If Your Windows 10 Search Is Broken, Try This Fix

Ben Stegner 20-01-2017

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 16 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Issues & How to Fix Them The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings many improvements, but it has also introduced a host of new problems and annoyances. Here's how to troubleshoot and fix them. Read More  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 7 Search Tips to Find What You're Looking for in Windows 10 Are you using Windows 10 search to its full extent? We will show you how to customize where Windows searches, handy search parameters, and other shortcuts. Our search tips will turn you into a search... Read More 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 The 13 Best Free Search Tools for Windows 10 Windows Search is only good for basic and casual use. If you search Windows often, you may be better off with an awesome third-party search tool. Read More 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!

Image Credit: new photo via

Related topics: Troubleshooting, Windows 10, Windows Search.

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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!