Software And Applications

Fix Windows File Explorer Search Not Working

Having trouble with Windows File Explorer search not working properly? Let’s explore some solutions to fix this issue.

Restart File Explorer

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
2. Look for Windows Explorer under the Processes tab.
3. Right-click on Windows Explorer and choose Restart from the context menu.

This will restart File Explorer and hopefully resolve any issues with the search function. If the problem persists, you may need to further troubleshoot your Windows system.

Enable Windows Search Service

Windows search bar icon

To enable Windows Search Service, first, open the Control Panel by clicking on the Start menu and typing “Control Panel” in the search bar. In the Control Panel, go to “System and Security” and then click on “Administrative Tools. ” Look for “Services” and double-click on it. Find “Windows Search” in the list of services, right-click on it, and select “Properties.

” In the Properties window, go to the “General” tab and set the “Startup type” to “Automatic. ” Click on “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes. Finally, right-click on “Windows Search” again and select “Start” to enable the service.

Adjust Search Options

Search Option Description Steps to Adjust
Check File Indexing Ensure that file indexing is enabled for faster search results. 1. Go to Control Panel > Indexing Options.
2. Check if the desired drive or folder is being indexed.
3. If not, click on Modify and include the necessary locations.
Reset Windows Search Service Resetting the Windows Search service can resolve any issues related to search functionality. 1. Press Win + R, type services.msc and press Enter.
2. Locate Windows Search service, right-click and select Restart.
3. If the issue persists, right-click and select Properties, then set the startup type to Automatic.
Check Search Settings Ensure that search settings are configured correctly for accurate results. 1. Open File Explorer, go to View > Options > Change folder and search options.
2. In the Search tab, ensure that Include subfolders and Search in file contents are checked.

Enable File Indexing

1. Open the Control Panel.
2. Click on “Indexing Options.”
3. Click on “Modify” and ensure that the correct locations are being indexed.
4. Check the box next to the desired locations.
5. Click on “Advanced.”
6. Click on the “File Types” tab.
7. Make sure the desired file types are included in the index.
8. Click “OK” to save changes.
9. Allow some time for the indexing process to complete.

By enabling file indexing, you can improve the search functionality in Windows File Explorer and ensure that your files are easily accessible.

Rebuild Search Index

To rebuild the search index in Windows File Explorer, click on the Start menu and type “Indexing Options. ” Open the Control Panel and select “Indexing Options. ” Click on the “Advanced” button and then “Rebuild. ” This will delete and rebuild the search index. You can also go to Task Manager, find the Windows Explorer process, and restart it to refresh the search index.

Rebuilding the search index can help fix issues with File Explorer search not working properly. Make sure to allow some time for the index to rebuild completely before testing the search function again.

Run Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

  • Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • Click on Update & Security.
  • Select Troubleshoot from the left pane.
  • Scroll down and click on Search and Indexing.
  • Click on Run the troubleshooter and follow the on-screen instructions.

Repair File/Folder Permissions

  • Check File/Folder Permissions:
    • Right-click on the file or folder that you are having trouble accessing.
    • Select “Properties” from the drop-down menu.
    • Go to the “Security” tab to view the current permissions.
  • Change File/Folder Permissions:
    • Click on the “Edit” button to change permissions.
    • Select the user or group that needs access to the file or folder.
    • Check the appropriate permissions (Full control, Modify, Read & execute, List folder contents, Read, Write).
    • Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.
  • Take Ownership of File/Folder:
    • Go to the “Security” tab in the file or folder’s properties.
    • Click on the “Advanced” button.
    • Go to the “Owner” tab and select the user you want to take ownership.
    • Check the box that says “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects”.
    • Click “Apply” and then “OK” to take ownership.

Update Windows

Updating Windows is simple. Just go to the Settings menu, then select Update & Security and click on Check for updates. If there are any available updates, make sure to install them.

After updating Windows, restart your computer and check if the File Explorer search function is now working properly. If the issue persists, you can move on to other troubleshooting steps.


Why is my File Explorer search not working?

Your File Explorer search is not working because the search options may be misconfigured, specifically if the option to search file names and contents is disabled. This could have been turned off by yourself or a third-party program. Fortunately, this setting can easily be turned back on.

Why is the search box not working?

The search box may not be working due to a newly installed Windows update, interference from the Bing search tool, a halted Windows search service, or damaged system files.

Why can’t I search for files on Windows 11?

It seems like you can’t search for files on Windows 11. To resolve this issue, you can check if the folder’s contents are indexed by right-clicking on the folder, going to Properties, and ensuring that “Allow files in this folder to have contents indexed” is selected. Additionally, you can use the Windows Search Troubleshooter located in Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Search and Indexing.

Why is the search box not working in File Explorer Windows 11?

The search box in File Explorer Windows 11 may not be working due to various reasons such as a corrupted or outdated search index, Windows Explorer glitches, third-party antivirus interference, or corrupted system files. The search bar relies on an index to quickly locate files.

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