Fed up with Windows 10 search being slow, wonky, or crashing? Microsoft’s fixed search with its latest update

 Microsoft Windows 10.
Microsoft Windows 10.

Windows 10 has received a new optional update and it comes with some much-needed fixing to cure problems some users have been experiencing with the search function in the OS.

Windows Latest noticed that in the latest preview update just released for Windows 10 (KB5036979), there’s been some work to improve the search functionality.

Microsoft tells us that: “This update makes some changes to Windows Search. It is now more reliable, and it is easier to find an app after you install it. This update also gives you a personalized app search experience.”

As Windows Latest describes, for some Windows 10 users, search has become a somewhat hit or miss affair particularly around trying to quickly fire up an app. Such as, for example, searching for the ‘Recycle Bin’ and not getting the icon for that returned, but other functions instead.

On social media, there have been a number of reports about wonky search experiences, too, such as this one on Reddit where Windows 10 refused to find a commonly-used app.

In more extreme cases, search is locking up and crashing, which is the pinnacle of irritation for this part of the UI.

Analysis: Wait a little longer

Hopefully, this kind of behavior should be a thing of the past when this update is applied. However, note that this is just an optional update at this point, so it’s officially still in testing – meaning there’s a slight chance the fix may not be fully working. Or that the KB5036979 update might cause unwelcome side-effects elsewhere in Windows 10 (it wouldn’t be the first time, certainly).

The safest bet is to wait it out, let early adopters test this preview update, and install the finished cumulative update when it arrives in May (on Patch Tuesday, which will be May 14).

At least we know this piece of smoothing over is now incoming, so those who’ve been frustrated with iffy search results now know that – with any luck – their woes should soon be over. Or at least, they’ll face spanners in the search works with less regularity.

Elsewhere with this update, Microsoft has also improved the reliability of widgets on the lock screen, with a more “customized experience” and more visuals available, so these should be better all-round, too.

The downside with KB5036979? That’s a new initiative to introduce notifications about your Microsoft Account in the Start menu and Settings app, which will doubtless consist of various prompts to sign up for an account, or to finish that process.

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