The search bar is an extremely important feature on Windows 11. It offers you quick access to apps, services, and allows you to search within your PC, apps, documents, web, and more. The Search Bar also provides you shortcuts to recently used apps, top apps, and more. To access the search bar, you can either press the search icon (Magnifier-shaped) placed on the Taskbar or press the Windows + S key combination to activate it.
If the search bar on Windows 11 is not working or fails to load on your device correctly, you can try rebooting your system for starters and see if it resolves the issue. If restarting your machine doesn’t do the trick, then here are a few simple solutions that you can use to fix the “Windows 11 search bar not working” issue.
Let’s get started.
How To Fix Windows 11 Search Bar not Working
Let’s fix the search issues on your computer with the following tips and tricks.
Solution #1: Check for Updates
Running an outdated version of Windows may trigger unwanted issues on your device. As Windows 11 recently made its public debut in October 2021, Microsoft keeps releasing further updates that include performance improvements and bug fixes.
Hence, to ensure that your device is up to date and running on the latest Windows 11 version, here’s what you need to do.
Press the Windows icon placed on the Taskbar, select “Settings”. Tap on the “Windows Update” option placed on the left menu pane.
Hit the “Check for Updates” button. Wait for a few seconds until Windows checks for any latest updates that are available for your device. If an update is available and ready to be installed, upgrade your device right away.
Solution #2: Pin The Search Icon On The Taskbar
If you’re troubled with the Search in the Start menu, we’ll share another workaround to open Search on your Windows 11. With this workaround, you’ll be able to place a search shortcut on the Taskbar so that you can quickly access the same in a single click.
Note: By default, Windows 11 comes with an integrated search option. But some might disable it to free up space from the Taskbar. For them, simply follow the instructions stated below:
STEP 1 = Launch Windows Settings on your device. You can either press the shortcut keys – Windows + I or take the help of Command Prompt to open Settings. To use the latter method, all you need to do is – hit the Windows + R keys together to launch Run window > type ms-settings: and hit the OK button!
STEP 2 = From the Settings window, navigate to the Personalization tab and select Taskbar from the right side of the window.
STEP 3 = Now, enable the toggle next to the Search option.
That’s it! Now you will see a magnifying glass icon on your Taskbar, where you can start searching for apps, files, and other items. Hopefully, this resolves your issue of “Windows 11 search bar not fixing”.
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Solution #3: Run the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter
As we’re all aware, Windows offers you a variety of built-in troubleshooters that you can use to fix common errors and bugs related to system errors, Bluetooth, WiFi, hardware, and devices. So, in our next workaround, we will be using the search and indexing troubleshooter to fix the search bar on Windows 11. Follow these quick steps:
Tap the Windows icon placed on the Taskbar, select “Settings”. Tap on “Troubleshoot”.
Hit on the “Other Troubleshooters” option.
Scroll down and look for the “Search and Indexing” troubleshooter. Hit on the “Run” button placed right next to it.
Follow the on-screen instructions to run the search and indexing troubleshooter on Windows 11. After running the troubleshooter, reboot your device and see if the search bar is functional again.
Solution #4: Restart the Windows Search Service
As soon as you start your computer, Windows automatically launches the search services in the background. If the Operating System fails to load it in specific scenarios, your Search option won’t work. So, follow the instructions stated below to restart the SearchHost Service on your Windows 11:
STEP 1 = Launch Task Manager and then switch to the “Processes” tab.
STEP 2 =Look for the “SearchHost.exe” process in the list. Once you find it, right-click on it and tap the “End Task” button.
Windows will pop up a confirmation alert on the screen. Hit on “End Process” to confirm your action.
Solution #5: Enable Enhanced Indexing
Tap the Windows icon, open Settings.
Switch to the “Privacy and Security” section from the left menu pane.
Tap on “Searching Windows”.
Under the “Find my Files” section, you will see two options: Classic and Enhanced. Hit on “Enhanced”.
If the search bar has become non-functional on Windows 11, switching to “Enhanced search” might fix the issue. It is worth a try!
Solution #6: Keep A Check On Excluded Folders
Possibly, you’ve set your Windows to not search for specific folders. In such cases, Search functionality will not work properly and not display the relevant results. Hence, you need to check the Excluded folders and remove those particular folders. Follow the instructions below:
STEP 1 = Launch Windows Settings, head towards the Privacy & Security module, and select Searching Windows from the right side of the window.
STEP 2 = Now, check the excluded folders from the search results. To remove the relevant folder from the list, simply hit the three-dots icon next to the item and choose the Remove option.
Your Windows Search functionality should not work properly!
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Solution #7: Remove Corrupted Search History
If your device is affected by corrupt search data, you might face the “Search bar not working” on Windows 11. So, we recommend you clear your entire device search history. This is what you need to do to fix the issue:
STEP 1 = Launch Windows Settings, head towards the Privacy & Security module, and select Search permissions.
STEP 2 = On the next window, simply click the button – Clear device search history!
Hopefully, this resolves the annoying problem of the Windows 11 Search bar not working or responding correctly.
Solution #8: Scan your Device for Viruses or Malware
Tried the above-listed troubleshooting methods and still no luck? Well, there may be a possibility that your device is infected with a virus or malware that is triggering the “Windows 11 search bar not working” issue.
To make sure that your PC is 100% virus or malware-free, we recommend you to download and install Systweak Antivirus on your Windows 11 device. Systweak Antivirus is a powerful security tool that offers real-time protection against viruses, malware, spyware, trojans, adware, and other malicious threats. It protects your device and data like a shield and keeps unwanted threats at bay.
Systweak Antivirus offers all-around protection against viruses and malware that can create havoc and damage your computer. Launch the Systweak Antivirus tool, perform a quick scan to eliminate hidden threats and infections.
We hope the above-mentioned solutions help you in fixing the “Windows 11 search bar not working” issue. You can use any of the methods to make the search bar function again on your device. The Search Bar is a useful feature that offers quick access to apps and programs and allows you to search within the device or web.
Do let us know which solution worked out the best for you! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why isn’t the Windows search bar working?
Since Windows 11 is in its infancy, bugs are expected, and Windows 11 search bar not working is one of them.
Q2. How do I get the search bar to work on Windows 11?
There are plenty of workarounds that you can try to fix ‘Search bar not working on Windows 11”. Some of the most effective ones are listed below:
- Install the latest Windows updates
- Pin The Search Icon On The Taskbar
- Run The Search And Indexing Troubleshooter
- Restart The Windows Search Service
- Enable Enhanced Indexing
- Keep A Check On Excluded Folders
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