As of a few days ago the "Search Programs and Files" accessible via the Start button stopped functioning. If I type in a program name or file details I do not get any 'proper' results. What simply appears are 3 items -- Programs, Documents, Files. Each item appears to have the icon that is bound to the 'no extension' file format (in my case a green box).

If I click on any of these items to open it it errors saying that the file can't be opened due to Internet security settings. If I right-click and ask top open the containing folder it takes me to my desktop folder but there is no file there (have checked for hidden/system files too).

If I click "See more results" this finds the files as per usual.

I am unsure what triggered this, I have tried re-indexing Search and even removing Search and re-installing that feature.

Anyone have any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


This Microsoft Support article deals with the problem:

The "Search programs and files" box does not display search results correctly in Windows 7 and in Windows 2008 R2

It offers a hotfix that you can download, or the following manual method:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R on your keyboard.
  2. In the Run box, type regedit and then press ENTER.
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Locate the following registry subkey:
  4. Right-click this subkey, and then select Delete.
  5. Restart the computer.

Take the usual precautions before editing the registry, such as creating a system restore point.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.