back to article Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it

Microsoft doesn't do things by halves. Not content with Teams taking the day off and Outlook labeling everything as spam, now Windows 10 Search has joined the cock-up club. The problem manifests itself by flinging up a large black box where search results should be on the Windows 10 desktop. Multiple flavours of Windows 10 are …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge


    Windows.... just use the run dialog box... As I just posted in the Notlook article, thought I had buggy installs of Win10!

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Pfft...

      That will only work if the application is on your PATH or you know the full path to the executable.

      1. SWCD

        Re: Pfft...

        Almost correct, don't forget:

        HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths

    2. robidy

      Re: Pfft...

      Just disable bing search, do it as a GPO for orgs, desktop and app search works without the need for Bing Ad results -

    3. Tigra 07

      Re: Pfft...


      Search returned no results

      Oh noes!

      1. robidy

        Re: Pfft...

        Cue The it crowd presentation on the Intermet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pfft...

          The Elders of The Internet are not pleased that Microsoft has had three major fails this week.

  2. RachelG

    had this today and thought it was just me. Had absolutely no idea Bing was involved in what I thought was a local-system search.

    Just when i was starting to think windows was almost ready for the desktop ;-) back to mac i go...

    1. Korev Silver badge

      2020 2021 is the year of Windows on the Desktop

    2. AndrueC Silver badge

      Same here. I had to resort to using Paint 3D instead of Paint because at least the former appears on the start menu. Not a pleasant experience.

      1. herman

        Ugh, yes. I know exactly what you mean, since I always do a print screen, then load it into Paint to crop the part I want to use in a manual or explanatory note. Paint3D is an effing awful regression.

        1. Huw D

          That's what the snipping tool/snip & sketch are for, surely?

          1. Reg Reader 1

            Well, it should be but the snipping tool freezes my work desktop to often to be useful while Paint never does.

            1. prinz

              Try Lightshot

              Every once in a while I come across a tool that is a "must have" in my toolbelt.

              Lightshot is one of those. It handles 99% of my screenshot needs. Simple and Fast. (It attaches to the print screen button.)



              I just wish they had it for Linux.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: Try Lightshot

                I just wish they had it for Linux.

                Would Spectacle do the trick?


              2. Maventi

                Re: Try Lightshot

                Flameshot is pretty much a clone and works really well.

            2. Number6

              Ah, it's not just me suffering from this problem then. I've learned to save stuff before invoking the snipping tool, although I see that it's now been replaced by something else, doubtless with its own quirks to learn.

        2. Kobblestown

          "Paint3D is an effing awful regression."

          Well, you can uninstall it. And reclaim 16KB if Apps & features is to be believed. So what do you expect from a 16KB software package? OTOH, maybe it's a miracle of software engineering and that would be the justification to silently reinstall it on the next major update. Resistance is futile.

          Thinking about it, maybe they should rename it to Pain 3D.

          1. Mike 137 Silver badge

            "So what do you expect from a 16KB software package?"

            Well admittedly quite a while ago, I co-authored an entire disk stack operating system in 8 KB - in assembler on the metal of course.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            That 16KB is the shortcut its removing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What, you couldn't go Windows key+R and type MSPAINT?

    3. illiad

      yes, you know they are using 'the internet' when you mistype some thing, and a web page comes up, not the program you wanted!

      If you want a 'proper' search, click the 'gear' icon first, then it will search the PC, not elsewhere!!

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Had absolutely no idea Bing was involved in what I thought was a local-system search.


      "All your base" belong to MICROSHAFT!

      It's the #1 reason why I _HATE_ the 'search' "feature" on Win-10-nic - and why I don't really use it in 7, either.

      For a better search : Install Cygwin, learn to use 'find' 'grep' and similar command line tools

      [I have ALSO been disabling "index service" since XP, as a matter of course, because I do NOT want it eating up CPU and/or disk space to index things that I will *NEVER* search among]

      hitting "the cloud" before the local system on searches is *SO* *WRONG* on *SO* many levels!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Had absolutely no idea Bing was involved in what I thought was a local-system search.

        I kind of want to up vote, but that would also be so wrong on so many levels.

        My shift isn't sticky like yours appears to be, what have you been doing?

  3. Warm Braw

    Had absolutely no idea Bing was involved

    I can't imagine anyone outside Microsoft would want it to be involved. Hopefully this might enlighten everyone on the extent to which this is not a great idea.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Duckduckgo is pretty good and claims to respect privacy.

        1. CountCadaver Silver badge

          tbh DDG is ok, but its search sometimes struggles to turn up something relevant, yet feed the same query to google and no issue finding what your asking for...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Furthermore, keep in mind DDG is still US. And in full Huawei fashion, being a US company, they need to open up their data vaults if the Big Orange One™ develops an haemorrhoid. Call me silly, but that makes me skew more towards EU solutions, although I will admit immediately that nothing is full proof. Have been using Qwant lately, which is pretty decent. The missus uses SwissCows, which came with the package from our ISP (here in Switzerland). They seem to be pretty decent on the privacy front, but can't get used to their GUI.

            Was on Startpage before, but they decided to join the Dark Side™


            1. paulf

              Thanks AC for the tip about Startpage, link below for anyone who can't be bothered to C+P:


              I have been using Startpage for some time now as it gave better results than DDG. I think that's about to end very quickly! Shame on the Startpage founders+owners for selling out to a data harvesting Ad tech company.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              "being a US company, they need to open up their data vaults if the Big Orange One™ develops an haemorrhoid."

              If, as they say they don't retain search info, then it doesn't matter. The vault will be empty.

              1. low_resolution_foxxes

                DDG uses Microsoft for its search functions doesn't it?

                I like the lack of direct and obvious ad profiling, but if GCHQ/NSA wants your DDG searches, they will still get it, it just won't be in the same database. Presumably they monitor this at the network level

          2. Mike 137 Silver badge

            "struggles to turn up something relevant"

            The big difference I find is that while DDG usually honestly returns nothing if it can't find what you asked for, Gooooooogle returns loads of irrelevant stuff, most of which is listed above what you specifically asked for.

            I have a horrid suspicion that there's some benefit to the G team in your clicking on things that are useless to you.

        2. VulcanV5

          Reluctantly, our household has had no option but to continue using Google search because though tempted by the privacy claims made on behalf DDG, StartPage and others of similar ilk, tall have proved themselves long on piety but short on performance.

          Repeatedly, search results from DDG and StartPage have been nothing like as comprehensive as those from Google, their inadequacy so serious that time and again references to stuff which turned out to be not merely relevant but particularly helpful have been entirely omitted.

          One of these days someone, somewhere, is going to run a comparative test of the quantity/quality of search engine results by the Evil Google and the Saintly DDG and similarly noble StartPage. In the meantime, the myth will presumably continue to be perpetuated that DDG is in some way a credible alternative to Google when, in fact, it isn 't.

          1. noboard

            "One of these days someone, somewhere, is going to run a comparative test of the quantity/quality of search engine results by the Evil Google and the Saintly DDG and similarly noble StartPage. In the meantime, the myth will presumably continue to be perpetuated that DDG is in some way a credible alternative to Google when, in fact, it isn 't."

            Err to say they're not credible is a bit much. Yes they're not as good as google right now, but for a lost of searching they're fine. I find DDG handles most of my general searching perfectly well, it's only when I want specific information, or a wide range of opinions that it comes up short. That's when I use google.

            Oh and you have to remember to view more than the first page to get to some of the links, just like you had to do with google when they started up. If no one's clicking on the link, it's hard for them to increase the relevance.

            1. Nifty Silver badge

              Relevance? Try entering 'MG ZS – Why not to buy an MG ZS' not in quotes into DDG. 1st result is the relevant one. Enter same into Google. You will not see this page in the first Google results page. Instead you will see a long list of results on how to buy an MG or why you should buy one.

              Google is a sales search engine, DDG is a privacy search engine.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Don't mistake quantity for quality. What I want is a search engine that finds the gems in the reams of ads and other dross in Google results.

            That said, Google is usually better at finding stuff on Amazon than Amazon's own search. I suppose the only reason Amazon keeps the "don't know when it'll be available again" stuff on line is to poison Google results.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              It also works better than the search engine on a certain swedish buccaneering site....not that I'd ever have used anything like that of course officer....

      2. Warm Braw

        Why would you want any remote search engine involved in searching for local content on your own PC?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          re: Why?

          MS has been trying to make this the default for their searching for years. As a result, I gave up on their search tool years ago.

          This is all part of their thrust to make your desktop little more than a dumb terminal and you do everything out on the internet.

          I, for one is not going to play ball with that.

          Vive Local Storage. At least it is mine and under my control and not subject to the madnesses of Redmond

          1. conscience

            Re: re: Why?

            I'm all for local storage, but unfortunately the Windows 10 EULA makes even your local storage Microsoft's domain. Microsoft can make whatever changes they like and you agree to let them and not interfere or try to prevent them from doing whatever they like. I, for one, won't ever play ball with that.

            1. ma1010

              Re: re: Why?

              And that's why Win 10 lives in a VM on a Linux machine and has no access to my files. Only installed Win 10 so SWMBO could use Turbotax this year since those buggers designed this year's version so it would refuse to install in the Win 7 VM.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Copernic Desktop Search

        I have used it with satisfaction for years. Windows only, indexes a wide range of file types, email, browsers. YMMV.

        1. Julz

          Re: Copernic Desktop Search

          Copernic, blast from the past. I'd thought it must of died years ago but then again I gave up on Windows years ago so haven't been keeping much of a tab on things.

    2. NATTtrash

      Curious non-Windows user here, wondering: So on Windows 10 you can't use Search if you're not connected to "the net"? Like for example in air plane mode, or if you're not connected to a (known) network?

      If so, that sounds rather Google Chrome-like (from what I've heard of it)...

  4. hplasm


    Bing Is Not Good.

    1. Arachnoid

      Re: B.I.N.G

      Bin n` gone

    2. Kane
      Thumb Up

      Re: B.I.N.G

      Recursive, nice!

      1. TimMaher Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: B.I.N.G

        Very nice.

        “For recursion see recursion.”

        Devils dictionary as I remember.

  5. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    And they laughed at me for using Classic Shell...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Indeed. I never even noticed there was a problem because Open (Classic) Shell Just Works. This is because there's no need for a desktop menu to connect Internet and die because it gets an unexpected reply back.

      Prize for the first person to come up with a DNS hijacking thing which pwns Windows 10 machines via the search box.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Prize for the first person to come up with a DNS hijacking thing which pwns Windows 10 machines via the search box."

        The winners are already quietly enjoying their prize.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And they laughed at me for using Classic Shell...

      And they laughed at me for using W7...


      ok, I get it, you're still laughing, I hear ya...

    3. BigSLitleP

      I'm going to get mega-downvoted for this but i cannot stand Classic Shell. It is the ugliest, naffest thing i've seen. I uninstall it every time i find it on a machine. Time to learn new things rather than trying to go back to the way things were.

      1. TheProf

        LEARN NEW THINGS? I want the computer to do what I want.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Time to learn new things rather than trying to go back to the way things were."


        The principle of interfaces in IT is that they can change minimally if at all even if the implementation behind them changes. This is so that entities which use the interface can be unaffected. The alternative is that anyone writing programs that use whatever the interface provides (and if that whatever is popular there will be a lot more of them than those who wrote it) can get on with their own thing without having to keep running round in circles trying to keep up with others' whims. It's this simple idea that has made possible the huge success of the S/W industry.

        The visual shell on Windows or any other desktop manager fills the same role between provider and user. Why is it that crayon chewers and marketing get to piss about with it at whim to the enormous cost in time and effort of relearning it, not to say suffering from the results when it turns out that more effort has gone into the interface changes than making sure that what implements it is on a sound basis?

        BTW don't think this applies to Microsoft alone. They're all at it. Stability has gone downlhill since KDE 3 and I gave up on Gnome years ago.

        1. Grogan Silver badge

          Dinosaur here... I use Trinity Desktop (TDE), a fork of KDE 3.

          What's ironic is that back in the day, while I liked KDE, I considered it too bloated. Now on today's hardware, by today's standards, this is the snappiest desktop (other than minimalist standalone window managers like fluxbox) I have. It takes minutes to compile nowadays vs. hours back then, too.

          I grew very disenchanted with XFCE, it's no longer the light weight desktop it used to be when it was based on GTK+2. Blech.

          Plasma 5 is visually nice, and feature rich but it's very messy with ridiculous dependencies and bloat, as well as making a horrible mess in the user's home. I'll never install that again. That's what got me to switch to Trinity, self contained in /opt/trinity and ~/.trinity.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            I used it for a while. I worry that with very few resources to maintain it parts might be getting more antiquated than they should - I read somewhere about the network stack for example. I'd welcome your view on that.

            KDE 4 isn't too bad and is the best fit on my little MSI. 5 OTOH has real problems of borking its desktop-appletsrc and scrambling the desktop layout so I have a script to back it up periodically & just restore it. It also has wierdnesses round autohide which would be intolerable on the small screen. 5.16 as exemplified in Neon looks a lot saner and the sooner it finds its way into De[bv][iu]an the better.

            Combined with some judicious mixing and matching of bits of different themes and a decoration Theme called Reactionary makes the whole thing look and behave largely as things did about 20 years ago with a few genuine improvements picked up on the way. But fielding off those crayon-wavers requires some effort from time to time.

        2. Smartypantz

          Well Said!

          Hear Hear!!

          I like to go on about how Windows XP was the greatest productivity booster in the history of IT. Simply because it lived for so long and there was no fundamental changes.... In the end everybody knew exactly how that thing worked and as a result people got to get shit done!

      3. Vegemite Sandwich

        Aaaand there's always Start10 by Stardock. An American fiver will license 5 machines...

  6. holmegm


    Encountered this this morning. Having long since succumbed to the "search for your program" because the Start menus make little sense, I typed "Remote D ..." as usual, and got ... nothingness.

    I will not admit how long it took me to get Remote Desktop finally fired up ...

    1. georgezilla Silver badge

      Re: Yep

      " ... because the Start menus make little sense ... "

      Well then just customize ........

      Oh wait .....

      Sorry ......

      I forgot we're talking about Windows.

      Never mind.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Yep

      It doesn't help that RDP's actual name is MSTSC, but nobody ever calls it that, even itself...

  7. dak

    Sure it's just Bing?

    I saw something very similar on my work laptop this afternoon at about 14:00 when Outlook decided to have a lie down.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Serious question but do people really use the search engine on Windows 10? It was the first thing I disabled after being forced to take one for the team.

    1. JohnFen

      I don't. I could never make it work well enough to be useful.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Neither can Microsoft

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >Neither can Microsoft

          I wondered where those MCAS software engineers went after they had been fired by Boeing, now I know.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Same syndrome, probably

            I doubt if the software people are to blame either at Boeing or at Microsoft.

            It's pointy-haired bosses who want PROFITS! NOW!!!

    2. holmegm

      No, but I use the Start menu. You are supposed to be able to type the first letters of your program and be presented with the program menu item so you can click and launch. Today, nothing.

      Or if you are asking "why would an internet search be coupled with a Start menu search", well, that's a fine question.

      1. Antonius_Prime

        Because all your bas---^c^c data belong to MS...

    3. AndrueC Silver badge

      Sadly, it's the only option unless you want to scroll through the start menu looking for something and unless you know where to look (eg; Visual Studio is under 'V' but Teams is under 'M'). I don't need it at home but at work there are so many things I use that I have little choice.

      Mind you the search is pants anyway. It often fails to find things or changes its mind in strange ways. I can't test now because it's borked but I think 'Not' shows 'Notepad++' as the first hit but 'Note' changes the first hit to 'Notepad'. 'Vis' finds 'Visual Studio' but 'Visu' finds nothing.

      It's hard to believe that Microsoft could have made it worse but apparently they now have.

      Despite being a mostly life-long Windows fan I have to say that Microsoft have made a right bog-hole of the Start menu ever since they tried to remove it.

      1. JohnFen

        > Sadly, it's the only option unless you want to scroll through the start menu looking for something

        If you use a start menu replacement, then this isn't so painful. Personally, I find it faster and easier to use the (classic) start menu rather than typing in the program because unless the program is something I use a lot -- in which case I have it pinned on the start menu -- then I don't usually know the name of the program when I want to use it.

        1. georgezilla Silver badge

          I don't think ...

          I don't think that I have ever looked for a program ( app ) any other way then thru the "start menu".

          And I haven't had any desktop icons of them either in years.

          But then I don't have a lot of useless crap on my computers either.

          Not using the "start menu" ...

          Huh, imagine that.

        2. Wzrd1 Silver badge

          If you use a start menu replacement, then this isn't so painful.

          Not an option in many large enterprise environments, where even getting a driver with an unexpired certificate blessed for installation takes more effort than the evacuation of Dunkirk.

          Personally, I go back to Win 3.11 and NT 3.51, so the old ways still work. A folder of common shortcuts.

          Well, that and in one case, a set of scripts to launch everything I typically use in the first few hours of the day, which took so many signatures that intelligence managed to miss the Russian cultural attache's signature on a US DoD modification request form. Entirely missed was a Chinese military attache's signature, as they've been in so long it's considered normal function now.

          After all, a bug with seniority is a feature...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have all my apps dragged into categories in the start menu. I have Apps/Entertainment/Coding/Server/Design and Flash for when I want to take risks.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Yeah I've got most things on the Taskbar but there's a few things - like Paint - that I don't use often enough to justify that privilege.

        2. Palpy

          RE: dragged all the shortcuts into categories

          That's the way all the Linux GUIs I've used do it by default. Well, almost all. Back in my distro-hopping days I saw a lot of desktops. Liked most of them for some of their strengths, was mildly annoyed by some of their weaknesses (as I perceived both).

          It stuns me that Win 10 does not search local files without Bing... does that mean that a Windows computer which is offline cannot search its own drive? I'd test it, but I'm on the road and my sad Win 10 box -- which is allowed Internet access once every three months or so for updates -- is at home.

      3. Wzrd1 Silver badge

        It's hard to believe that Microsoft could have made it worse but apparently they now have."

        They've not made it worse, they've "Enhanced your Windows Experience" by informing Microsoft about everything you run from the search box, as well as whatever files are important to you.

        Has anyone run a sniffer to see what else is being sent with or after the query to Bing?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's hard to believe that Microsoft could have made it worse

        this calls for a mis-quote:

        Look. I don't think it ought to be blasphemy, just saying 'Microsoft'.

        Oooh! He said it again! Oooh!...

        You're only making it worse for yourself!

        Making it worse?! How could it be worse?! Microsoft! Microsoft! Microsoft!

        1. dajames

          Re: It's hard to believe that Microsoft could have made it worse

          Making it worse?! How could it be worse?! Microsoft! Microsoft! Microsoft!

          Crucifixion's a doddle!

          ... using Windows 10, on the other hand ...

  9. Roger Kynaston

    Bing bang bong

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Bing bang bong

      I'll remember this for next time Bing fucks something up.

      1. robidy

        Re: Bing bang bong

        Your confidence is strangely reassuring.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bing bang bong

      I wish they turned it into a new W10 startup sound. And it should run to the very end, before it lets you access your pc, to drive the ms-message: this is NOT your pc! :)

  10. AndrueC Silver badge

    So..borking the online part of the search prevents the local search working?

    That's basically shit, if true.

    1. Antonius_Prime

      Games Companies, circa 2012-2016: "Always on online access for offline games is a great idea! Wait... no, wait, nope. huh. Looks like it isn't and the users definitely didn't like that. Better not do that again..."

      Microsoft: "Hold my Bing..."

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Bing ! Huh ! What is it good for ?

    Apparently, it's just another gun-meet-foot functionality.

    Honestly, Microsoft, could you just fucking get out of our OS and let us DO OUR JOBS ?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Bing ! Huh ! What is it good for ?

      Sorry... It is NOT your OS. It is theirs and they will Fuck it up if they want to. You have no choice but to bend to their madness.

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Windows.

  12. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Don't mince your words.

    Dear El Reg,

    For the love of all that is sacred, please don't even stop ever failing your mince words. This is what for came we!


    CR Horse

    1. Arachnoid

      Re: Don't mince your words.

      Like Mince Pies but with additional tasteful content

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try this:

    For me the search bar kept disappearing after typing about two letters and I use it a lot to open apps

    Created a new user profile and the search bar worked fine

    Did some heavy Googling and ended up deleting the Cortana package like in the Long Version of the above solution

  14. BishPatrik

    Optional Update for Major Issue

    I fixed this by installing the optional update KB4532695. Why the update is only optional when it is such a major issue, I am not entirely sure, but that's Microsoft for you.

    Of course I take no responsibility if the optional update screws up your system even more, as it's Microsoft, but at least this office is working again.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Optional Update for Major Issue

      It's probably optional because:

  15. Dr. Ellen

    Every Cloud has a silver lining

    Yet another reason to stay with Windows 7 - Microsoft has stopped improving it.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Every Cloud has a silver lining

      They haven't - I've had at least three updates since no more updates day (albeit on the company machine).

  16. Jssssch

    I had this earlier, but managed to sort it

    This happened on a laptop I was updating earlier, but I got it working again.

    I uninstalled the latest Windows 10 update and then re-installed it. The search bar is now working again.

  17. sloanrb

    You can also fix with Group Policy

    Group Policy fix

    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search

    Do not allow web search Enabled

    Don't search the web or display web results in Search Enabled

    Don't search the web or display web results in Search over metered connections Enabled

    A reboot is required.

    1. Snow Wombat

      Re: You can also fix with Group Policy

      Much obliged.

      Will be implementing on my home domain now.

      (Yes I have a home domain, don't judge)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: You can also fix with Group Policy

      "A reboot is required."

      Of course it is. It's Windows.

  18. LenG


    I am so happy with the bug which has stopped my Win10 system from upgrading since 1803 but still gives me the security patches it says I won't get.

    1. batfink

      Re: Happy

      Wow. I've only had Win10 since 2017.

  19. Will 28

    Of all the timings

    I had just turned on windows subsystem for linux, installed a load of shells for ssh etc. None of which I really understand because I'm investigating and learning about it right now. Next thing I know the search box is broken, so then I'm rolling back the installs, re-indexing search, starting and stopping search services, only to find I didn't do a thing to it. I expect in turning on the windows feature it also took the opportunity to screw up my machine, hence they were slightly related, but it really was a massive time drain on my day with nothing that I can explain to the rest of the project team beyond a "dog ate my homework" explanation.

    1. georgezilla Silver badge

      Re: Of all the timings

      " ... "dog ate my homework" explanation ... "

      When it is actually the truth, and they don't believe you ...

      ... show them the damn dog and let them try to get it back themselves.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Of all the timings

      Microsoft decided many years ago that the true purpose of a PC is constant fussy maintenance and NOT user productivity.

      Not even joking.

      I've installed 2 Linux OSs this past week. It's so damn refreshing.

  20. Sleep deprived

    Isn't disabling Bing a good idea in any case?

    Even when you do get results, they're poor at best.

    1. Timmy B

      Re: Isn't disabling Bing a good idea in any case?

      "Even when you do get results, they're poor at best."

      Nope - generally better and not. Random search for Longbow... Bing - 4 out of the first 5 results ar information based, wikipedia, etc. Google: 3 out of 5 are for shops that sell longbow related stuff. DDG - 4 out of 5 are information. So bing is about as good as DDG.

  21. Big Al 23

    This is Mircosoft after all

    Were you expecting a reliable OS?

    1. georgezilla Silver badge

      Re: This is Mircosoft after all

      After what, 30 years of development .....


      Yes I fucking do.

      Or at least that it not break all the damn time.

      1. Dave K

        Re: This is Mircosoft after all

        B..but SAAS. You know, if it ain't broke, improve it until it is.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: This is Mircosoft after all

        "After what, 30 years of development"

        You've got to admire their consistency.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is Mircosoft after all

      it is stable... being made stable... being stabilized through crowd-sourcing efford of millions of users. Isn't it what globalization is about? :D

  22. Long John Silver

    Microsoft has inertia batting for it

    Articles in El Reg cumulatively give the impression of Windows 10 being a botched job in which attempts at fixes and enhancements reveal further shortcomings. By this time almost any other consumer product would have people abandoning it in droves and demanding money back.

    Microsoft's strength lies in the grip it has taken on private and corporate computing at desktop level. People and organisations are trapped. They must grin and bear Microsoft's ineptitude. Also its software is licensed (worthless documents anyway) such that attempts to recover money for lost productivity are futile; at least so for individuals and small business. Large concerns, private and public sector, have considerable muscle - even more when acting in concert - to hold Microsoft to account; this to be exercised through unused buying power and/or refusal to pay subscriptions in full rather than via litigation.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft has inertia batting for it

      "People and organisations are trapped."

      Only because they're not prepared to take the one-off hit of moving.

  23. SVV

    I heard they were planning to crowdfund the search function

    The campaign's called Bung A Bob For A Big Bad Bing.

  24. MarkSitkowski

    Deja Vu?

    Anyone remember Netscape?

    The legal wrangle started when Microsoft introduced "Explorer" which not only displayed the file system, but also the internet, thus obviating the need to use a third party browser. They claimed in court that it was 'part of the operating system'.

    Call me cynical, but I think I see history repeating itself.

  25. Snow Wombat

    Australian checking in..

    I was also affected, so it in was no way EU centric.

    1. a handle

      Re: Australian checking in... A huge house of cards

      It'll have been the whole world effected minus a handful. If people are led to believe it is just them, then people are less likely to acknowledge what a huge house of cards their businesses depend on, and keep living in denial.

      What a huge house of cards - Anticipating a global mega-fuckup of all fuckups, coming any day soon.

      1. Andre Carneiro

        Re: Australian checking in... A huge house of cards




        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Australian checking in... A huge house of cards

          .. Pooftah!

  26. Chezstar

    Australia is not Europe!

    Had this crop up last night for me down under in Australia, but only on my laptop. I use it all the time there as its much quicker than using the trackpad, I can hit the windows key, type remo and hit enter, and I get remote desktop up. A full mouse makes it a touch quicker, but a couple of key presses still wins out.

    I do applaud MS's ability to kill a desktop search from half way round the world though, us Australian's normally feel completely left out, so I feel special that we got included in something!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Australia is not Europe!

      But.... Eurovision seems to think it is....

      Who will they get to replace us when BoJo stops funding this clearly EU dominated organisation?

      {EU == Europe == Bad in the gubbermint's eyes}

      North Korea?


    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. BonezOz

    Still borked

    as of right now I cannot use Windows Search through the start menu. Worked fine 12 hours ago...

  28. Glenturret Single Malt

    George W Bush lives

    I see that the problem has been "remediated". When was it mediated? There's a syllable too many - what's wrong with remedied? Sounds like the comedians on Radio 4 mocking the late, great Dubya.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: George W Bush lives

      "There's a syllable too many"

      So that's where the missing bit from aluminium went.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is is with the constant stream of Microsoft f**k-ups these days? Has the company got too big, with fingers in too many pies, to keep any kind of quality control over its portfolio of software and services?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      These days? Where have you been for the last 20 years?

      Because Microsoft has always been utter shit is why I became a paid support person.

      But for REAL fun, combine Microsoft with IBM support! It defines clusterfuck!

  30. magicaces

    One answer is Stardock Start10

    I've used this Windows 8 came out and Microsoft went from the best start menu and search in Win7 and removed it all for tiles and awful search in Win8.

    It uses a local search and the classic Win7 start menu and has some really good customisation options. It's only $5 which although is annoying to have buy something that should be standard or an option in the OS it's definitely worth all the time saved trying to use the default menu.

    Overall I really like Win10 and I have used it since release but I do wish they'd go back or fix the start menu to make it useful again.

  31. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    The windows 10 search is sometimes useful, but if it's routing every search through bing, that's a bad thing.

    They appear to be trying to be like Spotlight for macOS, which does offer a similar system-wide and internet search combined. The difference being that Spotlight works fairly reliably, and if it does fail, can usually be fixed by deleting and rebuilding it's index (sudo mdutil -E / ) . Spotlight also doesn't require an active internet connection to search for stuff locally.

    Spotlight isn't perfect (for instance, it seems to have issues finding some emails in Outlook on the Mac), but it does generally work without too much fuss, and can function if it can't talk to an external server.

  32. Unicornpiss

    New slogan..

    Here's a new slogan for Microsoft, taken from the article:

    "Where do you want to go today?" "Windows 10. Yes, it's that stupid!"

  33. MJI Silver badge

    Used it once WTF, never again

    I never knew because I do not use it, nor the menu, they are too weird. I wanted to reboot new PC, no obvious button, so added one.

    Windows Key R is all you need.





    shutdown /r

    these work

    Most importantly


    Now I can use it

    Find a file C: DIR name.ext /s /p

    How easy is that?

    Still trying to get open with working properly though, keeps on about a store.

  34. Wzrd1 Silver badge

    Reminds me of back in '95.

    "Microsoft Windows has detected a change in your mouse position and must restart in order to register the changes".

    Or earlier:

    "Not ready reading drive C:"

    Abort, Retry or Panic?

  35. adam payne

    Incredibly, it seems Windows 10 Search and other services were knocked offline by infrastructure falling over, preventing all search results, even local ones, from showing up on desktops. Yes, it's that stupid.

    Yes it is but I can see why Microsoft are doing it. Gotta push the usage stats up for Bing so they can keep pretending that people use it.

    I wonder what the biggest searches are? cmd, Windows up, word etc etc

  36. Anonymous Coward

    I shouldn't be laughing, I know...

    ...but I am.


    The Windows 'experience' truly does get funnier and funnier - as long as you don't have to run or support it, of course.

  37. Baldrickk

    First thing I did after "upgrading" to Win 10

    ...was to disable web search in the start menu.

    No, wait.

    1) disable Cortana

    2) disable web search in start menu

    3) delete all the tiles

    It's still a useless POS though. Search worked great in Win 7.

    In Win 10, lets say I search for "notepad". It should come up with two applications; Notepad (built-in) and Notepad++.

    In fairness, it does come up with them both. but not at the same time!

    not -> notepad++

    note -> notepad

    notep -> notepad++

    notepa -> notepad++

    notepad -> notepad

    A search function that only returns one result arbitarilly is a bit useless.

  38. ForthIsNotDead


    ...there's always Linu... <slap>

    OKAY OKAY --->

  39. Sil

    Had this problem for a few days on my laptop, but not my desktop.

    This is what I tried after everything I found on the internet didn't work: I added a new Windows 10 display language.

    It did work, and then, switching back to the usual display language continued to work.

    I would be very surprised to have done that experiment at the exact time Microsoft fixed its network problems, but what do I know.

  40. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    How do Microsoft keep getting away with this nonsense?

    Leaving aside the privacy aspect (every search you do goes to bing):

    1. As the article says, why does a broken bing search also totally break local search? This is a real schoolboy error

    2. Why can't Microsoft publish a fix for this, rather than rely on people to edit the registry themselves?

    3. "We're reviewing our network redundancy options to find ways to prevent this problem from happening again." - really? How about reviewing their code and making sure it works. Nobody searches the web from the start button. It's a leftover piece of ridiculousness from the days of Ballmer, when he wanted everyone to use bing on their microsoft smartphones.

    4. The upshot of all this is that because of a cut in fibre somewhere else in the world, I can't search my own computer. Microsoft really should ponder this and have a complete review of who they hire to write their code.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      How does m$ keep getting away with this nonsense : easy vendor lock in

      And your answers are

      1. because m$ hired the cheapest devs they could find

      2. because m$ hired the cheapest devs

      3. because m$ hired the cheap... you get the idea

      4... see the above points

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        I doubt it's the cheapness of the devs responsible for making desktop search depend on Bing. That sort of decision takes expensive management.

        1. sqlrob

          Integrating Bing, yeah, that's a management decision.

          Making it so network blocks local? That's crappy devs.

    2. dajames

      2. Why can't Microsoft publish a fix for this, rather than rely on people to edit the registry themselves?

      Because Microsoft aren't stupid. They know as well as we do that every time they try to fix something several more things go wrong. Best to leave it broken -- it's called "stability".

  41. fraunthall

    Windows Search almost always disappoints and fails

    For a long time now I have been using Agent Ransack or its newer iteration for Windows searches - speed, thoroughness and user friendliness make it a goo option rather than struggling to get a meaningful search result from Windows brain dead Explorer. Shame on Microsoft. I often think the soft stands for the brains of their managers.

  42. The Central Scrutinizer

    So many reasons to hate Microsoft

    and so little time.

    I haven't used their shit for years anyway.

  43. Conundrum1885


    Yup, Mr Samsung pink laptop borked good. I couldn't even get to Windows Update.

    Incidentally it seems that one of the updates recently again broke Arduino with it not showing up at all in the VCP driver.

    It also hosed SDR# as well but working again after another reboot from cold start with battery taken out

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