Cortana or Windows 10 search not finding desktop applications or files

Some people have been reporting that Cortana search on Windows 10, is unable to find desktop apps. Its search includes results from the Windows Store but does not include desktop software and application. Then again some have reported that it does not find anything. If Cortana cannot find desktop apps, programs, documents, music, Control Panel items or anything for that matter, on your Windows 10 computer, this post will help you. Although no official solution is known for the given problem, users reported that the following steps helped them.

Cortana or Windows 10 search not finding desktop applications

Before you begin, make sure that the system is updated to the latest version and has all the Windows Updates installed and create a system restore point.

1: Re-install Cortana using PowerShell

Cortana or Windows 10 search not finding desktop applications

Cortana isn’t easy to reinstall, and it certainly cannot be done like a usual program. It has to be reinstalled using PowerShell.

Open an elevated PowerShell window and run the following command:

Get-AppXPackage -Name Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

This re-installs Cortana. If it works, great, else restore your system back to the created system restore point.

2: Perform an SFC scan

A System File Checker scan helps scan protected files and replaces missing or corrupted ones with previously cached good versions.

Open CMD as administrator and run the following command:

sfc /scannow

Restart the system.

3: Windows Search Troubleshooter

Run the Windows Search Troubleshooter and see if that helps.

Let us know if anything helped you.

Need more ideas? See Start Menu, Cortana and Taskbar Search not working in Windows 10.

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Karan Khanna is a passionate Windows 10 user who loves troubleshooting Windows problems in specific and writing about Microsoft technologies in general.