An issue with Windows Search that turned up blank boxes for many Windows 10 users on Wednesday appeared to be related to Bing, but Microsoft says it’s rolled out a fix for “most users”—and if you’re not one of them, there’s a workaround.
According to Bleeping Computer, the issue borked search results for files or applications. Dozens of worldwide users on Reddit and Downdetector reported having issues with the Windows 10 search bar, though a workaround shared by Reddit user Froggypwns that disables the Bing integration appeared to resolve the issue, at least temporarily, for anyone experiencing the problem.
Anyone else's windows 10 search bar not working, wtf Microsoft fix yo shit… pic.twitter.com/AvQQeO2xm1
— Lolathon (@VRLolathon) February 5, 2020
was there a recent windows 10 update which broke the search functionality? the taskbar search doesn't work for me now, I have to scroll up and down the start menu like an animal pic.twitter.com/LBlYdsA7kM
— Roy Tang (@roytang) February 5, 2020
Early Wednesday afternoon, Microsoft said on Twitter that the company’s “support engineers are doing their best to resolve this issue as soon as possible.” That seems to have been successful, as a Microsoft spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email, “This issue has been resolved for most users and in some cases you may need to reboot your machine”
If, after rebooting your machine, it’s still not working for you, a registry tweak from Froggypwns—based on a step-by-step guide in a 2019 How to Geek article on disabling the Bing integration—appears to be doing the trick. Here’s how Bleeping Computer and Froggypwns broke it down (though they advised waiting for a fix instead of doing it yourself):
Run Regedit.exe—just hit the Windows key and the R key to launch Run: dialog, type “Regedit,” and hit “OK.” Then hit “Yes” when it asks if you want to make changes.
Find BingSearchEnabled, and if it’s not there, create it by selecting New > DWORD (32-bit) Value > entering “BingSearchEnabled”
Select that, set it to 0, and select “OK”
Repeat the steps for BingSearchEnabled for CortanaConsent
Reboot and you’re done
Presumably, you’ll have to undo all of this if you want to re-enable the default search functionality. But again, you’re likely better off just waiting until you get the real fix, which should already be rolling out.