Anybody having trouble w/ Windows Explorer search?

  • Thread starter phinds
  • Start date
  • #1
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,833
5,478

Summary:

windows explorer search keeps dying

Main Question or Discussion Point

I have a serious problem w/ Windows 10 Explorer's search capability and when I look for solutions w/ Google, I see that apparently a lot of people have very recently begun to experience problems w/ the search capability (apparently due to a recent Windows "fix") but MY problem is never mentioned.

What is mentioned a lot is that search results just don't show up. My problem is that the ABILITY to do a search dies in that the text box where one types what is to be searched for stops allowing for any entry.

The only "fix" I have found is to reset the computer which is VERY annoying since I am a power user and typically have 8 or 10 apps all open. These all have to be closed, the reset performed, and then the apps reopened. Major bummer.

Anyone here seeing any problems w/ the search?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
408
292
Nearly every time I use it. It's why Google is so successful.
Sorry no useful advice here, I gave up long ago.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
Mentor
19,322
5,358
Yes, I'm having exactly this problem, frequently. Sometimes stopping the windows search or Cortana processes fixes it; often not.
 
  • #4
russ_watters
Mentor
19,322
5,358
Nearly every time I use it. It's why Google is so successful.
Sorry no useful advice here, I gave up long ago.
Sorry, if I'm missing something, but what does google have to do with this? Do they have a local search app?
 
  • #5
408
292
Sorry, if I'm missing something, but what does google have to do with this? Do they have a local search app?
No. Google can only do about 95% of your search needs.

Want to find the Win 10 printer que? Ask Google first, then do what they say. Because when I ask Windows search "printer que", they give me several choices which all (mostly) send me to Explorer/Bing. Bing then tells me to go to Windows search (where I just was) and type in "printers and scanners". Which works (mostly), but couldn't they have guessed what I was looking for and made that a choice to click on?

Now to be fair, that's what you get from Google, as you would expect. But Google doesn't make you type or click anything, they immediately give you the answer; "type in printers and scanners".

I started by asking the OS for a common OS function, and Windows opened a new browser sending me to the web to make a small correction in what I typed in the search bar. Sorry OS, for adding too much detail in my query.

Seriously, try it yourself...

edit: also, to be fair, in Google the search was "windows 10 printer que", not just "printer que".
 
  • #6
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,833
5,478
Yes, I'm having exactly this problem, frequently. Sometimes stopping the windows search or Cortana processes fixes it; often not.
Yeah, that was one of the fixes recommended on Google, and like you I find that it works some of the time, but rarely.

When did you first notice the problem, Russ? I think it's been about a week for me. I keep hoping that Microsoft will issue a fix but this seems like quite a long time for such a fundamental problem, especially since they apparently caused it just recently.
 
  • #7
11,361
4,829
  • #8
Borg
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,871
2,224
The main problem that I've always had since Win 7 is that they changed it so that ignores many file types that I need to look for. I can search a directory that has a single file in it that I know has the word that I'm looking for and it will tell me that no documents meet my search criteria.
 
  • #9
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,833
5,478
Since your problem is somewhat different then perhaps one of the other apps is somehow affecting it.

Try keeping track of the other apps or try searching on your problem with one of the apps as part of the search string to see if there is some correlation.

Or try rebuilding the search index:

https://troubleshooter.xyz/wiki/fix-file-explorer-search-not-working-windows-10/
Reasonable suggestions but unlikely since it started for me at the same time as for, apparently, LOTS of others. I've rebuilt the search index, no joy. I've run the Windows trouble shooter for search, no joy, I've stopped and restarted Cortanta, no joy. I've tried a lot of really loud cussing, no joy (but some slight relief).
 
  • #10
11,361
4,829
Switched to Linux - Joy.
 
  • #11
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,833
5,478
Switched to Linux - Joy.
I actually tried that once years ago. More trouble than it's worth, my opinion.
 
  • #12
Bystander
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,165
1,162
about a week
Jibes with what I've run into, AND with FB, Twitter, and other social media "fixes" that have been recently been proposed for the election year; coincidence? I use none of them, have never used them, but "about a week" ago got reduced to single Google/Explorer/Bing at a time, and (confirmation bias?) that's when I recall "truth in advertising" fixes for the elections.
 
  • #13
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,605
2,065
The main problem that I've always had since Win 7 is that they changed it so that ignores many file types that I need to look for. I can search a directory that has a single file in it that I know has the word that I'm looking for and it will tell me that no documents meet my search criteria.
There are settings for that. One to show file extensions and another to show hidden files.
That should stop Windoze from being blind to those files.

1581463585550.png
 
  • #14
chemisttree
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,251
202
There are settings for that. One to show file extensions and another to show hidden files.
That should stop Windoze from being blind to those files.

View attachment 256981
I thought it was the Russians...
 
  • #15
Tom.G
Science Advisor
3,007
1,745
I gave up on the Microsoft search/indexing about a decade ago, mainly because the indexing was bogging down disk accesses. Been using something called Agent Ransack which doesn't use an index, still pretty quick though. It is a free/light version of a full-blown, with indexing, search utility.

A Google search on the name produces good results.

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • #16
Borg
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,871
2,224
There are settings for that. One to show file extensions and another to show hidden files.
That should stop Windoze from being blind to those files.
No, I know about the hidden files option. The problem is that even if you don't have files hidden, the search ignores certain extensions when it searches. There are options to undo that but I've found that they just don't work.
 
  • #17
jack action
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
1,846
1,466
I actually tried that once years ago. More trouble than it's worth, my opinion.
Diddo for me. But then I got more frustrated when Windows 10 came along, and tried the switch once more.

I went with Linux Lite - which aim at Windows users transiting - and I would never go back.
https://www.linuxliteos.com/features.html said:
Linux Lite is a 'gateway operating system'. It was created to make the transition from Windows to a linux based operating system, as smooth as possible. It does this by providing easy to use familiar software such as Skype, Steam, Kodi and Spotify, a free Office suite, a familiar user interface or DE (Desktop Environment) layout, and most importantly, by continuing to improve on what we already provide by listening to members of the community.

Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Linux Lite follows the Unix philosophy in regards to software selection and programming as it applies to the modern era.

Linux Lite is free operating system based on the Ubuntu LTS series of releases. LTS stands for Long Term Support, this means each release has a support period of 5 years. This is a great basis for stability, but not only that, you only need to install once every 5 years. During that period your system will continue to receive updates. Linux Lite is fully functional out of the box, this means that you won't have to install extra software when you boot your computer for the first time. We believe that a computer should be ready to use straight away on the first boot after a new install. You're going to need this kind of functionality on a daily basis when you are using your computer so we take the hassle out of trying to find the right software from the start.
o_O Come to the Dark Side. o_O
 
  • #18
pbuk
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,282
287
The main problem that I've always had since Win 7 is that they changed it so that ignores many file types that I need to look for. I can search a directory that has a single file in it that I know has the word that I'm looking for and it will tell me that no documents meet my search criteria.
I hit the windows key and typed "Se" and it offered me "Search permissions and history" so I kept typing and by the time I got to "Search" I was offered "Windows Search Settings". Scroll down there and you'll see "Advanced indexing settings" where you can force it to search .dll files for strings if you really want to.

Want to find the Win 10 printer que? Ask Google first, then do what they say. Because when I ask Windows search "printer que",
Were you watching while you typed? When I hit the Windows key and type "pr" it offers me "Printers and Scanners", which is what you want. If you ignore it and keep typing "printer que" then it, quite reasonably, assumes you didn't want what it had already offered you and so offered you an internet search instead.

In both these cases the Windows 10 behaviour follows well the principle of least surprise for me at least.
 
  • #19
Borg
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,871
2,224
I hit the windows key and typed "Se" and it offered me "Search permissions and history" so I kept typing and by the time I got to "Search" I was offered "Windows Search Settings". Scroll down there and you'll see "Advanced indexing settings" where you can force it to search .dll files for strings if you really want to.
Yes. Been there, done that, watched it fail. It could very well be that I did something wrong the last time that I tried but frankly, it really shouldn't be that messed up to begin with.
 
  • #20
mathman
Science Advisor
7,761
415
To look for files using part or all of a name I use "everything" which can be gotten from snapfiles.
 
  • #21
Klystron
Gold Member
565
656
I have been intending to upgrade or replace my Windows 8.2 laptop to Windows 10 "real soon". Any day now as soon as the bugs are worked out. :cool:

Windows 8 internal search is problematic enough to make me question whether computers are deterministic after all.
 
  • #22
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,784
1,000
To look for files using part or all of a name I use "everything" which can be gotten from snapfiles.
That kind of suggestion is the best likely for finding a way around phind's problem. If Windows itself is not letting you find what file you want, some alternative is "everything", or some others, such as (forgot the exact application name) "searchmyfiles" or "findmyfiles". Remember the way you used Searches in Windows XP? That is how these alternative applications work.
 
  • #23
russ_watters
Mentor
19,322
5,358
No. Google can only do about 95% of your search needs.

Want to find the Win 10 printer que? Ask Google first, then do what they say. Because when I ask Windows search "printer que", they give me several choices which all (mostly) send me to Explorer/Bing. Bing then tells me to go to Windows search (where I just was) and type in "printers and scanners". Which works (mostly), but couldn't they have guessed what I was looking for and made that a choice to click on?

Now to be fair, that's what you get from Google, as you would expect. But Google doesn't make you type or click anything, they immediately give you the answer; "type in printers and scanners".

I started by asking the OS for a common OS function, and Windows opened a new browser sending me to the web to make a small correction in what I typed in the search bar. Sorry OS, for adding too much detail in my query.

Seriously, try it yourself...
I just tried it and before I finished typing, Cortana gave me the correct answer. After I finished typing and hit enter, Bing gave me the correct answer from an ms support site in the top hit.

Now if you really want something to complain about on this, I'd complain about the fact that windows 10 has two different control panels with different items and different features to access. So depending on what you want to do with your printers, you pick one or the other (or just always use the "classic").

....but none of this has anything to do with local file searching, which is what the OP was asking about.
 
  • #24
russ_watters
Mentor
19,322
5,358
When did you first notice the problem, Russ? I think it's been about a week for me.
I think it's been a couple of months at least.
 
  • #25
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,833
5,478
I think it's been a couple of months at least.
Hm ... not what I expected, but good to know. Thanks.
 

Related Threads for: Anybody having trouble w/ Windows Explorer search?

Replies
37
Views
5K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
92
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
2K
Replies
13
Views
783
Replies
1
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Top