Fix: Windows Start Menu Search Box not working in Windows 7

If you find that your Windows Start Search Box in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 is not displaying results correctly, you may want to request for and apply this hotfix which Microsoft has just made available for all.

Specifically, if you put in a search query for an item on the computer by using the Start Menu Search programs and files box and the results are not displayed, but instead displays only the category headings like Documents, Programs, Files, Control Panel, Pictures, etc, then KB977380 recommends that you apply this hotfix. Moreover even when you click on these links viz Documents, Programs, etc, nothing happens!

Fix Windows Search Problems

Go here to put in a request for Hot Fix 296173. You  have to provide your email ID. Microsoft will then mail you the download link.

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.

These post on how to Repair broken Windows Search in Windows 7 using Windows Search Troubleshooter may also interest you.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
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.


  1. Janne Granström

    i cannot belive this.. a email from microsoft for patchfile….

  2. teqjack

    “search result does not include libraries that are not indexed”
    Since I turn off indexing…
    Article ID: 2268596

  3. girovago

    A me improvvisamente la funzione Cerca non ha funzionato più. Non uscivano le voci all’atto della digitazione e un avviso mi diceva che non avevo i diritti di Administrator. Ho provato con tutti i Fix, ho chiesto al supporto tecnico Microsoft, ma non ho risolto niente. Ho risolto da solo così:
    ho creato un nuovo profilo utente con privilegi di Administrator e la funzione cerca funzionava col nuovo profilo. Ho copiato i dati utenti e ho cancellato il vecchio.

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