing to work properly. If you find yourself struggling with Windows 11 search not working, fret not! We have compiled a list of effective solutions to help you resolve this issue and get your search function back on track.

Restart Your Computer

Before diving into advanced troubleshooting solutions, it's always worth trying the simplest fix first. Restarting your computer can often resolve minor glitches and refresh the system. Simply press the Windows key, open the new Start menu, click on the Power button, and select Restart.

Restart Windows Search Service

The Windows search service needs to be enabled and running in order for the search function to work properly. To restart the Windows search service, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Task Manager app on Windows 11.
  2. Click on the Services tab.
  3. Select Open Services at the bottom.
  4. Scroll down and right-click on Windows Search.
  5. Choose Restart from the Context menu.

Make sure to open the Properties from the same menu and set the Startup type to Automatic.

Reset Windows 11 Search

Windows 11 search relies on the SearchHost.exe process to function correctly. By restarting this task, you may be able to fix the search not working error. Here's how:

  1. Open the Task Manager app on Windows 11.
  2. Move to the Details tab.
  3. Scroll down and find the SearchHost.exe process.
  4. Right-click on it.
  5. Select End task from the context menu.
  6. Reboot your computer and let the OS start the process in the background.

Try searching for an app or file again using Windows Search.

Run the Windows 11 Search Troubleshooter

Microsoft provides a built-in troubleshooter tool to tackle search-related issues on Windows 11. Follow these steps to use it:

  1. Open the Settings app on Windows 11 (use Windows key+I).
  2. Go to the System > Troubleshoot menu.
  3. Open Other troubleshooters.
  4. Scroll down and run the Search and Indexing troubleshooter.

Let Windows fix the search and indexing issues for you.

Clear Device Search History

Windows 11 saves your search queries to deliver better search results in the future. However, an overload of search queries can sometimes cause the search function to malfunction. To clear Windows 11 search history, follow these steps:

  1. From the Windows 11 Settings menu, select Privacy & security.
  2. Scroll down to Search permissions.
  3. Select Clear device search history.

From the same menu, you can also disable the Search history on this device toggle.

Run a PowerShell Command

Microsoft recommends using Windows PowerShell to run a command that can fix Windows 11 search issues. Here's how:

  1. Open the Windows PowerShell app on your computer.

  2. Copy and paste the following command in PowerShell:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like "*SystemApps*"} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}
  3. Close Windows PowerShell and reboot your computer.

Disable SafeSearch

If you encounter issues with specific search terms while using Windows 11 search, it's possible that Windows 11's SafeSearch function is causing interference. To disable it, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on Windows 11 (use Windows+I keys).
  2. Go to Privacy & security and open Search permissions.
  3. The SafeSearch setting is set to Moderate. You can turn it off from the same menu.

Update Windows 11

Microsoft regularly releases updates to fix small issues with the operating system. If your Windows 11 search is not working, it could be due to an outdated build on your PC. Make sure to update your OS to the latest version from the Settings app. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Windows Settings app.
  2. Select Windows Update and install the latest Windows 11 build on your computer.

The estimated time remaining will be displayed while installing the new build on your computer.

In Conclusion

Dealing with Windows 11 search not working can be frustrating, as it hinders your ability to quickly access apps and files on your PC. However, before resorting to drastic measures like resetting your PC or rolling back to Windows 10, give the above solutions a try. These effective methods can help you resolve the search issues and get your Windows 11 search function back up and running smoothly.