Windows 10's search is broken. Here are some workarounds

Eye roll emoji

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

Nope, it’s not just you. Windows 10’s search bar is broken for many users, according to reports flooding in across social media. Mine’s broken too. It sucks.

Trying to use Windows 10’s native search tool results in an empty, unresponsive black box, rather than the expected list of results. Rebooting doesn’t help. It appears something’s broken on Microsoft’s end.

Tying into that theory, some users have reported that disabling Windows search’s native Bing integration fixes the issue. How To Geek has a step-by-step primer on how to do just that, and if you don’t find the Bing results useful in general, they’re worth disabling anyway.

I found a simpler workaround: Open File Explorer and use its search bar instead to find local files. Works like a charm on my system.

It’s not a good look a mere month after Windows 7 and its rock-solid search were put out to pasture. Windows 10’s search results have never been as good as Windows 7’s, in my opinion. If you want a quick, awesome third-party tool that behaves much better and won’t ruin your day when Bing freaks out, check out Everything by voidtools. It’s an excellent no-cost program, but the develop accepts donations, so if you wind up liking it, toss a coin to your searcher. We covered it in an older article on 9 free tools that make Windows much better. Especially today, it seems.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?