Software Windows

Why is my Windows 10 search bar missing?

Windows 10 search bar missing
Search party: where has Windows 10 search gone?

It was definitely there. A little box with “Type here to search” in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. But now it’s gone AWOL. Why is your Windows 10 search bar missing in action?

How to restore the Windows 10 search bar

This is one of those infuriating problems that is stupidly easy to fix, if only you knew how. Which you’re about to, of course.

  1. Right-click on a blank space in the Windows 10 taskbar – the bar that (normally) runs along the foot of the screen
  2. Select Cortana and then in the drop-down menu that appears, select Show Search Box, as shown below
Windows 10 search bar missing

All being well, your search menu should be back in its rightful place.

How to search Windows 10 without a search bar

Now that you’ve seen it, do you actually prefer the taskbar without the search menu? After all, it gives more screen space for your pinned program icons, which is never a bad thing.

If you decide you do prefer the minimalist look but still find you need to use Windows search from time to time, you can quickly access search by pressing the Windows Key + S simultaneously.

(PS. If you like the lighthouse theme you see in my screenshots, see my pick of the best Windows 10 themes here.)

NOW READ THIS: How can I disable Cortana and replace her with Alexa?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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