10 Fixes for Unable to Type in Windows 10/11 Search Bar

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Windows 10 and 11 feature a search bar with Cortana integrated right into it for voice search. But many users find that they are unable to type in the Windows 10/11 search bar when they click on it. Reasons for Search bar errors include problematic services or processes, corrupted Cortana installations, and search index corruption. If you are facing the same issue then try these fixes to solve the problem and get the search feature working again.

List of contents

1. Restart Windows Explorer and Cortana Processes

Windows Explorer and Cortana are two important processes required by the search feature to function properly. If searching has problems, you will need to restart both of these processes using Task Manager.

1. Press the button Ctrl + Shift + Esc at once to open Task Manager.

2. Find processes Windows Explorer in the list and right click on it. Select an option Restart from the context menu.

3. Now, find the process Cortana in the list and right click on it. Select an option End Task .

4. Close Task Manager.

5. Press Windows key + C to open Cortana.

2. Configure the Windows Search Service

The Windows Search Service not running by mistake or being disabled can be another reason why you are unable to type in the Windows search bar. Here’s how to tweak the service:

1. Press Windows key + R to open Run dialog box. Type Service and press enter.

2. Find a service Windows search and right click on it. Select an option Restart .

3. Close the Services window.

3. Try the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

Windows offers several troubleshooters to diagnose and fix operating system features. You can use the Windows Search and Indexing troubleshooter to find problems with the search bar.

1. Press Windows key + I to open the application Arrangement. Navigate to Troubleshoot > More troubleshooters.

2. Find a fixer Search and Indexing and click button run .

3. Select the checkbox Unable to start search and view results. Click Furthermore.

4. Wait for the utility to find and fix problems with search. Closed troubleshooter window.

4. Rebuild the Search Index

An outdated and damaged search index can result in erroneous or slow search results. Because this feature is tied to the search bar, you must manually re-index it.

1. Press Windows key + R to open Run dialog box. Type control/name Microsoft. IndexingOptions and press enter.

2. At the window Indexing optionsclick the button Advanced .

3. Go to section Solution to problem . Click button Get back up next to options Delete and rebuild the index.

4. You will see a pop-up window. Click button OK .

It will take some time to rebuild the index. But you can use the computer while the process is complete.

5. Run the CTFMON Process Manually

The CTFMON process manages all voice and text input in Windows. If the process isn’t running, you won’t be able to type anything in the Windows search bar. Here’s how to run it manually:

1. Press Windows key + R to launch the dialog box run. Type ctfmon.exe and press Enter.

You won’t see any pop-up messages. It will just start the ctfmon utility in the background.

6. Run an SFC and DISM Scan

SFC and DISM are built-in system tools that can help you repair corrupted system files and replace and repair Windows component stores. You must run these scans individually and have internet access. Repeat these steps:

1. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges on your PC.

2. Type the following command and press Enter:


3. After that, type the following command and press Enter:


These two scans will take a long time to complete.

7. Re-register System Apps

If the search bar or other system apps are not working properly, you can list all system apps at once with a PowerShell command. This will remove and then add all the system apps on your PC. Here’s how to do it:

1. Press Windows key + R to launch Run dialog box. Type powershell and press the button Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

2. User Account Control will appear. Click button Yes .

3. Type in the following command and press enter to run it:

Get-AppXPackage-AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation-like”SystemApps”} | For each {Add-AppxPackage-DisableDevelopmentMode-Register”$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

4. Close the PowerShell window.

8. Reinstall Cortana

Still can’t type in the Windows Search bar? Many users removed Cortana which allowed them to type again in the Windows Search bar. That’s because Cortana and Search are integrated. You can’t uninstall Cortana using the Settings app, so you’ll have to use a PowerShell command.

1. Open PowerShell with admin privileges as you did in the previous step.

2. Type in the following command and press enter to run it:

Get-AppXPackage-Name Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | For each {Add-AppxPackage-DisableDevelopmentMode-Register”$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

3. Close PowerShell window. Restart your PC and check if the search bar is working now.

9. Use System Restore

If all the above methods end in despair, you can use System Restore to roll back to the last known good configuration. In this way, you can avoid resetting your Windows PC.

1. Open Run dialog boxtype rstrui.exeand press enter.

2. Click button Furthermore . Choose appropriate restore point, then follow the on-screen instructions to apply the restore point.

3. Your PC will restart for the changes to take effect.

10. Try PowerToys

If you still can’t type in the Windows Search bar, just install a newer and more advanced one.

PowerToys is a free Microsoft application that is also open source. It will equip your Windows computer with a number of features including a powerful and universal search bar. Other features include quickly extracting text from anywhere, finding where the mouse pointer is on the screen, and renaming multiple files at once.

Getting the Search Bar Working Again

Seeking is an important feature. It cripples your productivity when you can’t type in the Windows 10/11 search bar. Begin by restarting the Windows Explorer and Search services. After that run the Search and Index troubleshooter and rebuild the search index. Finally, re-register system apps, reinstall Cortana, or use System Restore.

Did you know that you can now set Windows Search to Google Search? Give it a try because it’s fun and productive too.


Thus the article about 10 Fixes for Unable to Type in Windows 10/11 Search Bar
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