Fix: Windows 10 Can’t type in search

It is a pretty basic task for an operating system to allow its users to search for a specific file or application. However, some users are experiencing trouble with Windows 10 start search (or Cortana search). This issue prevents users from typing into the search bar of the start search. Some users cannot interact with the search box, they can’t click on it or type in it or paste anything in it whereas some users can use CTRL + V command to paste in the search but they can’t actually type in the search bar. This is obviously not an issue with the keyboard since the issue appears only with the Windows 10 start search. As you can imagine, this can cause a lot of problems for users.

Windows Search
Windows Search

What causes the Search to not respond?

There are a few things that can cause this issue.

  • ctfmon.exe: This file is located in the system32 folder on your Windows. Ctfmon is the Microsoft process that controls Alternative User Input and the Office Language bar. The issue can appear if this file/service isn’t running. Running this file brings back the Language bar which fixes the issue.
  • Unresponsive Cortana: Sometimes the issue might be caused by unresponsive Cortana service. Cortana runs in the background and you can see it running in the Task Manager. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, these services can stop working and simply rebooting them fixes the issue.
  • MsCtfMonitor: This service is responsible for monitoring TextServicesFramework system service. Since TextServicesFramework system service is related to the text input, a problem with this service can cause this issue. A problem with the Text Service Framework will prevent you from typing in any of the Windows Modern Apps as well. So, if you are facing the same issue on the Modern Apps like the new Windows calculator then the most likely issue is with the Text Service Framework and not the Windows search.

Method 1: Run ctfmon.exe

Usually, the issue is caused because your Language bar is turned off. Ctfmon.exe is the file responsible for controlling this feature. So, running the ctfmon.exe file resolves the issue.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type C:\Windows\system32\ctfmon.exe and press Enter
type ctfmon.exe in run
run ctfmon.exe via run

Running this file will fix the issue. You should be able to type in the Windows search.

Note: You might have to repeat these steps on every reboot (or every once in a while). So if you notice the problem is back then simply repeat these steps and you should be good to go. You can also follow the steps given below to make some changes in the registry so you don’t have to repeat this task on every reboot. However, we will suggest you wait a little bit to see if the problem comes back or not. If it does, then apply the solution given below

  1. Press Windows key once
  2. Type command prompt in the search bar
  3. Right click command prompt from the start search and select Run as administrator
Run command prompt as administrator
Open command prompt
  1. Type the following and press Enter. Restart your computer and check if the error is resolved.
REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run /v ctfmon /t REG_SZ /d CTFMON.EXE
Type REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run /v ctfmon /t REG_SZ /d CTFMON.EXE in cmd
Run ctfmon.exe via cmd

Method 2: Reinstall All Default Apps

Sometimes this problem can be caused by an issue/corruption with the default apps of the system and simply reinstalling your default apps will fix the issue. Follow the steps given below to run a simple command that will reinstall the default apps for you.

  1. Press Windows key once
  2. Type command prompt in the search bar
  3. Right click command prompt from the start search and select Run as administrator
Run command prompt as administrator
Open command prompt
  1. Type PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted and press Enter
type PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted in cmd
powershell with unrestricted access
  1. You should be able to see the PowerShell –ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted appear on the top of command prompt now.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter:
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like "*SystemApps*"} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
Reinstall default apps from command prompt
Reinstall default apps via cmd in unrestricted PowerShell

This should resolve the issue for you. Note: If this doesn’t work then restart your computer and check again.

If the problem still isn’t solved the follow the steps given below.

  1. Press and hold CTRL, SHIFT, Esc keys simultaneously (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC). This should open the Task Manager
  2. Click File and select Run new task
Select file then select run new task
task manager: run a new task
  1. Check the option Create this task with administrative privileges
  2. Type Powershell and click Ok
Type powershell
Run powershell via task manager
  1. Type the following and press Enter:
$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + '\AppxManifest.xml' ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest
Reinstall Windows Store via powershell
Reinstall Windows Store via powershell

Once the command is run, reboot and check if the issue is rectified or not. Note: If this doesn’t work then restart your computer and check again.

Method 3: End Task Cortana

Since Cortana runs in the background and it keeps running in the background, the issue can be caused by the Cortana itself especially if it stops responding. A lot of users fixed the issue by simply stopping the Cortana via Task Manager. You don’t have to worry about restarting Cortana, it automatically starts itself after a while. So, follow the steps given below to End Task Cortana.

  1. Press and hold CTRL, SHIFT, Esc keys simultaneously (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC). This should open the Task Manager
  2. Locate the Cortana service from the Processes list. If you can’t find Cortana in this list then select the Services tab and check there
  3. Locate and right-click Cortana
  4. Select End Task
right click cortana and select end task
End Task Cortana via task maanger

This should rectify the issue. The search should be working fine now.

Method 4: Import MsCtfMonitor.xml from another Windows 10

MsCtfMonitor is a Microsoft’s own task with the sole purpose of monitoring the TextServicesFramework system service. The TextServicesFramework system service provides a simple and scalable framework for the delivery of advanced text input and natural language technologies. In some cases, the MsCtfMonitor scheduled task might not be started or it might have gotten corrupted which leads to this issue. Simply running the MsCtfMonitor task or importing the MsCtfMonitor.xml file from another Windows 10 machine with its search working properly.

  1. Log in to another Window 10 PC
  2. Hold Windows key and press R
  3. Type taskschd.msc and press Enter
Type taskschd.msc in run
Run task scheduler
  1. Double-click Task Scheduler Library from the left pane
  2. Double-click Microsoft from the left pane
  3. Double click Windows from the left pane
Open TextServicesFramework via task scheduler
Open TextServicesFramework
  1. Select TextServicesFramework from the left pane
  2. Right-click MsCtfMonitor from the mid pane and select Export…
Right click MsCtfMonitor and select Export
Export MsCtfMonitor task
  1. Select a location that you can remember and click Save
  2. Copy this exported file to a USB and paste it to the problematic pc
  3. Repeat steps from 1-7
  4. Right click on an empty space in the mid pane and select Import…
Right click in task scheduler and select Import
Import MsCtfMonitor task in task scheduler
  1. Navigate to the location where you pasted the MsCrfMonitor.xml file from the other machine and select it
  2. One imported, right click the file from the mid pane and select Run
Run MsCtfMonitor task
Run MsCtfMonitor task

The problem should go away once the task is up and running.

Expert Tip

Fix: Windows 10 Can’t type in search

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

Download Now

I'm not interested

Close