Windows 10: Can't type in Search field

After I had done some changes in Windows 10 to make it faster and less "chatty" to Microsoft (switch off Telemetry, switch off error reporting etc.) I could not use search any more. Symptoms were:

  • Can't type into Cortana search field
  • Can't type to search in Start Menu
  • Can't type to search in Win 10 App Store
  • Can't type in taskbar search
  • Can't type in Settings search

There are lots people with the same or similar issues as can be seen from a simple Internet search "win 10 taskbar search not working".

Unfortunately, from all the suggestions, nothing worked for me:

  • Re-install Cortana (keyboard search should also work without Cortana, so that did not help)
  • Kill the Cortana/Search process
  • Rebuild the search index
  • Re-install all default apps
  • Restart the "Windows Search" service
  • Run the "Search and Indexing" Troubleshooter
  • Run system file checker (SFC) to search for currupted files
  • Re-install the keyboard driver

After some hours of poking around, I found that I could right-click in the search field and paste the contents of the clipboard! And I saw the correct search results. So the index must have been fine. It looked like a keyboard issue, not a search issue.

But the keyboard worked in any application (e.g. Notepad, Excel etc.) just not in the searches. I started to suspect that it could be a Windows 10 "Modern Apps" issue. As I never use Modern Apps, I first had to load one (I chose "Calculator"), and - Bingo! - I could not enter any numbers via the keyboard. I could only click on the numbers, but could not type them.

I found that the keyboard did not work for any Windows 10 Modern Apps, just for the traditional desktop apps. Finally I found through some Internet searches how to solve this problem:

  1. Open Task Scheduler
  2. Go to Microsoft > Windows > TextServicesFramework
  3. On MsCtfMonitor, do a right-click and enable the task
  4. Restart your machine

That's it. All the search boxes worked again!

Update: If the task MsCtfMonitor is missing from the list of tasks, you can import it with the .XML file below:

MsCtfMonitor.xml

Thanks to Rob for the tip.

64 thoughts on “Windows 10: Can't type in Search field”

  1. This worked perfectly for me, thank you so much. I have been trying to get this sorted for weeks and was just about to blow the OS away and start again. Thanks again. Great result!!

  2. This is the best lifesaving guide I have ever seen on the internet period. The wifi management window was also affected by the problem so I wasn't able to type in a wifi password. So I pulled out my phone, found this article and now my computer is back in business. Thank you basics.net

  3. I almost tried way as you. I don't know this trigged of MsCtfMonitor.
    Thank you Admin and Rob.

    schtasks /change /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\TextServicesFramework\MsCtfMonitor" /Enable
    schtasks /RUN /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\TextServicesFramework\MsCtfMonitor"

  4. My MsCtfMonitor task was enabled but I could not type anything as described. I had to Run the task and then everything worked. Thanks so much for the detailed post, I was pulling my hair out for a week.

  5. Thank the heaven's for persons like you that solve problems like this for the rest of us! I have been pulling my hair out for days trying to find the answer to fix this condition. Tried practically every proposed solution I could find, short of starting over with the OS. I was on the verge of doing just that when I found your post. My deepest gratitude!

    Do you have any thoughts on what in the hell could have caused this in the first place?

    1. In my case, I had disabled many scheduled tasks that seemed unnecessary to me, so my PC gets faster (and it did get faster indeed). I unfortunately also disabled the MsCtfMonitor task.

      If you have not done that, it could maybe be a speedup tool or something that did it. Did you have this problem from the beginning? Or did it first work on Win 10 and then all of a sudden it stopped working?

  6. Guys if you can't find the task MsCtfMonitor, then just right click in the empty white box and create your own. Make it startup on system start and make sure to uncheck anything that could disable the task (for instance "only run the task when connected to the internet").

  7. GREAT, didn't find the task just export it from an other Windows 10 Desktop and launch it !!! thanks for your post

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