5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn’t work

Microsoft’s integration of Windows Search into File Explorer has made searching for files such a joy. However, it continues to have issues that make the File Explorer Finder unusable for some Windows 10 users. In this guide, we highlight five things you can do when searching in Explorer. Windows 10 file doesn’t work on your PC.


5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

The problem with Windows 10 File Explorer is inconsistent and spreads in separate forms. There are times when Windows Search works, but sometimes not. And for some users, the search bar crashes every time they try to do a search. There are also reports that the file explorer did not automatically suggest the files because the keywords are entered in the search bar. Whatever the problem, the troubleshooting fixes detailed below should help restore file explorer search to normal.

By the way, you should try to restart your PC before proceeding to the solutions below. See if that fixes the problem – as it has for some users.

1. Restart Windows Explorer

If the File Explorer search feature doesn’t work, restarting the application might help fix things. You can restart Windows Explorer from Windows Task Manager. Follow the steps below to do so.

Step 1: Launch the Windows quick access menu (use the Windows key + the X keyboard shortcut) and select the Task Manager.

Fixed search for Windows 10 file explorer not working

5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

2nd step: In the Applications section, select Windows Explorer and press the Restart button in the lower right corner of the window.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

You can also right-click Windows Explorer and select Restart.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

This will close all active windows in the file explorer. Launch the file explorer again and check if the search bar works now.

2. Reconfigure the indexing options

If you are sure that a file exists on your computer, but it does not appear in Windows Explorer search results, you need to reconfigure the Windows Explorer indexing options. Follow the steps below to do so.

Step 1: Launch the Run windows using the Windows + R keyboard shortcut.

2nd step: Now copy and paste the command below into the Open dialog and press OK. You can also press the Enter button on your keyboard to continue.

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL srchadmin.dll
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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 3: Then press the Advanced button.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 4: Go to the File Types section.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 5: Now select the option “Index Properties and File Contents” and select OK.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

This will rebuild the Windows Explorer search index based on the indexing option you just selected. Rebuilding this index may take some time.

Step 6: You will receive a prompt informing you that some of your search results may be incomplete, pending the index rebuilding process. Press OK to continue.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Wait a few minutes (say, 30 minutes to an hour) and try searching for files again. If the file explorer search still doesn’t work or doesn’t display files on your computer, continue to the following troubleshooting method below.

3. Run the search and indexing troubleshooter

You can also use the Windows search and indexing troubleshooter to automatically detect and resolve file explorer problems.

Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu and select “Update and Security”.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

2nd step: In the right menu, select Troubleshooting.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 3: On the Troubleshooting page, scroll down to the “Resolve Other Problems” section and select “Search and Index”.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 4: Press the “Run the troubleshooter” button.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

This will launch the “Find and Index” troubleshooter.

Step 5: Select the problems that apply to your computer from the options provided and press Next.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

If you select “My problem is not listed above”, you will be asked to provide a description of the search problem you are having on your computer.

The troubleshooter will diagnose your computer and resolve any detected problems. If no problem has been identified, try the following solution detailed below.

4. Change the file explorer search options

If Windows File Explorer does not display certain file types in the search results, the search functionality of the application has likely been configured to exclude those file types. Follow the steps below to configure the folder search options in File Explorer to include missing file types.

Step 1: Launch Windows File Explorer and go to the View section.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

2nd step: Select Options to launch the File Explorer Folder Options window.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 3: Go to the Search section.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 4: Check these two options (“Include compressed files” and “Always search for file names and contents”).

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Step 5: Click Apply, then OK to save the changes.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

5. Update Windows

The problem finding Windows 10 file explorer that is not working may be due to a bug in the version of Windows operating system installed on your computer. Update your PC to the latest version of Windows 10 to resolve the issue. Launch the Windows Settings menu and select “Update and Security”. If an update is available for your device, tap the Download button.

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5 best fixes for searching Windows 10 file Explorer doesn't work

Then:

If file explorer loads slowly or acts slowly on your Windows 10 computer, try one of these 9 fixes in the linked article below to fix this error and speed things up.

Last updated Jul 6, 2020

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