Windows 10: Search is broken – how to fix it (Feb. 5, 2020)

[German]Currently there seems to be a serious issue for Windows 10 users (only version 1909): The search via start menu is down and works worldwide no longer. It's a know issue, Microsoft is rolling out a sever side fix – here is a workaround so far.


A user comment: My start menu search is broken

The first hint I got from German blog reader Dietmar Haimann within this comment in the German blog:

Das nicht, dafür geht scheinbar weltweit die Suche in Windows 10 1909 nicht.

It says, that the search in Windows 10 Version 1909 doesn't work worldwide. A short Internet search didn't reveal any hit a few hours ago. I run a test within my Windows 10 test machine, but the search worked flawless.

Note: I know now why – after the start menu issues in Sept. 2019 I've deativated the Bing start menu search.

A user mail: Start menu search broken

Then I received two hours later an email from German blog reader Mark S. with the title 'Win10 Start menu search'. Mark wrote:

Hello, Mr. Born,

we have no more start menu search today under Win 10. The field remains black.

Both domain machines and standalone machines are affected.

The search usually works for a short time and then not at all.

Anything known in that direction?

The search indexing troubleshooter reports "Incorrect permissions in the Windows search directory".

I just pointed him to the first comment, which Mark responded with a second mail, making the whole thing even more cryptic.

…. Interestingly, the computers that are disconnected from the internet are not affected yet, at least what I can find out so far.

All PCs have the same update status (domain and standalone). Uninstalling from last week's updates hasn't brought any changes.

After another seach I found some mentions within the Internet, saying that it's a know issue. Bing search has to be blamed, and Microsoft is working on a server side fix.


Broken Bing search – a workaround

The colleagues from German and also Lawrence Abrams from Bleeping Computer have also taken up the topic. You should disable the Bing search a workaround using the following .reg file deactivates this search:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


This is also consistent with the observation of blog reader Mark, who explicitly mentions that machines without Internet access are not affected. Mark just informed me by 3rd mail that this fix was worked. After he deactivated the Bing search via registry, the search works again. Shows again how broken this Windows 10 is basically.

Similar articles:
Microsoft Teams down due to certificate failure (Feb. 3, 2020)
Windows 10 V1903: MS investigating the Search/Cortana issue (09/03/2019)

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4 Responses to Windows 10: Search is broken – how to fix it (Feb. 5, 2020)

  1. Mark says:

    Many thanks for your post. The fix indeed helped! I had to end and restart explorer.exe after applying the registry mods.

  2. proqress says:

    omg you solved my friend

  3. thanks says:

    thank you. it worked.
    hard to find anything online about this…

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  5. AnnoyedByWIN10 says:

    Does NOT solve the issue – at least if you are on WIN 10 PRO on Windows Insider program SLOW lane.
    What freaks me out is that if I create a new "Other"user the Search works there.
    But I refuse to transfer all my apps and settings there..
    These are the times I begin to miss Apple OS.

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