How to Fix Windows XP Search Problems

windows xp search not working

If some of you PC users are still running Windows XP then it’s a given that you’ll run into problems with your desktop search. Most Windows versions don’t have the most productive, or even the fastest search options, and while running an older version of Windows, like Windows XP, you are sure to come across search problems.


Looking for a way to improve search in Windows XP? Lookeen can help you out.

You often read complaints about the computer freezing for a minute when someone tries to click on the search bar, and there are some that say the search isn’t working at all. Here are some things you can try to fix your Windows XP search problems.


Windows XP Search Engine Finding Irrelevant Files

When a search tool on a computer gives you trouble it can be a frustrating problem to have. If, for some reason, the desktop search seems to work, but only brings up irrelevant files then you have a different problem on your hands—one that is still solvable. It will just take some customization for it to find the correct files.

If you change some of the settings in the Content Indexing Service, you can have all file types indexed. Here’s what you need to do to change the Indexing Settings in Windows XP:

  • Choose Search from your Start Menu
  • Then select the link to Change Preferences
  • Then click on With Indexing Service
  • You will have to scroll down a bit and select Change Indexing Service Settings (Advanced)
  • In the view Menu select Customize, and check off the box for the Console tree and then click OK.
  • On the left hand pane right-click on Indexing Service on Local Machine, and select Properties.
  • On the tab that says Generation, check the box that says Index files with unknown extensions. Then click OK.
  • You can now close the Indexing Service Console.

Your search should now pick up relevant file types and names.


Windows XP Search Not Working

What happens if your search stops working completely? A Windows XP search problem that was quite common was the search window would pop up, but the user wouldn’t be able to type anything into the search. There’s still something you might be able to try.

  • Go to Start then select Run
  • Then type these in, hitting enter after each entry:
  • regsvr32 wshom.ocx
  • regsvr32 jscript.dll
  • regsvr32 urlmon.dll

Now just restart your PC. This should fix your Windows XP search problems.

A note to any and all Windows XP users: Support for Windows XP ended in April of 2014. This is important because it means that you no longer receive security updates or any kind of technical support. Microsoft advises that all users try to upgrade to a more recent version of windows, so that their computer is not at risk.


Change the Default Windows XP Search Engine

Although the Windows XP Search engine was much beloved, it isn’t the most powerful search tool out there, especially since there are quite a few newer versions of Windows to replace it that contain stronger search engines. If you want better search capabilities but really don’t want to update your Windows version, then your best bet would be to download a third party search engine.

There are some known issues with trying to install a search engine in Windows XP, so you really need to check that the software you download is compatible. What happens is that the system will still try to use the basic Windows XP Search Engine, and not the new installation. There used to be a program called Reroute XP Search, which could be used to change the search link from the Windows XP search engine to the third party installation, however it is no longer available to download. If you are running a newer version of Windows, then Reroute XP will not work anyway. It was specifically designed to allow a third party search engine to work on Windows XP.

Date: 29. Jan 2016
Author: Joana Simoes
Tags: Windows Search

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  • G

    It Worked. thanks

    2018-10-18 10:54:26 | gayan
  • D

    good solution .it worked. thanks

    2018-05-27 11:58:33 | dilum pathirana

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