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Microsoft Reportedly Broke Windows 10 Search

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft said on September 10 (opens in new tab) that its KB4515384 cumulative update fixed a problem that prevented search results from appearing in Windows Desktop Search. Windows Latest reported yesterday that Microsoft didn't actually resolve the issue, however, with numerous people complaining on Reddit and the Microsoft answer forum that search results still aren't showing up even after the update's installed.

This has become something of a trend for Windows 10 updates of late. Microsoft released an update to Surface devices in August, for example, that was supposed to improve Wi-Fi and Bluetooth performance. Instead, the update prevented those devices from connecting to 5 GHz networks. Now, an update meant to fix Windows Desktop Search has failed to resolve the problem for all of the affected users.

That isn't a good look. It's made even worse by the fact that Microsoft released the KB4515384 update to resolve high CPU usage issues caused by a problem with Windows Desktop Search. (And, by extension, the Cortana voice assistant.) Multiple users reported CPU usage as high as 40% for the SearchUI.exe process, but attempting to actually use Windows 10's search tool would only lead to a blank page.

Microsoft said in the knowledge base article for the KB4515384 (opens in new tab) cumulative update that it's not aware of any issues with the build. That seems unlikely, given the reports on social media that Windows Latest spotted, but it's possible Microsoft simply hasn't updated the article yet. We suspect it wants to make sure it can actually resolve the Windows Desktop Search issue before releasing another update.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • bigdragon
    Anyone else having the issue where the Start Menu won't appear sometimes? Seems related to problems with searching. Windows 10 sure does have some bizarre bugs.
  • Eximo
    I've almost given up on the search. Even MS products fail to make the list appropriately. Basically just create tiles for everything I want to launch regularly. Typically have to browse the full start menu to find applications, and don't get me started on locating Window's more advanced features. Basically have to get to all of them manually now.
  • Ziadul87
    Same thing happened to me when I was using an old version of Windows 10. But newer versions doesn't seem to have the bug (at least I never faced it again after updating to OS version 1803 & 1903)
  • fireaza
    Search has been broken for me for ages. Only about half of my programs are actually searchable, despite making sure to add them to indexing.
  • Ziadul87
    Somehow it seems to work with mine(OS version 1903)
    I'll send you my OS build number. You could try downloading the same build.
  • Mandark
    Never had an issue
  • jonathan1683
    windows search has been garbage since windows xp. windows 7 was broken and MS knew it and never fixed it. windows 10 gives you 10000000000000000000 results searching within files and returning garbage. I end up having to search everything with wildcards and file extensions just to find stuff or using command prompt.
  • Giroro
    This is what happens when you hire the cheapest interns and Computer Science majors with an undergrad degree you can find to replace senior engineers with 30+ years low-level programming experience (which they don't teach to undergrads)... and then expect them to perform at the same level with a smaller team and no training.
    Microsoft didn't prepare for the generation gap. They're going to have a rough ~10 years in front of them and they'll come out of it looking like a totally different company.
    At least they have some good EEs working on their hardware devices like Surface and previously Zune. Those guys might need to step in and teach the Windows team how computers work. New CS undergrads are taught that the OS is a black box that they can depend on to handle everything, which becomes a problem when they get a job to program an OS without actually knowing how one works.
  • Eximo
    Not sure I agree on that. I went to school with a lot of CS folks, and they were building their own OS from the ground up as part of their studies.

    But I agree that there is going to be a gap in knowledge and experience. My company is forcing early retirement, and the perception I am having is now the same as theirs. When I was starting out, I was constantly asked what school I was attending, etc, when I had been out of school for years. They were surprised to see someone so young. Now I am the one going, huh, the upper management sure looks youthful. Because I have been used to 60+ year olds in all the senior positions.

    I hate to be 'that guy' but it is also an effect of extensive outsourcing then anything else. Outside of the 'West' school accreditation isn't closely regulated (not that it is here, but it is at least better) and you have people graduating with no practical experience at all. Just the ability to pass exams. To top it off you have a communication and time lag problem at most companies. Additionally, the culture, particularly in India, involves many layers of management. So while you might have a representative for your developers either on site or at your beck and call, they turn it over to a project manager, who turns it over to a development lead, who turns it over to a manager, who then tells the team what to do. Like playing a giant game of telephone with a complete translation to another language happening regularly.

    Not sure this is at every company, but the large ones all do it. Unless they hand development completely to a third party. I have less of a problem with that, but it doesn't seem to be the common practice. Though we did just that with certain aspects outside of IT, still a bizarre choice, but for every one US engineer you can find three or four from India or China.