Start button search broken, slow or shows no results

Applies to: Windows 10


When you select the Start   button and type a few characters to search for a program, recent document or web page: there is a long delay before results show, the start menu closes without showing any results, or the search stops without showing any results.

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This is most likely to work where results are displayed after a long delay.

  1. Press the Start  + E to open File Explorer
  2. Select View > Options > Change Folder and Search Options
  3. On the General tab click Clear

This will clear out the list of recent files shown in Explorer. Note that it will not clear the results shown in the Windows 10 timeline.

This is most likely to work where the start menu closes as soon as you start typing, without showing any results.

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager
  2. Click on the Details tab
  3. Right-click on the explorer.exe entry and select End Task
  4. Wait for about 10 seconds after the taskbar disappears
  5. Select File > Run new task, type explorer.exe and click OK
  6. Within 30 seconds your taskbar should reappear with all your normal icons, and search should be working again

If the above solutions have not helped, or search fails to find any results, then we recommend that you restart your computer: select the Start  button, click Power options  , and select Restart  . This is different to a shutdown and start, and resets a number of features that may be causing the problem.

Further information

If none of the solutions above has helped then contact your IT support team.

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