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.

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

  1. This is occurring on an eMatic Windows 10 tablet/desktop PC - the MsCtfMonitor was already enabled, so I disabled and re-enabled, then restarted Win10. Still not able to left click inside the Search Field: 'Type here to search'. Rt click has no effect in this field, either.

  2. I have uninstall Cortana, and I can not search for programs in the start bar. I do not even let me write. I'll find Search and nothing. I'm using windows 10 and I just want to make him go and look for whatever I want.

  3. Thanks a lot man
    Appericiated a lot
    i was crazy mad cuz of this issue
    i work in office in which i MUST use calculator which u solved it

    THANKS MAN

    1. The same thing happened to me. When I opened Task Scheduler, there were 100 pop-ups saying that "Task X has been removed, please refresh". When I tried to import MsCtfMonitor.xml, it told me that the folder/file already existed, even though it did not. No idea what would have caused that.

  4. thank you so much bro, I've tried many ways to fix the problem, but those all didn't work, until I found your post!! thanks a lot!!

  5. Omg many thanks. You saved my life. I re-installed windows like 3 times and cant solved it until I found this :D
    I can go now to get some sleep.

    BIG THANKSSSS

  6. Many many thanks!
    I was stupid enough to follow the half-witted advice from Micro$soft (the "manifest" fix) which screwed up my laptop by disabling a heap of essential services. Then I found your fix. Which worked immediately.

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