[Fix] “We’re Getting Search Ready” Problem in Windows 10

This is one of the most annoying and widely faced problems in Windows 10. I have received so many emails and comments from various readers regarding this irritating issue. The issue is as following:

Whenever a user tries to search for something (a file, a 3rd party or default program, a modern app or any setting or option) using Cortana search box present in Taskbar, no result is shown in the search results or sometimes a few results are shown but the actual program or app is not listed. The user is also greeted with an annoying message at top saying "We're getting search ready..." and sometimes a different message "These results may be incomplete...". Nothing happens even if you wait for a few minutes or hours. Only a few web search results are shown related to your search term.

This problem seems like a bug in Windows 10 and many Windows 10 users are facing this problem.


Today in this tutorial, I'm going to list all possible solutions which can fix this issue. I'll start from simple solutions and will list advanced solutions at the end.

So if you are also facing this issue in Windows 10, check out following solutions one by one and I'm sure these solutions will definitely solve your problem.

So without wasting time lets start our troubleshooting guide:

1. Make Sure Windows Search Service is Running

First of all make sure Windows Search service is set to Automatic and running properly in your computer as Windows Search service is faulty in Windows 10 and can cause serious and unexpected issues if disabled.

To check the service status, follow STEP 1 given in following article:

Windows 10 Bug Breaks Lock Screen Slide Show Feature


It might fix the issue.

2. Reinstall Cortana Search App If You Removed it in Past

If you used any Registry tweak or file hack or any 3rd party software to remove Cortana Search app in Windows 10, that might be the 100% possible reason behind your problem.

If you didn't remove Cortana, skip to next solution!

If you uninstalled Cortana, reinstall it using following steps:

1. Press WIN+X keys together to launch WIN+X menu and then click on Command Prompt (Admin) option. It'll open Command Prompt as Administrator.

2. Now type Powershell in Command Prompt window and press Enter. Wait for a few moments and Powershell session will be initiated in Command Prompt window.

3. Now type following command and press Enter:

Get-AppxPackage -Name Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register "$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode}


This command will take a few moments to finish. Once the command completes, restart your computer and it should fix the problem.

Related: [Guide] How to Reinstall All Default Built-in Apps in Windows 10

3. Disable Online Search and Web Results Option in Cortana Settings

If you didn't remove Cortana, try to disable "Search online and include web results" option in Cortana settings as mentioned in METHOD 1 of following tutorial:

[Tip] Disable Cortana and Bing Search Results in Windows 10

Don't forget to clear your Bing search history using "Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud" link given in Cortana settings.


NOTE: If you disabled Cortana using Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor method, try to re-enable Cortana. Check out METHOD 4 or METHOD 5 in above mentioned article link and re-enable Cortana.


It might also fix this issue.

4. Rebuild Search Index Using Indexing Options

It might also be an indexing related problem. You can try to rebuild search index database using following steps:

1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type control and press Enter. It'll open classic Control Panel window.

2. Now switch to large icons view and click on Indexing Options icon.


3. Now click on Modify button and make sure C:\Users\ and C:\Users\your_user_name folders are selected for indexing. If these folders are not selected, tick the checkbox given before Users and your user profile folder and then click on OK button.


4. Now click on Advanced button and then click on Rebuild button.


It'll take a few moments in rebuilding the index. Restart your computer and it should solve the issue.

5. Run Search and Indexing Troubleshooter Tool

You can also run the built-in search and indexing troubleshooter to fix search related issues in Windows 10:

1. Open Indexing Options again as we did in above mentioned method.

2. Now click on "Troubleshoot search and indexing" link given at the bottom of the window. It'll launch Search and Indexing Troubleshooting tool.


3. Now click on Next button and enable first three checkboxes given in problems list. Leave the checkbox "My problem isn't listed above" unchecked. Click on Next button.


It'll identify the culprits and will fix them to solve the search related issues.

6. Disable and then Re-enable C: Drive Indexing

If above mentioned solutions don't solve your issue, you can also try following:

1. Open This PC (or My Computer) and right-click on C: drive and select Properties.

2. Now uncheck "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties" option and click on Apply button. It'll ask for the confirmation, click on OK button.


Ignore any error messages if received and once the process finishes, click on OK button.

3. Now again open C: drive properties and this time enable "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties" option and click on Apply button. It'll again ask for confirmation, click on OK button. Again ignore error messages and once the process finishes, click on OK button.

4. Restart your computer and now the search function should work fine.

7. Fix Using Registry Editor

You can also try following Registry tweak to fix search problem:

1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type regedit in RUN and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. In right-side pane, change value of SetupCompletedSuccessfully DWORD to 0


4. Restart your computer and it should fix the issue.

NOTE: If you are not familiar with Registry editing tasks, we are also providing ready-made Registry script to do the task automatically. Download following ZIP file, extract it and run .REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. Restart your computer and Search will be fixed in Windows 10:

Registry Script to Fix Search Issues in Windows 10

8. Take Ownership of Start Menu Folders

You can also try following method suggested by our reader "supriokundu" as it worked for him:

1. Press "Win+R" keys together to open RUN dialog box. Now copy following strings one by one in text box and press Enter:


It'll open "Windows" folder present in both locations which contains many other sub-folders inside it.

2. Now take ownership of "Start Menu" folder present inside both folders.

Check out following tutorials to learn about taking ownership of a file or folder in Windows:

That's it. It'll fix the problem.

9. Restore Default System Display Language

Sometimes this problem may occur if you have installed a different language pack in Windows 10. Try to restore default Windows display language using Control Panel -> Language and it'll fix the issue.


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 10

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  • Strange, I've never seen this problem ...
    My search works perfectly.

  • Thank you so much. I was struggling with this problem after upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7. I search but no website helped. Solution 4 given by you worked for me. :)

  • hi vg...i have issue with searching with windows 10 start menu. none of your solutions works.
    when i search for example, cmd, the 'progress bar' will keep moving without any output.

    The only workaround is that i have to 'restart the explorer' then suddenly the search working.
    Then after hibernate, the same issue will happen.
    It's also happen even i have restart the windows (i have to restart explorer then to make search working)

    Please help me... any solution for this issue?


  • VG

    ^^ Try sfc /scannow command to repair system files.

  • VG, i'm try sfc /scannow and found nothing wrong. :/

  • VG

    ^^ You should wait for the Fall Update which is coming very very soon.

  • I can pretty much confirm that this issue can be experienced mostly by users who have upgraded from Windows 7. I upgraded a work machine I've been using for work from Windows 7 and I'm experiencing this problem occasionally and worse, there's no telling on when the Search is going to act up despite my PC having a blazing fast Samsung EVO SSD.

    Solutions 4 or 5 did the trick for my work machine.

  • First of all I'd like to thank VG for this very useful and informative website.

    I've ran into the same issue previously and that time all of the solutions failed to solve it.

    Finally it has been solved by taking the ownership of the folders where the start menu shortcuts are located, both for All User and Current User.

    If none of the above works then one may try this one.

    I also request VG to include it in this post as another solution if he finds is useful.

  • Unfortunately none of these fixes worked for me :( I tried them all. I have no clue when my issue popped up but the start menu search will show uninstalled programs in search results and doesn't show new programs. I did upgrade from windows 8 but that was in the summer. I've only had this issue for maybe a month.

  • Actually finally fixed it! Upgraded from stable build to the latest insider release. Looks like next stable should definitely have a fix

  • Thanks for all your help. I tried all of these solutions but none of them worked. Finally fixed it with the registry change suggested here by Microsoft


    Nothing helped me here, not any of the suggestions in this post, nor any of the comments. BUT I found a solution that actually worked for me! It was the system display language that caused the search problems. Background info: I installed Windows 10 fresh from a USB stick with English as the default language. When installed I began to configure the computer as I liked it, including installing a Swedish language pack for the system. I didn't realize immediately that the language pack was the problem so I began to try out all possible solutions I could find on the internet, without luck. Then I tried switching back to English, and it worked! To confirm it really was the language that caused the problem, I tried going back to Swedish again, and the search problems immediately popped up again. Once again I rolled back to English and the problems disappeared, search is now fully functional!!

  • I had this problem on a desktop that was upgraded from Win7 last year, starting after the Windows 10 Anniversary update. Item "7. Fix Using Registry Editor" fixed it for me! Thanks!

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