Windows 10: Start Menu search not finding files

Discus and support Start Menu search not finding files in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; When I go to search for files (such as images/videos) through the Start Menu search (Cortana), files do not appear in results. The only way I can... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by JWhizz, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. JWhizz Win User

    Start Menu search not finding files


    When I go to search for files (such as images/videos) through the Start Menu search (Cortana), files do not appear in results.
    The only way I can actually find these files is to manually click the "More" dropdown and select whichever file type it is (photos, videos, music etc.) which is quite tedious.

    I'm running Version 1607 (OS Build 14393.51) of Windows 10.
    I have 2 drives, my C:/ which is an SSD and has Windows installed on it, and my D:/ an extra hard drive for storage.
    I moved the User folders over to my D:/ drive, and made sure I did it properly, by moving it via Properties-Location.
    It doesn't help if I move the file that I'm looking for over on to my C:/ drive, I still can't find it.

    Please help, I have tried many many things and nothing has worked so far.

    :)
     
    JWhizz, Aug 22, 2016
    #1

  2. Cortana (Start Menu Search) Not Finding Programs and Certain Other Files - Brand New Information

    Hey guys. This is a niche topic, but I've had some major breakthroughs with troubleshooting an issue which has been present since Windows 10 first rolled out.

    *Old Information:*

    -

    On certain PCs, the taskbar (Cortana) search bar doesn't return results for exe files, shortcuts and several other file types.

    These solutions DO NOT WORK for this version of the issue:

    1. Reinstalling Windows (may provide a temporary fix).

    2. Re-registering / reinstalling Windows apps including Cortana through an elevated Powershell instance.

    3. Rebuilding the search index with various combinations of settings.

    4. Creating a new user account.

    5. Turning on / off or restarting the Windows Search service.

    6. Nesting shortcuts in various other folders.

    7. Creating new shortcuts for existing apps.

    8. Reinstalling applications.

    9. Running SFC /SCANNOW.

    10. Running Windows Search Troubleshooting.

    11. Running third-party troubleshooting applications.

    Additionally, if you open a Run instance and type in "search-ms:query=" with a query, you can easily see that **all** the expected filetypes have, in fact, be indexed. For some odd reason, some refuse to appear under searches.

    The old solution at this point, was either to completely reinstall Windows and hope that it didn't revert (which it often did/does), or download a third-party application as a substitute for Cortana.

    *New Information:*

    -

    Changing the default app for the file type affected (not appearing in searches) through the "Choose Default Apps for Filetypes" menu under System Settings, **does** fix the issue.

    Particularly, I noticed that filetypes which were opened with specific **Windows** default apps, did **not** appear in the searches. Upon changing them to a third-party application, or even from "Photos" to "Windows Photo Viewer" (the new 'Metro' default Windows
    App back to the retro viewer), made them instantly reappear in the searches.

    **Important:** Upon changing the default program for the specific filetype **back** to the original program, the files **still appeared** in the Start Menu Search.

    *Examples:*

    -

    .jpg files were being indexed, however did not show up in the Windows search box in the Start Menu. I changed the default application for opening .jpg files from "Photos" to "Windows Photo Viewer," and within a second, they appeared in the Start Menu Search.

    .m4r files were being indexed, however did not show up in the Windows search box in the Start Menu. I changed the default application for opening .m4r files from "Groove Music" to "iTunes," and within a second, they appeared in the Start Menu Search.

    *Conclusion:*

    -

    I have no clue why this is happening. Absolutely none. I'm currently continuing to troubleshoot the issue, but any help would be great. I see two main questions that need to be answered:

    1. What is the cause - is it default apps (particularly the new ones)?

    2. How can we resolve this issue for .exe files, and other filetypes which can't simply be reassigned to new default applications?

    Any thoughts/help is much appreciated!
     
    livestrong2431, Aug 22, 2016
    #2
  3. perkedel Win User
    Cortana (Start Menu Search) Not Finding Programs and Certain Other Files - Brand New Information

    This is a bit late, but I had similar problem with search not showing up programs and other things. I ended up using powershell to fix it:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

    You'll find a variant for this Get-AppXPackage, but they're missing -AllUsers, which is important on a multiuser workstation.
     
    perkedel, Aug 22, 2016
    #3
  4. PiKo Win User

    Start Menu search not finding files

    Use a free 3rd party software such as WiseJetSearch.
     
  5. dalchina New Member
    File/folder search from that box is, as I've commented many times, restricted to what is indexed. Further, it won't find executables (exe, cmd, bat...).

    Don't use it for that. It's very poor and incomplete as above.
    Ultrasearch
    Everything (1.4b version)
    Locate32 (older)

    - free, 'instant', and covers everything on all partitions & disks in your PC (unless you restrict them).
    - for external disks, they need to build an index (which is very very quick compared to Windows indexing).

    The only benefit of Windows search is it can index text file content.
     
    dalchina, Apr 4, 2018
    #5
Thema:

Start Menu search not finding files

Loading...
  1. Start Menu search not finding files - Similar Threads - Start Menu search

  2. Can't find programs using the start menu search

    in Cortana
    Can't find programs using the start menu search: Recently I am no longer able to find any programs using the start menu search, it just gives me things like downloaded files. For example, I can't find the control panel by typing in "control panel"....
  3. Start menu search can't find some applications

    in Windows 10 Support
    Start menu search can't find some applications: I am unable to search for some applications on my new laptop. I have tried rebuilding the index and restarting twice now with these options: [img] For example, both Chrome and Firefox are installed and have icons in the start menu, both show up under "Most Used" and both...
  4. Search not finding files in best match from the Start Menu

    in Windows 10 Support
    Search not finding files in best match from the Start Menu: Every time I open the start menu and type a few characters of a file I'm looking for Windows doesn't find it. For example if I type 'art' Windows shows me the Paint app whereas I am looking for a file in my documents that contains the word 'Art', now if I click the find...
  5. Searching from Start Menu won't find files on separate hard drive

    in Windows 10 Support
    Searching from Start Menu won't find files on separate hard drive: Yesterday I put in a second hard drive so I could keep all of my media separate from my OS hard drive. After formatting, I tried to do a Cortana search for a specific TV show on the new drive. Searching with cortana from the task bar won't find anything on the second drive....
  6. Start menu search not finding applications?

    in Windows 10 Support
    Start menu search not finding applications?: Hi, I just upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. However once i install programs like Office 2013 i can't find the application exe files by searching in the start menu. If i search for outlook or word in the start menu nothing shows up, this was not an issue in...
  7. Start Menu Search Doesn't Find Steam

    in Windows 10 Support
    Start Menu Search Doesn't Find Steam: The shortcut is here: [img] But if I search nothing comes up. It has not problems finding Blender and Skyrim ... [img] 6209
  8. Windows 10 Start Search can't find stuff in Start Menu

    in Windows 10 Support
    Windows 10 Start Search can't find stuff in Start Menu: Hi I have a clean install of windows 10 with bootcamp on a macbook 13 early 2015 using the iso downloaded from microsoft. I've also enabled compact os. I have this same problem: Windows 10 Search can't find ANY applications. Even calculator - Super User it seems. Win+S...
  9. Start Menu Search Can't Find Installed Apps

    in Windows 10 Support
    Start Menu Search Can't Find Installed Apps: I've noticed now on multiple computers I've installed Windows 10 on, that a quick win-key search isn't able to bring up installed apps. I'm sure this isn't how it's meant to be, and that there must be a fix... right? 10556
  10. Automatically search files in start menu

    in Windows 10 Support
    Automatically search files in start menu: In Windows 7 I type xxxx.txt and it searches the file in the indexed files. In Windows 10 I have to type Find in Documents. How do I make it searches in my files without clicking a second time ? 9159