Re: [solved] missing start menu search field

David Goldfield

JM, You can, of course, try any method that you think is best. I still think that creating a new user account wouldn't hurt. Doing this is a very quick process. You might find that the issue will go away and, if it does not, you can remove the account just as quickly.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019
On 9/18/2020 7:00 AM, JM Casey wrote:

Hey David.


I was reading up on this, believe me I’ve been trying to solve this problem for hours now. I almost created a new user profile, but didn’t. I tried a few more things but to no avail. I then tried a system resotre, which I should probably have attempted earlier, only to my chagrin I thought restore was turned off – turns out that was just the automatic creation of restore points (believe me, it’s on now that’s for sure) – but Windows saved one prior to an update on september 10. SO I restored to that point and put a pause on updates for a while.

Now things are – different and maybe better? But still broken.

Start search (windows key + s) now says ‘search box” or ‘search” instead of nothing. When I type into the field, I can read what I’m typing on my braille display (this wasn’t happening yesterday, it would just say “start” and then nothing or “start, pinned tiles” or something like that.

But search still doesn’t work. When I type in terms, the computer seems to freeze for a moment, or at last I have no screen-reader output. Eventually I get screen-reader output again, but no search results.

The beahviour of the search in file explorer (f3 or shfit-tab a couple of times from an open folder)  is the same as it was when things initially broke. I can type into the field, but the list view does not alter (it still shows the subfolders and files in the open folder as if I hadn’t searched for anything).


I’m now trying to re-index my files.

Next step will be to try running the powershell script to reset search again.

Then maybe I’ll try sfc and dism once again now that I’m restored to an earlier point and the search behaviour is, at least, indicative that something is happening or it’s “trying” to do what is intended.



From: <> On Behalf Of David Goldfield
Sent: September 18, 2020 6:50 AM
Subject: Re: [win10] missing start menu search field


Out of curiosity have you checked to see if this problem occurs when logging onto other user profiles? To add to that have you created a new user profile to see if the search box appears as expected? I recently was wrestling with a problem that I was having which, admittedly, had nothing to do with the issues you're experiencing. The problem made no sense and all logical solutions that I attempted did nothing to fix it. I eventually realized that the problem was not occurring in other user profiles. Rather than investing a lot more time to address an odd issue which I was only seeing in my user profile I ensured that important documents and user data was backed up, created a fresh user account, restored my files and I'm now a happy camper.


David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

On 9/18/2020 12:03 AM, JM Casey wrote:

Alright, ran sfc and change in search behaviour at all.

I think cortana is not running somehow and possibly some other processes

I checked the services.msc and search does appear to be enabled, but shouldn’t there be something called search UI? That doesn’t appear to be in the list of running windows processes.



From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: September 17, 2020 10:26 PM
Subject: Re: [win10] missing start menu search field



      You've just done the first step, which is often not done, that's at the start of  Britechguy’s Standard Advice Regarding Windows 10 Issues and Their Repair.


The next would be using SFC/DISM, followed by a repair install.  I doubt you're every going to reach "the thermonuclear option" which would be a completely clean reinstall.

       I will get back on my soapbox about taking system image backups.  If you were unable to get anything to work its magic prior to having to do a completely clean reinstall, you'd have a fully functioning Windows 10 you could restore and then update again.  

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041

A man's worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.

       ~ Thomas H. Huxley (1876)

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