How to Reset Windows Search in Windows 10

How to Reset Windows Search in Windows 10

If you have faced an issue in Windows 10 that Search has 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 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:

Fix search does not work in Windows 10 Start menu

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.

There are two methods of doing that. The first one is the official PowerShell Script provided by Microsoft, and the other one is also a documented method that involves a Registry tweak. Let's review them. Before proceeding, ensure that you have administrative privileges.

To Reset Windows Search in Windows 10,

  1. Download the ResetWindowsSearchBox.ps1 script from the Reset Windows Search PowerShell script, and save the file to a local folder.
  2. Unblock the ResetWindowsSearchBox.ps1 file.
  3. Open an elevated PowerShell.
  4. Type the command: PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -File "<Path of the ResetWindowsSearchBox.ps1 file>". Replace the path portion to the actual path of your downloaded file.
  5. If you are asked Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?, select Yes.
  6. The PowerShell script resets the Windows Search feature. 

You are done!

Note: The above command runs the script with the Execution Policy set to Unrestricted .  Alternatively, you can change it for the CurrentUser scope by running the command Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted. After that, just type the full path to the PS1 file and hit the Enter key.

Finally, a Registry tweak can be used.

Reset Search in Windows 10 in Registry

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. 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.
  4. Restart Windows 10.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

3 thoughts on “How to Reset Windows Search in Windows 10”

  1. Cortana is now a separate module from the windows search bar

    It looks like this reset is only for the search bar
    Am I right?

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