How to Find and Use Windows Search in Windows 10 and 11

When it comes to finding files, programs, and folders within Windows, the Windows Search tool is a time saver. Can you imagine how long it would take to find all the stuff on your PC manually? Some of us don’t even know where half of the files on our PC are at any given time.

You might not be aware of this, but all Windows versions support quite a few ways of launching and using Windows Search. Below, we have listed the different methods of doing so in detail. All the methods are simple and work for both Windows 10 and 11.

1. How to Use Windows Search on the Taskbar

The easiest, and quickest way of using Windows search in both Windows 10 and 11 is via the search icon located on the taskbar. In Windows 10, you will find a search bar right next to the Windows icon on the left corner of the taskbar.

In Windows 11, the taskbar features a search icon next to the Windows icon that you can click on. Doing so launches a window, where you can type your query and hit Enter to perform the search.

In case you cannot find the search bar/icon on your taskbar, there is a chance that the feature is disabled in Windows settings. If this scenario is applicable, follow the steps below to enable the search feature in both Windows 10 and 11.

1. Windows 10

If you’re using Windows 10:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and choose Search.

  2. Click on Show search box.

If this does not work, launch the Settings app by pressing Win + I keys together. Choose Personalization from the list of options available and then click on Taskbar. Turn the toggle off for Use small taskbar buttons. In case your taskbar is not displayed at the bottom, set the Taskbar location on-screen option to Bottom.


2. Windows 11

Alternatively, if you’re on Windows 11:

  1. Press the Win + I keys to open Windows Settings.
  2. Choose Personalization from the left pane.
  3. Click on Taskbar.

  4. In the following window, head over to the Taskbar items section and turn the toggle on for Search.

You should now be able to view the search icon and use it without any problems. If the error persists, head over to our dedicated guide on the fixes to try if the search bar won’t show on your taskbar.

Another way of using the Windows search is via the Start menu. For this, simply click on the Windows icon on the taskbar, type the search query in the search field and click one of the options available. If you don’t see a search bar, start typing anyway; Windows should realize what you want to do and bring up a search bar to type in.

This works for both Windows 10 and 11 in the same way.

3. How to Open Windows Search With a Keyboard Shortcut

Using dedicated keyboard shortcuts on your Windows PC is the quickest way to perform desired actions. Did you know, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to every program installed on your Windows PC? And that you can even use a keyboard shortcut to enable and disable Windows dark mode?

Similarly, you can use the Win + S shortcut to launch the search dialog on both Windows 10 and 11.

Improve Your Windows Search Experience

Now you know the different ways of launching Windows search in both Windows 10 and 11. The next time you need to find something on your PC, don’t go digging by yourself; instead, let Windows do all the heavy lifting for you.

You can also try installing a similar third-party tool if you want more indexing tools and advanced-level functionality. Quick Search and Ultra Search by Tree Size are just two such options that you can consider getting.

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