When I first installed Windows 8, I could start an app by hitting the Windows key once to bring up the Start screen, and then typing a substring of the app's name.

At some point since then, the "substring" part seems to have stopped working.

So now, for example, if I type chrom, I get, No apps match your search, but when I type the final e, up pops Google Chrome. Similarly, ie used to bring up Internet Explorer. Now I have to type the whole word Internet before anything is found.

Did Microsoft really change the functionality to make it much less useful, or is there just some setting somewhere that has somehow gotten twiddled to create this behaviour?

1 Answer 1


Check your folder options. Be sure "Find partial matches" is checked.

Control Panel -> Folder Options

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  • This still doesn't seem to work for some programs. E.g., "regedi" will not find regedit.exe, but "regedit" will. Jul 17, 2014 at 13:57
  • 1
    Seems to be that way for any MSC related search, I.e regedit, services, lusrmgr etc.. - Maybe it's by design? Jul 17, 2014 at 14:08
  • 5
    I can only see the second option (Don't use the index...) in the first fieldset "How to search". Does anybody else experience this behavior? I have Windows 8.1.
    – ComFreek
    Jul 17, 2014 at 16:52
  • 2
    @ComFreek Yup, getting the exact same issue here: puu.sh/afAel/6e6deba95e.png. I'm pretty sure 8.1 revamped the application search so it matches substrings automatically
    – yuritsuki
    Jul 17, 2014 at 18:20
  • 3
    @ComFreek same here, not present in windows 10 neither. However the search is not working correctly... :/
    – Ev0oD
    Aug 1, 2015 at 8:43

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