If Your Windows 10 Search Is Broken, Try This Fix
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Because Windows 10 is constantly evolving, new issues often suddenly crop up. We covered a massive collection of fixes to problems caused by the Anniversary Update and problems continue to trickle in.

This time, the bug affects Windows search. Search has received plenty of updates in recent Windows versions, adding plenty of tricks that let you find just what you’re looking for. Many users have reported that every local search fails every time.

It seems that Cortana’s internet searching ties in with offline search, and something broke on that. Thus, you can regain local search functionality by disconnecting from the internet. Obviously, you can’t get any work done in airplane mode, so you’ll have to block Cortana from accessing the internet instead.

You can do this with a Windows Firewall rule. Type firewall into the Start Menu to open the Windows Firewall utility, then click Advanced settings on the left sidebar. In this window, choose Outbound Rules on the left panel, then find the entry that begins with @{Microsoft.Windows.Cortana. Double-click this line, and click the button to Block this connection.

If Your Windows 10 Search Is Broken, Try This Fix Windows Firewall Disable Cortana

Doing this should fix your offline search, but will block Cortana from accessing the internet. If you rely on Cortana, you might want to re-enable her connection in a week or two once Microsoft has fixed this issue. Or, you can try a different app for search. Check out the ten best free search tools that are more powerful than Windows search.

Did you notice that local search wasn’t working in Windows 10? Let us know if this method fixed your problem in the comments!

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  1. ReadandShare
    January 23, 2017 at 7:06 am

    @ Ben Stegner - Thanks for your article! Would really appreciate your help with my Win 10 search problem below.

    Win 10 search defaults to searching 'All'. However, when searching for a document on my computer, the search always return empty. But when I manually change the search category from "All" to "Documents", then the correct results will come out. Quite annoying, actually, to have to do this every time!