Fix: Search missing from start menu of Windows

If you find Windows Search missing from the Start Menu, then this post may interest you. Windows Vista’s SP1 changes the Search feature to allow users to choose a default desktop search program by using Set Default Programs from Control Panel.

You may have also noticed small changes to the UI, relating to Search, in the Start Menu. The Search Button has been removed from the right side of the Start Menu. A button labeled Search Everywhere has replaced See All Results now.

The contextual search has also been removed. In Windows Explorer, users will also see a Search Everywhere option in the toolbar now.

Search missing from start menu

This is one of the unwelcome changes introduced by Microsoft introduced in Service Pack 1 and higher versions including Windows 7. Why an unwelcome change? Until now there was an easy ways to get to the Search screen via

  1. Start menu button
  2. Folder context menu item

Luckily, if you aren’t happy with the change you can get back the “Search” item and add it to the context menu with a simple registry tweak.

The nice thing about the folder context menu is that the search window will be already set to search only that folder.

If you wish to restore the context menu search item, do the following:

Open Regedit and navigate to


Rename the REG_SZ: ‘LegacyDisable’ value to something else like, say, ‘LegacyDisablex’ or delete it.

You will get the context menu search back.

Any of the following actions will bring up the Search Results window:

  1. Windows Key + F
  2. Click the taskbar and hit F3 on the keyboard
  3. Open an Explorer window and hit F3
  4. In cmd.exe type start search-ms: and hit enter.

Trust this helps 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 + 4 =