Did Your Windows 10 Search Function Break?

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

It seems like every time I turn around I have a new Windows 10 story to share. The combined abundance and variety of issues has been frustrating to say the least. The number of users affected normally varies as people will install updates at different times, but those updates are the most likely cause of a widespread issue.

Microsoft recently had one of the most widespread issues in its Windows 10 OS history, and that is quite a statement. It likely affected more users than any group on a given operating system version.

When trying to update something in its own programming for Windows 10, Microsoft broke the search feature.

First, some background information: Windows 10 search is built-in and Microsoft has integrated the search with Bing to allow for both local searching of your system and online results as well.

The option can be very useful for users as it allows a centralized location to look for whatever you might need to find. Personally, I still use the search feature for Windows functions and use Google to do any web searches. That said, I can see the value the search feature has for some.

For each person it works well for, there is a user that will search for something on their computer then accidentally open a Bing search result for something they never had any intention of opening.

It happened recently to someone I know. They were searching for their scanner and nearly downloaded a third party application from an untrusted source. It can happen easily and frequently.

Whether you find use in local and online results or you are more like me and use the search purely for Windows functions, you likely rely on it to some degree.

So what would you do if you had no ability to search at all? What if the entire functionality of searching was broken in Windows 10? That is what happened recently to just about every person who happened to login over a few day period recently. Microsoft was updating some of its backend search code (likely making changes to Bing itself) and didn’t account for an impact on the integrated search.

The impact on each user varied, but even as someone who is very comfortable using Windows 10, the broken search function really made things more difficult. Fortunately, the problem was very quickly resolved.

In terms of a Microsoft turnaround, a 1-day fix is quite incredible. Some users experienced it for a bit longer as the fix was not always applied automatically. The problems were sporadic, but some machines took a few restarts to apply the hotfix.

When you break Windows for almost all of your users (especially right after taking away the most loved operating system of all time), fixing it quick is in your best interest. That is exactly what Microsoft did. Let’s just hope we all achieve a little stability now that some of their resources have been freed up with the end of Windows 7.