Search box does not display search results correctly in Windows 7

Microsoft has released a hotfix to resolve an issue, where the Search programs and files box may not be displaying the search results correctly in Windows 7 and in Windows 2008 R2.

Search box does not display search results correctly

On a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you try to search for an item on the computer by using the Search programs and files box.

However, the search results are not displayed correctly. Only the category headings of the categorized search results are displayed, such as Programs, Control Panel, and Documents.

Moreover, if you click the displayed category headings, nothing happens.

To resolve this issue:

1. Press the Windows logo key + R on your keyboard.

2. In the Run box, type regedit and then press ENTER. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

3. Locate the following registry subkey:


4. Right-click this subkey, and then select Delete.

5. Restart the computer.

Alternatively, you can also request for and download Fix296173 and apply it. More on this at KB977380.

If you receive and error message: Search Failed to Initialize, Waiting to receive indexing status or Microsoft Windows Search Indexer Stopped Working And Was Closed or Windows could not start the Windows Search on Local Computer, you may want to see this post on Windows Search not working.

You may also want to check out Troubleshooting Search & Indexing Errors and Repair broken Windows Search in Windows 7 using Windows Search Troubleshooter

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.