Windows 7 Search Not Working: Quick Fix

Updated on October 8, 2014

The "Search" box is one of the most useful Windows 7 features. To search for a file, all you need to do is hit the Start menu; type in the name of the file, the file type, or even some of its content; and get results instantly.

Your operating system searches your documents, libraries, and start menu, indexes them, and returns relevant results based on the keyword(s) entered in the "Search" box. However, if there is an indexing problem, Windows 7 Search may malfunction; every time you type in a keyword, “No Items Match Your Search” pops up. To fix the indexing problem, follow this step-by-step guide:

Step I: Use Windows 7 Wizard to Detect Problems

1. Click on the Start menu, go to Control Panel. In "System and Security", click on "Find and fix problems".

Click on "View All" on the panel to your left. Click on "Search and Indexing".

1. System and Security

Click on Find and Fix Problems
Click on Find and Fix Problems

2. View All

Don't Forget to Click on View All
Don't Forget to Click on View All

3. Search and Indexing

Look for Search and Indexing. Click on it and follow the steps
Look for Search and Indexing. Click on it and follow the steps

2. Click "Next" and select the “Files Don’t Appear in Search Results” checkbox. Click "Next" after selecting a box.

3. The wizard may require administrator permissions before looking for problems. Click “Try troubleshooting as an administrator”. After that, you may have to choose again from the list of problems. Check those that apply. The Wizard should then detect and fix any issue with Search. But if this does not resolve your search issues, follow Step II below.

Step II: Fixing Indexing Issues

1. Right-click on the Start menu and click "Properties."

2. Click on the “Customize” button on the Start menu tab. Click on “Use Default Settings” at the bottom to reset all options listed in the Customize menu. This will also reset the search feature.

3. Next, click on the Start menu and type Search in the box. Click “Change How Windows Searches." A new window, “Indexing Options,” will open up. Click on the "Advanced" button there.

4. In the "File Types" tab that opens, see the question at bottom, “How Should This File Be Indexed,” and click the "Index Properties and File Contents" radio button. Click "OK." Windows Search will start indexing all files based on the option chosen in the Advanced tab.

5. Alternatively, you can also rebuild the search Index. In "Advanced Options," select the "Index Settings" tab and click on the "Rebuild" button.

6. Once indexing is complete, close the window, hit the Start menu, and enter some keywords. Windows 7 Search should now list all files that match your keyword search. You may also open “My Documents” and enter the keyword in the search box at the top right corner of the window to get results. You can then arrange results by “Author," “Date Modified," “Tag,” or “Type."

Indexing Takes Time

It will take some time for Wndows to index all files in My Documents, Start Menu, and other locations in the hard drive. It will go fastest if you stop any activity and close all the windows except those related to indexing. The indexing process may slow down if you open other programs or browse the Internet.

Questions & Answers

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    • maryadi profile image

      maryadi 2 years ago

      Thank you very much. My problem is soled. Very good article.

      Very Helpfull.

      Maryadi

      From Indonesia

    • profile image

      Nick H 2 years ago

      This worked, thank you.

    • profile image

      Johan 2 years ago

      Exactly what i needed!My search is working properly now. Thanks!

    • Tech Trix profile image
      Author

      Anurag Ghosh 2 years ago

      Thanks, Steve

    • profile image

      Steve Forman 2 years ago

      Worked great, but did have to reboot.

    • Tech Trix profile image
      Author

      Anurag Ghosh 2 years ago

      Welcome

    • profile image

      David 2 years ago

      Thanks. It seems to have worked on my computer

    • profile image

      StefanS 3 years ago

      Thanks a lot. Nice really nice , it worked almost instantly. My search is working better than ever before :). Currently I can use the win search without third party software. Btw. an alternative (www.lookeen.com) has bridged the time between the start of the weak performance and your problem solving.

      Tech Trix you did a good job !

    • Tech Trix profile image
      Author

      Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

      Welcome :)

    • profile image

      Grateful 3 years ago

      Hello,

      Thanks so much. It fixes my search.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I wasn't having a Search problem, but by reading this I learned some things I didn't know about the Search function. Good job.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Afiq 3 years ago

      Thank it work

    • profile image

      charlie 3 years ago

      Thanks a lot.....worked for me

    • Tech Trix profile image
      Author

      Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

      Article Updated: The Search and Indexing wizard can be accessed via the Control panel.

    • profile image

      Gary 3 years ago

      Thanks! that worked!

    • profile image

      ander 3 years ago

      Excuse me, but how can you use the Search box if the Search feature is broken? Sheesh!

    • Tech Trix profile image
      Author

      Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      aaalarkin 3 years ago

      The "Rebuild" was what worked for my Windows 7. I am very, very grateful. I pray for the Lord's Blessings on your precious soul.

    • profile image

      Panda? 3 years ago

      This was not that helpful since the problem it's trying to solve is the search bar not working. In the example pictures it uses the search bar to find the app it needs to open. Those apps are not in your face or seeable when you open control panel.

    • profile image

      rahul 4 years ago

      thx it worked for me :D

    working