Quite a few Windows 10 users are facing problems and some of the inbuilt functions are also not functioning as expected, for many. The Cortana and the Taskbar Search function in Windows 10 operating system has been one of the most useful feature which lets us search any file without leaving the desktop. However there are chances that your Cortana might get broken or might not function as intended in Windows 10 – and you may or may not receive such an error message:

Critical Error – Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working. We’ll try to fix it the next time you sign in


We will walk you through some of the ways by which you can fix the Cortana & Search problem.

Taskbar Search & Cortana not working

First of all, make sure that you have set up Cortana in Windows 10 correctly. If after upgrading to Windows 10, you find that Cortana is not available in your region, then this post titled Cortana not available on Windows 10 can help you get Cortana on your Windows 10 PC.

Go through this entire post and see which one or more of these suggestions may apply in your case.

Sign out and Sign in

Sign out and Sign in or restart your PC and see if the problem goes away.

Automatic Repairs

If your PC prompts for Automatic Repair, continue with it and let Windows carry it out.

Kill and restart the Cortana process

If you find that Cortana is not working properly, the best thing to do would be to kill Cortana process and restart the process via Task Manager. If it was a minor runtime error Cortana would just take a restart to fix it.

Disable Antivirus software

Some security software are known to create this issue – Avast for instance. Disable it and see if it makes the problem go away. If your security software is the culprit, make sure you are using its latest version – else you may want to change it.

Windows Search Troubleshooter

Open Control Panel > All Control Panel Items and click on Find and fix problems with Windows Search to open theWindows Search Troubleshooter. Run it and follow the wizard.

Create a new User Account

The problem might be associated with your Microsoft credentials. Try creating a new username and password and see if you can fix the Cortana. We need to remember that Cortana will not be switched on automatically and needs to beenabled on by selecting Cortana button on the taskbar.

Re-register the Cortana app

Open an elevated Powershell prompt, type the following command and hit Enter:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

You can also open Task Manager > File menu > Run new task. Type powershell and select the Create this task with administrative privileges check box and click OK to open a PowerShell prompt

If you feel, you may also try the other 2 of the 3 Windows 10 Support, Solutions & Universal fixes.

Rebuild the Windows Search Indexer in Windows 10

Rebuilding the Search Indexer may help in repairing the built-in search tool in Windows 10. To rebuild the Windows search index head to Control Panel > Indexing options. Click on Advanced and ensure that you are on the Index Settingstab in the Advanced Options window.

The rebuilding will take some time and once it is done you can start searching for the files you need and the Search should work properly. If you need more details, you will get them at this post titled Windows Search Indexer tips. See this post if you need to troubleshoot and fix Windows Search or if Search Indexer is not working.

If you have followed the above suggestions, your Cortana and the Windows Taskbar Search should hopefully have been fixed.