Windows 10 search is now fixed, after being completely broken for many

(Image credit: Future)

Windows 10’s search function has been causing a good deal of issues in recent times, and has triggered more grief this week, going down completely for some users – although a fix has now been rolled out.

According to a report by Windows Latest, a lot of folks running Windows 10 November 2019 Update and May 2019 Update found that queries typed into the search box would return absolutely nothing – just a blank, black box.

This happened yesterday, on February 5, and has since been fixed, with Microsoft admitting there was a problem, and that it was a gremlin crawling about in the company’s network infrastructure (specifically a ‘third-party networking fiber provider’ ran into trouble).

This meant that not only were online results not returned with a search query, but also local results – files on the PC itself – and this points to a wider problem of relying on the cloud having additional unwanted ramifications.

The issue hit not just consumer PCs, but businesses too.

As mentioned, Microsoft has deployed a fix, and most users should find the problem has been cured – although you may need to reboot your PC to get search working properly again (Windows Latest observes that you might potentially need to restart your machine several times, in fact).

Previously, there was a workaround (involving tweaking the Registry) which disabled Bing integration with the search functionality – so evidently the problem was Bing-related in some manner.

Network redundancy

Microsoft is reportedly reviewing its ‘network redundancy options’, or in other words, mulling over how it might prevent such an outage from happening again.

As you might recall, there have been various long-standing flaws with the search functionality in Windows 10, which Microsoft recently released a patch for – except in a now familiar story, that fix had the side-effect of causing a number of other rather nasty problems.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Microsoft can ill afford this kind of reputational damage, but apparently the company has a plan – and is betting on the man behind Surface to help fix Windows 10.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).