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Windows 8 Search Crash Fix

Updated on November 2, 2012

Windows 8 Search

Microsoft is not very well known for their performance out of the gate with new software. Vista was a huge blunder with all the bugs and crashes, and Windows 8 may be headed in the same direction. I was among many eager technology geeks awaiting Windows 8 in hopes that Microsoft had finally caught up to the competition, and at first I was impressed. The problems didn't really start until the first update came and went- after which I was unable to use the search function. Some internet searches turned up an automated tool made by Microsoft for just this problem. Trouble was, it was no help. After a lot of digging I was able to fix my problem and my solution is outlined below.

Microsoft Fix-it

For those of you with better luck than I have here is the link to the automated solution.

Using Windows

1. Navigate to Control Panel.

2. Click "Programs" then "Programs and Features".

3. Click "Turn Windows features on or off" on the left side of the list.

4. Uncheck "Windows Search" and hit "OK". You will be prompted to restart.

5. After restart, repeat these steps and check the box.

If the above did not work continue here:

6. Go to Control Panel.

7. In the top right, search for "reindex". There should be three options that come up. Choose the middle option of "Change how windows searches".

8. Click "Advanced" to get a new options menu.

9. Click the button titled "Rebuild" in the middle of the new box.

10. Wait for it to finish. This process may take up to an hour depending on how many files you have.

Manual Fix

This is a little involved for someone who is not comfortable with administrative tools on a computer but it is very easy if you follow these instructions.

1. Press Windows Key + R to get the run dialogue box.

2. Type "regedit.exe" in the box and hit enter.

3. Using the box on the left, navigate to the following directory: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\



4. We need to change a registry called "Start_SearchFiles" to a value of 2. If you are like me, yours is already 2. We need to reset this so what we are going to do it change it to 0, then back to 2.

5. Double-click Start_SearchFiles or right-click and select "Modify" to get the edit box. Change the number under "Value data" to 0 then click "Ok".

6. Repeat step 5, changing the value back to 2.

7. Restart your computer.

Manual Fix 2

Using the above information navigate to the following directory:


And delete the following folder: {ef87b4cb-f2ce-4785-8658-4ca6c63e38c6}. After deleting the folder restart your computer.


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    • profile image

      Xircal 3 years ago

      Excellent! The manual Registry fix worked for me on Windows 8.1 where Windows Search was hanging with "Stopping" in the Services Management Console.

    • profile image

      AdamBill420 4 years ago

      Well, one needs to boot his system without loading any startup applications. In technical terms, it is called as "clean boot" method. It's easy; and one is required to change MSConfig options.

      1. Press Windows Key so as to open the Start Screen.

      2. Type "MSCONFIG" (without quotes). Press ENTER. This will open System Configuration.

      3. Under General tab, select "Selective startup" option. In that particular category, un-check the box labelled "Load startup items".

      4. Click Apply, OK, Yes. Your computer will restart.

      If it fails to diagnose your problem, read more solutions here:

    • profile image

      Sim 4 years ago

      Spoke too soon. Not working. And method 2 wouldn't complete - it wouldn't let me delete the folder, any idea why?

    • profile image

      Sim 4 years ago

      Spoke too soon, not working at all....

    • profile image

      Sim 4 years ago

      Last step worked for me...phew!

    • AlphaTechWV profile image

      Scott Rose 4 years ago from Oak Hill, WV

      Run all your optional updates. This is something that has finally been fixed by Microsoft.

    • profile image

      Siddhartha 4 years ago

      Doesn't work.. tried all this.. rebuilt index a 100 times.. uninstalled and installed windows search.. any more idea ??

    • profile image

      Harish 4 years ago

      Thanks it worked for me. You are great.............

    • profile image

      Rajkumar 4 years ago

      excellent, it works for me.

    • AlphaTechWV profile image

      Scott Rose 5 years ago from Oak Hill, WV

      I've seen some problems coming from software or tiles that are corrupting the search index. Have you installed any new software or features? Are you using a software to give the start menu back? I had problems with start menu replacements messing my search up.

    • profile image

      jbridden 5 years ago

      Tried all of these fixes... none worked for me... : (

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Welcome and great tips. Step by step instructions are always great to have.

      Wishing you much success.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi there, welcome to Hubpages! I do so admire a person who can manage all these technical details, I usually just feel dumb! I'm not looking forwards to Windows 8 at all, bad memories of Vista!

      I wish you all the best as a member of Hubpages community, enjoy your stay with us!

      Voted up, usefulk and interesting. Also shared. Have a good day!

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 5 years ago

      Great tips and warnings about windows 8. I have windows 7 so I think I'll hold off for now.

      Welcome to Hubpages!


      Team Welcome Wagon