Dec 132019
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Yesterday, December 12th 2019, I powered on my Windows 10 1909 workstation to see that the start menu wasn’t working, along with the notification tray. I could launch programs from the taskbar, but search, start, and notifications were not functioning.

Attention: If you are experiencing issues with search, please continue reading to the bottom of the blog post and the update marked February 5th, 2020.

Since my workstation is running as a VDI instance, I checked vSphere and noticed the VM was running at extremely high CPU. Inside of the workstation, I opened up the event log and found numerous errors pertaining to the User Shell Experience, as well as multiple Windows 10 apps (UWP apps).

I tried to troubleshoot this using multiple methods found online on google. It sounds like this is a common issue for the past couple months, but no one has been able to find a fix.

Finally, after 14 hours of frusteration, I finally decided to restore the workstaton (VM) from a snapshot backup the night before. Powering it on the start menu was working. I installed some updates and everything is still working great.

If anyone has any information on this, please post it in the comments! I was surprised this isn’t easily fixable and actually required a restore from backup. I’m assuming numerous others are experiencing this issue.

Windows 10 Search on Start Menu not working

Update – February 5th 2020: Today, I noticed my search bar had stopped functioning. I also noticed lots of traffic to my blog for people searching for this. After some research I found this page:

I’ve condensed the fix. To resolve this issue, perform the following instructions:

  1. Open Notepad
  2. Copy and paste the below text:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  3. Save file as “FixSearch.reg”
  4. Run the file (double click) or import the .reg file in to your registry
  5. Restart explorer.exe or restart your computer

The issue should now be resolved.

  6 Responses to “Windows 10 Version 1909 Smart Menu and Search not working”

  1. Its a known fault with KB4517389 , uninstall this or install 2019-11 Cumulative Update (either for 1903 or for 1909), this will uninstall KB4517389

    for a user I then had to rebuild their User Profile as well

  2. Hi Paris,

    This happened with the November CU installed. Even after installing updates the issue still occured with me unfortunately.

    In my case I was stuck restoring from backup. Out of 6 workstations, this only happened on one of them.


  3. This started happening company wide for me today. After one successful search, if another search was attempted you would get the blank window. We have 100+ Win10 systems v1909 and it just started happening today. No updates overnight. No KB4517389 is installed either. I followed the link and added the BinSearchEnabled dword. the CortanaConsent was already present. This fixed for me. I need to push out the fix to all users now. Just wish I know what caused this overnight.

  4. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for posting. I don’t think anything happened on your systems or mine, but I think there was a change on the backend on Microsoft’s servers…

    Either way, glad to hear it fixed your issue. Goodluck deploying it company wide!


  5. Thank you Stephen! It worked for me and my search bar is back! Cheers!

  6. Hi Stephen

    Thank you for posting this fix there has been a number of us in my Tech team trying to find the answer to the windows search bar not working Issue, We tried 2 patches KB4577670 – 2020-10 , KB4577671 – 2020-10 rollback It didn’t work, However I must stress that It Started after we rolled out the latest enterprise W10 update 1909, I will give your Idea a and if it is a success I will keep you posted.

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