Windows 10 Search Glitch: Don't Panic

John Lister's picture

Windows 10 has been hit by another bug affecting the search function. Fortunately it seems the problem looks much worse than it really is.

The bug in question pops up for some users when they use Windows Search, which looks through both the names of files and the contents of documents.

Users have reported a range of unusual effects, the most common being a message reading "This is taking too long to load" above a reload button. In most cases it seems hitting the reload button - or indeed restarting either the search tool or Windows itself - doesn't make any difference.

What's particularly worrying some users is that a string of characters is also appearing on the bottom of the screen without any explanation. That's unusual for Windows that users understandably feared they'd been hit by malware.

Windows Update Likely Glitched

While the full details of the problem haven't yet been uncovered - and Microsoft has not commented publicly at the time of writing - it appears most likely it's the result of a faulty Windows update, rather than an infection.

Some users have reported that uninstalling an update named KB4550945 fixes the problem, but others have had the issue despite not having installed that update in the first place. There's also a theory that people who are way behind on updates can fix the problem by catching up on updates up to November 2019. (Source: laptopmag.com)

Yet another set of users have found the problem can be fixed by using an administrative command prompt to run the system file checker utility (sfc /scannow). SFC checks for corrupt operating system files on the hard drive; however, the SFC utility doesn't always work even if it reports finding and fixing any corruption (Source: techradar.com)

A Waiting Game

The best bet, unless users really can't live without the search tool for a while, is to be patient. There's a well-established cycle now of Microsoft having glitched updates and fixing them relatively quickly with another update - even if that might introduce new problems.

So, while it may take time for Microsoft to figure out exactly what's gone wrong, the chances are this issue will be fixed sooner than later.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you experienced this problem? Do you keep Windows 10 completely up to date? How often do you use Windows Search?

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Comments

Dennis Faas's picture

Speaking from experience - the Windows Search has been broken for 6 months or longer on most of the client machines I've worked on. It simply does not work when you try and search for something using File Explorer. Microsoft has been aware of this bug for quite some time, and yet it's still an issue. I'm not sure what these new series of complaints are about because I'm willing to bet they're all tied to the same problem.

crackberrymeister_3399's picture

Dennis, I never use the Windows native search when seeking files or folders. I have use Agent Ransack on all Windows based machines for this task. the program is free ands works far better and faster than the baked in app for searching.

beach.boui's picture

I quit using Windows Search when I discovered Search Everything (https://www.voidtools.com/faq/). It is a light weight app with a small footprint, but it's FAST! It's a must-have app on my computers. However, it does not search inside of files. I wouldn't want an app on my computer that does that, anyway.

buzzallnight's picture

Not having any problems on Win 7!!!!!!!!!!
Thank goodness they don't up date it anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!