Last night I fiddled around with some settings, and now Windows 10 refuses to search my settings. If I search "Settings" it returns a result, if I search Notepad and Chrome - it works fine. But if I search "Activate" or "Update" or "Personalization" - it returns nothing until I press enter and wait a while. How can I restore the settings?

The settings I fiddle around were indexing settings. There's only one item checked now - "Start Menu", and the rest of the settings seem fine, but obviously something's wrong. How can I solve this?


Ran into the same problem after upgrade from Windows 8.1 Pro. Since there is no official method to reset Indexing Options to the defaults, I just removed the corresponding registry branch. After the whole procedure, Windows restored the branch in its pristine state and the indexing resumed to work properly.


  1. Stop Windows Search service:

    Win + R, services.msc, Enter

    Find the Windows Search entry, click on it, and choose Stop from the left column.

  2. Remove the following registry branch in its entirety:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager\Windows\SystemIndex

    You can use the free home edition of Registrar Registry Manager for this.

  3. Follow the step #1, but click Start instead of Stop this time.

The service will start and re-create the missing registry branch. This action will effectively set the Indexing Options to their clean default state.

The Control Panel (or Settings) items are now shown in the search results, immediately, but if you feel like to, you can set your own exclusions via the usual Indexing Options interface and even rebuild the index.

|improve this answer|||||
  • There is no CrawlScopeManager on Win10, unfortunately. – Jack Aug 27 '15 at 15:18
  • What did you use to open the registry? What the top existing key do you have in the aforementioned branch? – Neurotransmitter Aug 30 '15 at 18:51
  • I used regedit, but it didn't work, so I had to install the program that you recommended. And actually this time around I DID find the key in the registry. I'm not sure why I didn't the last time I looked - either it for some reason wasn't there or I overlooked it somehow. Either way, the search is working perfectly now, thank you! – Jack Aug 30 '15 at 19:29
  • For some reason, the system regedit sometimes is unable to show certain registry keys (for example when it is run by some system user). I think this is a permissions issue. Third party registry editors to the rescue. – Neurotransmitter Aug 31 '15 at 7:58
  • 4
    Some people might have been browsing for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft/ Windows \Windows Search\ which does exist and is why they didn't see the registry key. – Randy Levy Mar 19 '16 at 16:21

I had one user account this was working for (User1|) & a newer one that it wasn't working for (User2). Copying the files from




& then rebuilding the index in Indexing Options resolved the issue for me.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 2
    I elaborated on this answer over here superuser.com/questions/950102/… … since this seems to be the primary solution. These questions and answers should be deduplicated over time... – Wouter 1 min ago edit – Wouter Feb 23 '17 at 16:47

I think I've found the solution to this issue:

Run Lpksetup /u and uninstall any possible duplicate language you find there, restart Windows and wait a few minutes.

Edit: this worked for another user https://superuser.com/a/961510/485791

  1. Pin any of the Settings pages to Start.

  2. From Indexing Options, Advanced Options, click Rebuild to begin reindexing. Then restart Windows.

|improve this answer|||||
  • There's only US English there, so unfortunately it won't work in my case, but maybe it'll help someone else. – Jack Aug 23 '15 at 0:28
  • Add another language from the Control Panel and then remove it. Also, pin any icon from Settings to Start, rebuild the Search Index and restart Windows. – Diego Muñoz Aug 23 '15 at 1:55
  • I tried with pinning - didn't work, as for languages though - I cannot add any other language, there is just English. My installation was single-language. – Jack Aug 23 '15 at 3:57
  • This worked for me <3 – PulseJet Sep 12 '16 at 10:06

Don't know if it will help anyone else but I just got around this by pinning the Control Panel to the Start Menu and then re-indexing everything.

I then removed the Control Panel from the start menu and I could search the control panel from the start menu.

|improve this answer|||||
  • That's a creative way to solve it! – Run5k Feb 20 '17 at 13:21
  • I tried all of the above, but this was the only thing that worked. Thanks! – Jordy Apr 2 '17 at 22:02

Check if you have disabled indexing on your C: drive.

Also, in my case search didn't look into control panel until I simply pinned it to the start menu. That is search for Control Panel, right click it, select "Pin to Start".

|improve this answer|||||
  • Indexing of Start Menu is on. Pinning it didn't help either, I reindexed it, but it still refuses to search Control Panel, unfortunately. – Jack Aug 18 '15 at 13:28

This is the only thing that worked for me:

Click on the Windows start button and locate Cortana. Right-click > More > App Settings. Click the 'Reset' button.

|improve this answer|||||

What language are you using? As I was using English (UK) and the control panel items led me to the settings program and the settings program was unable to search. On converting everything to English (US) - the same as my control panel indexing file (C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Packages\windows.immersivecontrolpanel_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Indexed\Settings) language - the indexing worked fantastically for everything.

Hope this helps as it worked for me after looking through forums with similar suggestions to those above.

|improve this answer|||||
  • I'm using English US. The problem somehow solved itself it seems however. Now it's back again, but I'm having other problems with my system and I'll reinstall it soon anyway. – Jack Mar 24 '16 at 22:10
  • this seems to be the problem for me. What do you mean by "convert everything to en-US" please? Rename the folder? – Tomáš Fejfar May 4 '16 at 23:47

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.