Need another reason that current web search integration is bad in Windows 10?

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 5, 2020
Updated • Feb 6, 2020
Search, Windows

Reports are coming in that search is not working properly on many Windows 10 devices; the issue is different from the recent File Explorer search issue that users experienced and are still experiencing to a degree.

Update: Microsoft marked the issue as resolved "for most users" on the release information page on the company's Docs website.

We are aware of a temporary server-side issue causing Windows search to show a blank box. This issue has been resolved for most users and in some cases, you might need to restart your device. We are working diligently to fully resolve the issue and will provide an update once resolved.

This issue was resolved at 12:00 PM PST. If you are still experiencing issues, please restart your device. In rare cases, you may need to manually end the SearchUI.exe or SearchApp.exe process via Task Manager. (To locate these processes, select CTRL + Shift + Esc then select the Details tab.)


Basically, what is happening currently is that the search interface is entirely black and that searches don't work at all on affected systems. The problem, it appears, is not caused by users or administrators, but by Microsoft.

Microsoft made the decision to interweave Cortana, the digital assistant, and search when it released the operating system. While Cortana and Search have been untangled, Microsoft decided to integrate and improve web search functionality in recent versions.

Search in Windows 10 returns offline and online content by default. Local search works pretty much like it did back in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, online search displays suggestions for the most part.

Microsoft may change search functionality remotely on Windows 10 machines, e.g. to adjust settings or other parameters without having to release a Windows update that does that. That's useful in theory, but not so much if remote issues cause search to stop working at all.

One would think that local search would continue to work if Windows 10 could not connect to remote servers or if some other form of remote connection does not work as expected; this is apparently not the case.

Affected users may want to use third-party search applications such as Everything or one of these desktop search programs to restore search functionality.

Windows Latest suggests that disabling Web Search on affected Windows 10 systems and rebooting the system restores search functionality as well on affected devices.

windows 10 web search

Here is how you do that:

  1. Use Windows-R to display the run box.
  2. Type regedit.exe and hit the Enter-key to start the Registry Editor.
  3. Confirm the UAC prompt.
  4. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search
  5. Locate BingSearchEnabled.
    1. If the value does not exist, right-click on Search in the tree hierarchy of the left sidebar and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value. Name it BingSearchEnabled.
  6. Change the data value of BingSearchEnabled to 0.
  7. Locate CortanaConsent.
  8. Double-click on the value and set it to 0.
  9. Restart the PC.

The change worked on one test PC that was affected by the issue.

The issue is not the first search issue of Windows 10. Microsoft broke search in 2017 in the operating system and Windows 10 version 1903 had several search bugs as well.

Check out our guide on making Windows 10 search faster and more useful.

Now You: do you use Windows 10's web search functionality?

Need another reason that current web search integration is bad in Windows 10?
Article Name
Need another reason that current web search integration is bad in Windows 10?
Reports are coming in that search is not working properly on many Windows 10 devices; the issue is different from the recent File Explorer search issue that users experienced and are still experiencing to a degree.
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  1. xena said on February 11, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Do you use Windows 10’s web search functionality?

    Nope. I never used Windows search after XP as it sucks.

    I use Agent Ransack.

  2. Tree said on February 9, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    I am sticking with Windows 7. Microsoft really screwed things up for us users. They have all the insidious spying of Gurgle, with none of the ease of use. Right now, there are no security updates newly issued for MS browsers, that aren’t available for 7

  3. Croatoan said on February 8, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    You should offer .reg file for download.

    1. obey me said on February 11, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      You should make you own tech news sites and offer .reg file for download.

  4. chesscanoe said on February 7, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    While Windows 10 Search now works again for me, Everything and Total Commander 9.5.0 always make the world go around with a smile.

  5. Random guy said on February 7, 2020 at 9:13 am

    If you’re still getting issues with the search, try running this script from Microsoft:

  6. Papa Don said on February 6, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Restart my A$

  7. Whatever said on February 6, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Please don’t write the ” smart/idiot people”. Nobody has the same experience and many of the Windows users only know how to turn on off and few more thing and that’s all.

    1. snobart said on February 11, 2020 at 3:41 pm


      Yup, some clueless folks are just noobs, yet many more will always be idiots.
      I know, as we (the smart folks) did a statistical analysis of this phenomena.

  8. Dave said on February 6, 2020 at 6:20 am

    Anyone that is suprised by how much data the windows os sends to M$ doesn’t understand how thier own pc works. Ignorance is your fault.

  9. ULBoom said on February 6, 2020 at 3:11 am

    I’ve never had search enabled beyond the device. The results I’ve seen are inane, browsers do much better.

    On and off over the last three days, I’ve been updating my sons Acer laptop with Win 10 Home, a decent machine, nothing really special beyond an Nvidia chip. I gave it to him in 2016 for minor gaming and it never did work well despite no capacity issues shown in Process Manager. Mice and the touchpad were glitchy, games and browsing were rough, he lost interest in using it; overall I didn’t have much hope upgrading would make much difference.

    After 8 hours waiting for Windows Update to install 4 years of updates, I downloaded the v1909 Media Creation Tool, changed the EUFI boot order and in less than 30 minutes had Windows installed from a USB drive. Everything on the laptop was lost but so what? Used Snappy Driver Installer Origin to find drivers and New Improved Win 10 v1909 was up and running.

    Stumbling was more like it, better than before but still rough, annoyingly rough. Another half day playing with settings, replacing Defender with eset, disabling as much as I could and the “experience” was better but still nothing like it could be. The last straw was when Windows Update tried to install an “update” from 2016!

    That’s when I decided Pro would be the only way to maybe fix this thing; absolutely did not want to go anywhere near the MS Store, last time I did it locked me out of my laptop. Off to ebay, Pro upgrade for $6, Ha! Ha! Ha! FU-MS and it worked, yay!

    Another few hours with gpedit, services and task manager (amazing how many features gpedit can “disappear” from Settings) and the little laptop was fantastic! No more uneven pointer movement because of all the background crap going on, windows open instantly, fonts displayed better, colors were much better, silky touchpad, success!

    We installed some Star Wars game via. Origin and it worked great too “Wow! No lag!” “This is great, wicked fast!” “It’s never been like this!” “I can almost play this game with the touchpad, it’s so smooth!” etc, etc.

    I’ve gone through this exercise a few times and the results are always the same; frowns to grins quickly. Use Win 10 Pro, Home can’t be fixed with MS wrecking it with updates and running garbage routines in the background 24/7. No way to access the vast majority of things they can change.

    Shows the core of Win10 is fine, MS’s ever increasing amount of data scraping makes it suck.

  10. Scott said on February 6, 2020 at 2:23 am

    That’s not very nice… Some people are just uninformed.

    I can just as easily say, to you, Idiots use Windows 10… Smart people use Linux !

  11. Jeff said on February 5, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Idiots use Windows 10 search. Smart people use Classic Shell / Open Shell and Everything.

    1. ULBoom said on February 6, 2020 at 3:16 am

      Classic, now Open Shell since Windows 8 for me. Hard to believe anyone likes those stupid squares not to mention the idiotic way they’re arranged. Everything you need is buried.

  12. chesscanoe said on February 5, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    I just updated to Microsoft Edge Dev Build 81.0.410.1 from 81.0.403.1 and now ‘search’ works again. I have no clue why.

  13. Anonymous said on February 5, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Use Startisback. The best $5 I ever spent. No more suffering with Microsoft cloud connected garbage.

  14. Zarnec said on February 5, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    I am honestly surprised there is not more coverage on this topic. Windows 10 local search doesn’t work if you are offline or block Microsoft servers and has been like that since the launch of Windows 10 up to and including now. Or rather, it works very erratically, sometimes finding certain programs and files, sometimes finding others, sometimes finding none. In other words, it’s pretty much unusable and has made me an avid user of Wox and Everything for several years now. It is also a typically Microsoft problem where they have nothing to gain by it not working, but stand to lose much if people began to talk more about it.

  15. Wigglesprocket said on February 5, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    As of today on 2 computers with Windows 10 the Search completely stopped working. If I type a word, I get a blank black screen.

    I had to resort to one of those 3rd party start menu programs to get it to work. Honestly, I’ve never had such idiotic and annoying problems while using XP, Vista or 7. They just worked.

    I’m seriously considering moving to Linux.

  16. mj said on February 5, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I _LOVE_ how a serversided error can fuck up even my local search bar. Absolutely brilliant move.

    1. WTH said on February 5, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      Problems like this is the reason why I want to stay on Windows 7 forever. There is so much telemetry sent to Microsoft, yet Windows 10 has so many problems. What are they actually doing with all the telemetry? Why is local search dependent online services? Its quite scary to think about.

      The search panel is one big online ad. They can push anything into it from server side. Because of this issue today, I replaced my start menu with Open-Shell-Menu.

    2. Mike said on February 5, 2020 at 6:21 pm

      If I understand correctly how it works, it sends every keystroke that you enter to Bing before you even press enter. This is so that both big tech and spy agencies can get to know you better than you know yourself! So, breaking down in this manor is not that surprising.

      If I designed this there would be two buttons, one says “search online”, the other says “search offline”. But that’s not nearly creepy enough, and it wouldn’t hand Microsoft and the NSA the data of millions (billions?) of users who have no idea that this information is being sent out over the network in the first place!

  17. albresc said on February 5, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Kill SearchUI and you will not have to reboot.

    1. JP said on February 5, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      I have this problem today. Killing that task works.

  18. Yuliya said on February 5, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    LTSC doesn’t have this problem 💗

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