After a fresh install of Windows 10 and a couple of days:

If I open the start menu and start clicking things it all works.
If I'm searching for, well, anything, I'm getting the result I want (think of some app) but I can't click on it and open it. Right click doesn't nothing as well. The app line has a gray background.

Has anybody encountered this behavior?

7 Answers 7



The issue has been described by some users as possibly due to several factors ranging from corrupted cortana setings, faulty search index etc

Possible solutions

1. Restarting Cortana

Some users have attributed this issue with faulty cortana such that restarting the process "cures" the problem:

Search is powered by Cortana in Windows 10 . Even if you disable Cortana ’ s functionality, which I have done as I don’ t find the feature particularly useful , you will notice that Cortana remains running in the Task Manager.

All you need to do to fix the search in Windows 10 is to kill the Cortana process on the computer . It gets restarted right away when you do and when you run a search afterwards , you will notice that results are displayed again.

Do the following to kill the Cortana process in Windows 10 :

  • Use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc key buttons to open the Task Manager .
  • If you see only a handful programs listed by it click on the “ more details” link .
  • Locate “ Cortana” under background processes.
  • Right- click on the process and select “ end task ” from the context menu .

  1. Rebuilding Search index

Some users have reported success with this option and its worth a try:

To rebuild the index:

  • Click Start and then click on the Settings icon in the left column of the Start menu.

  • In the text box at the top of Settings, type Index.

  • Select the "Indexing Options" item. In the Indexing Options window, click on "Advanced".
  • In the "Advanced Options" popup, select the "Index Settings" tab. Click on the Rebuild button under Troubleshooting.

3. Clearing Cortana's private database

Through rigorous experimenting, one user claims this workaround solved their issue. This is because, cortana usually queries search entries from these databases, thus if something is wrong with the items in its private database, the result is not clickable. Clearing its private database will essentially fix the problems.

The basic proceedure is given:

  • Create a new administrator on your Window 10 and sign in as that user
  • Delete (or rename) C:\Users\<PROBLEM USER>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy
  • Sign back in as the PROBLEM USER
  • Open PowerShell as an admin and type (or paste)

    Add-AppxPackage -Path “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\Appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register

  1. Tweaking language settings

Some users have had varying success with changing display language to US, and is worth a shot.

  1. Restoring online system image

Another fix would be to restore the system image with a new image, and usually repairs faulty system files with fresh, updated ones from Microsoft servers:

The procedure

  • Press Windows Key + X
  • Click command prompt (Run as administrator).
  • In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following commands. Press Enter key after each command:

    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Important: When you run this command, DISM uses Windows Update to provide the files that are required to fix corruptions.

  • To close the Administrator: In the command prompt window, type Exit, and then press Enter .

  1. Using a third-party search tool

Given the many bugs in the Windows search tool, switch to a different tool may alleviate these bugs.

One option is provided by Classic Shell for example. The program may replace the Windows 10 Start Menu with a classic copy


  1. Start menu Search can't click on search results leading to Settings pages + Settings search results not loading
  2. Certain things can't be clicked in Start Menu search results
  3. Fix Search not working in Windows 10
  4. Can' t click " Best Match " on Start Menu Search
  • Clearing cortana's private database worked for me
    – cooljeffro
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 17:20

What helped me was this:

  1. Open Start menu
  2. Right click on "Settings" icon (above Power)
  3. Select "More" and "App settings"
  4. Click on "Reset" button

This worked for me, my User is on a domain.
Create a new administrator on your Windows 10 and sign in as that User Delete (or Rename)

C:\Users\<PROBLEM USER>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy

Sign back in as the PROBLEM USER.
Open PowerShell as an admin and type (or paste)

Add-AppxPackage -Path “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\Appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register

Things to try :

  • Run sfc /scannow to scan for system corruption
  • Boot into Safe Mode and if this works then the problem is caused by some installed product, so use Autoruns to disable startup program until you find it. Otherwise, the problem is with Windows itself.
  • Run the the Start menu Troubleshooter and reboot
  • If nothing works, replace the Microsoft Start Menu by a third-party product, the free Classic Shell recommended.

This is a very common problem actually, the start menu has quite some bugs.

A few options you can try:

  • Sometimes it helps to just change some start menu settings, like making it full screen or changing the mode to Tablet Mode.
  • As mentioned also, Microsoft has a start menu troubleshooter worth trying.
  • Also, try to create a new user. Does the same bug happen with the new user as well?

I turned off "Could Search" in Settings=>Corana=>Permissions & History and that seemed to solve issue.


Just go to your taskbar and right click,start "Task Manager" (or hit Ctrl + Shift + Esc key ). Lookup "Search" process (the one with the magnifying lens icon) and right click and select "End Task".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .