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Can’t type in Windows 10 Search Bar fix

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  • 5 min read

Windows 10 released with a slew of features to enhance productivity and user experience. One such feature is the Cortana search bar in which you can just type any setting, utility or application name and launch it straight from there.

This is a very handy feature if you need to look for a particular something really quickly. However, there have been continued reports by users on online forums that the feature wasn’t working for them and they couldn’t really type in the search bar at all.

Now you could always use third-party software like Copernic to look things up on your PC but it won’t solve the underlying issue with your Windows installation.

In this article, we’re going over four methods using which you can fix the typing issue in the search bar of your Windows machine.

Also read: How to remove the Pin from Windows 10?

How to fix not being able to type in the Search bar?

As mentioned above, there are three methods using which you can resolve the “can’t type in Windows search bar” issue, namely, using the Powershell command, executing an alternative user input file, restarting Cortana processes and restarting the Windows explorer and we’ve discussed all three of them below; choose anyone you like to resolve the issue..

Using a Powershell command

In most cases, you can kickstart the search functionality by running a command manually in Windows Powershell.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and click on Windows Powershell (Admin) option.

Step 2: Type (or copy) the following command and press Enter.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like "*SystemApps*"} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}

Now try typing in the search bar. It should be working. If for whatever reason the issue persists, head back over to Powershell as shown above and type in the following command.

$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + 'AppxManifest.xml' ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest

Press Enter after you’re done typing in the Powershell window and then reboot your computer. This should fix the issue.

Also read: How to install PHP on Windows manual?

Executing an alternative user input file

Step 1: Open Windows Explorer and head over to the following directory – C:\Windows\System32.

Step 2: Search for ctfmon.exe in the directory.

Step 3: Right-click on the executable file and click on Open from the context menu.

Your search bar should start working now; however, if it doesn’t you can also try the two methods mentioned below.

Also read: How to change the taskbar colour in Windows 10?

Restarting the Cortana Process

Step 1: Right-click on the task bar and select Task Manager.

Step 2: Under the Processes tab, look for Cortana.

Step 3: Right-click on the process and click on End Task

Step 4: Try typing in the search bar again to restart the Cortana process.

Also read: How to insert the ‘angle’ symbol in Word?

Restarting the Windows Explorer

Step 1: Launch the Task Managar as mentioned above.

Step 2: Under the Processes tab, look for Windows Explorer

Step 3: Select the task and click the Restart button in the bottom right. 

We hope this guide to resolve the “can’t type in search bar in Windows 10” issue. If you’ve any more ways to solve the issue, comment down below and let us know. If you’re facing any other issue in Windows, Android, iOS or Linux, let us know in the comments too and we’ll do our best to put out a guide for it too.

Also read: How to unhide a folder in Windows 10?


Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

  • Patty C. Lewis says:

    Hey! Thanks for this wonderful post. Great content for getting the proper information regarding the subject. Thanks again for sharing such excellent information with us launching on windows.

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