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FIX: Windows 10 File Explorer search not working

Often, while searching something important in the Windows 10 File Explorer, you might have ended up getting no search results. If you relate to it, then remember that you are not alone. A lot of Windows 10 users have reportedly complained about such a similar issue where no item or search result is displayed for what they typed in.

However, getting a “No items match your search” message in Windows 10 File Explorer is not new, and there are quite a lot of fixes available. Follow the fixes mentioned in this article below and resume back to using the File Explorer search again.

FIX: Windows 10 File Explorer search not working

Fixes for Windows 10 File Explorer search not working

When you get the message “No items match your search,” it means that the Windows 10 File Explorer search is not working. But before you go through the processed fixes, we recommend you to try these quick workarounds first:

  • Reboot or restart your system.
  • Check for any pending Windows 10 updates.
  • Press the Esc button.

But if these workarounds are not your solutions then try the fixes below:

FIX 1- Restart the File Explorer

Restarting the File Explorer is the first method we recommend you for using to Fix the “Windows 10 File Explorer not working”. Follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Firstly, press Windows + X or right-click the taskbar to open the Task Manager.
  2. On the next window, go to the Processes tab, then select Windows Explorer and then click the Restart Button located at the end of the page.

Once done, check if the issue has solved or if it persists.

FIX 2- Re-build Search Indexing

  1. Firstly, open the Run dialogue box by pressing Windows + R altogether.
  2. Type the command, “exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL srchadmin.dll” or copy it on an empty text field and click on OK.
  3. On the Indexing options window, click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Choose the tab File types, Select Index properties and files contents and then click on OK
  5. Now on the Re-index confirmation prompt pop-up, click on OK

FIX 3- Run the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

  1. On the Windows search bar type and open the Settings window.
  2. Now click on the option Update and security.
  3. From the left pane, select Troubleshoot.
  4. Scroll through the list, click on Search and Index and then select Run the troubleshooter.

It will now detect and display the problems after a while. Resolving them will fix the Windows 10 File Explorer search not working.

FIX 4- End the Cortana Process

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys altogether.
  2. On the Task Manager window, locate Cortana and then right-click on it to select End task.

Doing so will restart the Cortana process and fix the Windows 10 File Explorer search not working issue. But if it persists, try the next process.

 FIX 5- Ensure that the Windows search service is Enabled

  1. Open the Run dialogue box by pressing Windows + R altogether
  2. On the empty text field type “services.msc” and then click OK to open the Services window.
  3. From the ‘name’ column, locate the option Windows search and right-click on it to select Properties.
  4. Now on the ‘Windows search Properties pop-up’ make sure the Start-up type is automatic. If not, open the drop-down menu and select Automatic. Also, ensure the service status has to be Running. And if not, make it running by clicking on the Start button given there.
  5. Lastly, click on Apply and then select OK to save the changes.

Once the process is done, check if the Windows 10 File Explorer search have started working or not.

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FIX 6- Allow files to have Contents Indexed

Often, the “File Explorer displays no search results” appears because the involved drive doesn’t allow indexing file contents. If this is true in your case, then follow the steps given below:

  1. Go to File Explorer and select the option This PC.
  2. Under the Device & drives section right-click on the involved drive to select Properties.
  3. On the next interface, tick the checkbox located before “Allow files on this drive to have content indexed in addition to file properties.”
  4. Now click on Apply > OK.
  5. Once done, reboot your system, and the File Explorer search will work fine now.

Note: If you are unsure about the drive with target files stored on, repeat the same process with all your drives.

FIX 7- Change the File Explorer options.

  1. Launch the Run dialogue box and type “ exefolders” into the empty text field.
  2. Click on OK, and the file explorer window will open.
  3. Now select the View tab and locate the option “Launch folder windows in a separate process.”
  4. Toggle the option and then click on Apply > OK to save the changes.

Once done, restart your system, launch the Windows File Explorer and type something in the search bar. Check if the issue has solved or if it persists.

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FIX 8- Repair the system files

Corrupt system files can lead to various Windows issues, and File explorer search not working is one of them.

  1. Open the Run dialogue box, type in “cmd” and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run the Command prompt as administrator.
  2. Type the command “exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth,” press Enter and wait for the process to complete.
  3. Lastly, use the System file checker tool, type “SFC/scannow” and press Enter.

After the scanning process is done, check if the Windows 10 File Explorer is working fine or not.

FIX 9- Create a fresh administrator account

The last fix which you can try when all of the above-mentioned ones have not worked for you is creating a new administrator account. You can use this newly made account to fix the search issue.

  1. Open the Settings window.
  2. Now navigate through Accounts > Family & other people > Add someone else to this PC.
  3. Now choose the option “I don’t have the person’s sign-in information” and then click on “Add a user without the Microsoft Account.”
  4. Fill the required information for the new account and click on Next.
  5. Go back to account settings, choose the new account > Change account type >Administrator, and click on OK.
  6. Go to the following address “C:\Users\<original-account\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy”.
  7. Now rename the target folder as “Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.old”.
  8. Now restart your system > sign in with the original account > input the command “Powershell” and press Enter.
  9. Execute to the following path “Add-AppxPackage -Path “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\Appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register”.

Once you are done with the complete process, again restart your system and check if the File explorer search is working now. This process is a bit lengthy and tricky but has worked well for quite a lot of users.

We hope you are successfully able to fix the “Windows 10 File Explorer search not working” with the methods as mentioned above. Meanwhile, if nothing works for you, you can try from the other Windows search alternatives that are free and work at par or even better than File explorer.

The above-mentioned solutions are reliable easy to execute. As well as you can try all these fixes without the help of any technical hands. If you have any queries or feedback, please write down the comment in the below comment box.

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