Search from Start Menu Stops Returning Items

Posted On // 9 comments
I've always hated how the start menu in Windows gets so bloated with icons. Since migrating to Windows 7, I've really gotten into using the start menu search box to quickly find the app I want to run by simply typing a few of the characters of the name of the app. It is much easier than trying to set up paths and do everything from the command line.

I recently found that the start menu search functionality seemed to have stopped working properly for me. Every time I would try to search for something like "cmd" for the Windows Command Prompt, I was greeting with only a couple of entries in the list with generic icons like the screen shot below:


After some searching, I was able to find a Microsoft answers entry that referred to my problem exactly.

It seems that the root of the problem is the GroupBy value in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderTypes\{EF87B4CB-F2CE-4785-8658-4CA6C63E38C6}\TopViews\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} key in the registry. It is set to System.Null, when it should be System.StartMenu.Group.

When it is set to System.Null, all that you end up seeing in the list is the set of categories that items were found in, not the actual items found in the search. I don't know what changed that value for me (or how I did it inadvertently), but setting the value back to System.StartMenu.Group does seem to correct the issue.

The fix does require a kill/restart of explorer.exe, or you can just logout and log back in after making the registry change.

9 comments:

joeygibson said...

That doesn't really seem like something you would change by accident. That's very interesting that it got changed, and what it got changed to.

馬甲 said...
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ya said...
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ParadisJ said...

Thanks, you post really helped me.

林昀睿 said...
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RussDuckett0601蕙帆 said...
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ZenaT_Pinter2284 said...
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仰士 said...
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念強 said...

人是受想像力所支配的。