Can’t Type in Search Bar In Windows 10? Here Are 5 Troubleshooting Tips to Try

Having trouble typing in the search bar in Windows 10? This is a common problem that many users face, but fortunately there are several ways to resolve it. In this guide, we’ll walk through the top methods to fix can’t type in search bar in Windows 10.

Can't Type in Search Bar In Windows 10

1. Restart Windows Explorer

One of the simplest fixes is to restart the Windows Explorer process. Here’s how:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click the “More details” option if you only see fewer tabs. 
  3. Find “Windows Explorer” in the list of processes. Right click it and select “Restart”.

This will restart the Windows shell and desktop, which often fixes search bar glitches. Try typing in the search box again after Explorer reloads.

2. Enable the CTFMON Process

The CTFMON process manages text input in Windows. If it’s disabled, the search bar may stop working. To enable CTFMON:

Enable the CTFMON Process
  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type “ctfmon.exe” and hit Enter.

You can also add CTFMON to startup so it runs on every boot:

  1. Open Run and type “shell:startup”.
  2. Right click ctfmon.exe and select “Create Shortcut”.
  3. Drag the shortcut to the Startup folder.

3. Rebuild the Search Index

Outdated search indexes can prevent typing in the Windows search bar. Rebuilding the index fixes this.

  1. Open the Indexing Options control panel. 
  2. Go to “Advanced” and click “Rebuild” under “Troubleshooting”.

Let the rebuild run – your search will work again once finished.

4. Run SFC and DISM Scans

Run the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scans to check for OS file corruption. 

Run SFC and DISM Scans
  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt.
  2. Run “sfc /scannow” first, then “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth”.

This will scan and replace any corrupted system files impacting the search feature.

5. Create a New Windows User

Creating a new user profile forces Windows to rebuild various components like the search indexer.

  1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Family & Other Users.
  2. Select “Add someone else to this PC” > “I don’t have sign-in info” > “Add a user without Microsoft account“.
  3. Enter a username and password to create the new account. Log into it and test if search works.

If the problem only appeared on your original profile, this should resolve it. You can then choose to switch to the new profile or delete it.

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