If you have faced an issue in Windows 10 that Search and Cortana have become slow and consume a notable amount of CPU and memory, or don't find anything, then this can be a real annoying issue. It happens when the user searches for a file or document using the Cortana UI/Search text box in the taskbar but nothing is found. Here is how to reset Search in Windows 10. After the procedure described in this article, Windows 10 Search will be reset completely and return to its state of first logon in the OS.
As you may already know, search results in Windows are instant because they are powered by the Windows Search indexer. It is not new to Windows 10, but Windows 10 uses the same indexer-powered search like its predecessors although it uses a different algorithm and a different database. It runs as a service that indexes file names, contents and properties of file system items and stores them in a special database. There is a designated list of indexed locations in Windows, plus Libraries which are always indexed. So, instead of performing a real-time search through files on the file system, the search performs a query to the internal database, which allows showing results immediately.
If this index becomes corrupted, Search doesn't work. In our previous article, we reviewed how to rebuild the search index in case of corruption. See the article:
However, some heavy corruption cannot be fixed by rebuilding the Search index. If you have faced such kind of corruption, you should try to reset Search. This will not only rebuild the search index but also reset your indexed locations.
To reset Search in Windows 10, do the following.
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key.
See how to go to a Registry key with one click.
- On the right, modify or create a new 32-BIT DWORD value "SetupCompletedSuccessfully". By default, it should be set it to 1. Change its value data to 0.
Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
- Restart Windows 10.
You are done. After that, the search in the Start Menu should start working again. Also, it is a good idea to check out these articles: