Fix Windows 10 Search bar missing

Windows 10 Taskbar offers a Search bar where you can click and type to instantly search anything on Windows 10. You can quickly get the focus by pressing the Windows key and start typing right away; however, if the Taskbar Search bar or icon is missing, then this post shows how to get the Search bar back on Windows 10.

Windows 10 Search bar is missing

Most of the time, the search bar or icon is hidden, and you may feel as though if it is missing. So follow the tips to enable and show the Search bar or icon.

  1. Enable Search bar from the Taskbar
  2. Toggle off small taskbar buttons
  3. Change Primary Monitor
  4. Change Taskbar Position
  5. Run SFC/DISM Tool.

Lastly – there is a better way to access search, and all it takes is a keyboard shortcut to bring it up! The latest version of Windows 10 has detached Cortana from the search, and even if Cortana disabled, it does not affect the search. We will talk about this at the end of this post.

1] Enable Search bar from the Taskbar

Windows 10 Search bar missing

Sometimes the search box or the icon is only hidden, and you need to enable it to make it appear on the Taskbar.

  • Right-click on the Taskbar
  • Click on Search
  • Check either Show search icon or Show search box

Depending on what you turn on, the search option should instantly appear in the Taskbar.

2] Toggle off small taskbar buttons

Taskbar Settings Windows 10 Search bar missing

If you have enabled the Search bar in the Taskbar option but still see only the search icon, then here is how to fix it.

  • Right-click on the Taskbar and select Taskbar settings.
  • Locate and toggle off the option—Use small taskbar buttons

Once it’s off, you should see the Cortana Search box if you have selected the Show search box option from the Taskbar menu.

3] Change Primary Monitor

If you have multiple monitors and you are not able to see the search bar, then your current monitor is not the primary monitor. While Windows 10 supports the Taskbar on all the displays, the search bar is reduced to search bar in the rest of the displays except for the primary monitor.

If you are not able to see the Taskbar at all:

Taskbar Multiple Displays Settings

  • Right-click on the Taskbar and click on Taskbar settings
  • Locate Multiple displays section
  • Toggle on Show Taskbar on all displays

Change Primary Display:

  • Open Windows Settings  (Win + I)  and navigate to System > Display
  • Click on the Identify button. If its anything other than “1” then it’s not your primary display
  • Select the monitor you want to make your primary display
  • Scroll to find the Multiple Display section, and check the box which says—Make this my main display.

If the Search box option is enabled from Taskbar settings, then you should be able to see the search box right away. If it’s a search icon, you can change it by following the first method on the list.

4] Change Taskbar Position

how do i get the search bar back on windows 10

The Taskbar can be repositioned to any side of the screen, and when placed anywhere except at the bottom, the search bar changes to the search icon. It happens despite the search bar option checked. So if you want the search bar back, you need to set the Taskbar at the bottom.

5] Run DISM/SFC Tool

If none of these work, then probably there is a corruption of system files. As a last option, run the SFC and DISM tool to fix any corrupt system file, and then restart to see the changes.  Follow our detailed guide on how you can run these commands on PowerShell or Command Prompt with admin permission.

Launch Windows Search using Keyboard Shortcut

Windows 10 Search bar missing

While the search bar makes it easy to visualize, it can be easily accessed using a short cut key. You can choose to hide the search bar from the Taskbar and still launch the searching using Win+S. It instantly brings up the search box, and you can start typing.

I hope this post helps you get the search bar back on your Windows 10 PC.

Windows 10 Search bar missing

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Jacob MORRIS

Jacob MORRIS

MORRIS is an impassioned technology writer. He always inspires technologists with his innovative thinking and practical approach. A go-to personality for every Technical problem, no doubt, the chief problem-solver!

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