How to Fix Missing Microsoft Edge, Search Bar, and Cortana Problems

Among the handiest features of Windows 10/11 are Microsoft Edge, Search Bar, and Cortana. Although not many realize their worth, they are now slowly gaining traction as Windows 10/11 utilities with customizable functions.

But as with other built-in utilities, they’re also causing technical headaches to Windows 10/11 users. Many reported that Microsoft Edge, Search Bar, and Cortana have gone missing.

Well, this is no serious problem. In fact, it can be resolved in no time. We have listed a few possible fixes below.

Fix #1: Disable “Use Small Taskbar Buttons” Option.

According to some users, the search bar may go missing in Windows 10/11 if you enable the Use Small Taskbar Buttons option. However, you can easily change that by following the steps below:

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  1. Right-click on the Taskbar.
  2. Select Taskbar Settings.
  3. Ensure that the Use Small Taskbar Buttons option is disabled.

After disabling the small taskbar buttons option, the Cortana search box should appear back on the taskbar.

Fix #2: Create a New Windows Account.

Can’t find Microsoft Edge in Windows 10/11? Cortana still missing after disabling the Use Small Taskbar Buttons option? What you can do is try creating a new user account.

Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings and select Accounts.
  2. Go to Family & Other Users.
  3. Select Add someone else to this PC.

Take note that if you create a new account, you will have to migrate all your personal folders and files. If you are not willing to do this, skip this fix and try the next one.

Fix #3: Check If Cortana Is Not Set to Hidden.

If Windows 10/11 Cortana is missing, it is possible that you’ve set it to hidden.

In a Windows 10/11 computer, you have the option to hide or display the search bar. If you decide to keep it hidden, then there is no way you will be able to use it. But if you unintentionally set it to hidden and don’t know how to bring it back, try these easy fixes:

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar.
  2. Select Cortana.
  3. Click Show Search Box.
  4. Choose the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information option.
  5. Click Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  6. Provide a username and password for the new account.
  7. Hit Next.
  8. Follow the on-screen prompts to proceed with creating the new account.
  9. Once you’re done, switch to this account. Check if Cortana works.

Fix #4: Take Advantage of the Search Shortcut.

Even if the Cortana search box goes missing, that does not mean that Windows 10/11’s search feature no longer works. You can do any search query by opening the Start menu. And then, perform a Windows search as you normally would.

Alternatively, you may also use the Windows + S shortcut. This will open the search bar right there and then.

Fix #5: Check the Position of Your Taskbar.

Some users change the position of the taskbar to customize the look of Windows. However, changing the taskbar’s position might also cause certain features to go missing.

If you have recently moved your taskbar to another position and don’t know how to fix it, simply drag it back to the bottom of your screen. For some, this solution worked and resolved the issue.

Fix #6: Be Sure That Taskbar Is Not Extended.

Oftentimes, this problem appears due to duplicated displays.

If you are using two monitors or have connected your computer to a projector, your Cortana search box might have moved to the duplicated display. It’s not a huge problem, though, because it can be fixed by following these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar.
  2. Select Taskbar Settings.
  3. Navigate to the Multiple Displays selection.
  4. Ensure that the Show Taskbar on All Displays option is disabled.

Keep in mind that this fix only works if you are using two or more monitors. If you only have a single display, skip this and proceed to the next option.

Fix #7: Ensure That You Have Not Activated Tablet Mode.

Some users reported that Cortana may become missing if you enable Tablet Mode. If you have accidentally activated this mode and don’t know how to revert your action, do the following:

  1. Go to Action Center.
  2. Click the Expand button.
  3. Disable the Tablet Mode feature by toggling the switch next to it.

Fix #8: Remove System Junk and Unnecessary Files.

Many Windows 10/11 users enjoy downloading different stuff on their PCs. Although there’s nothing wrong with it, your downloads may accumulate over time. They will consume all your available disk space and cause your computer to run slow. They can even cause the Cortana search box to go missing.

If you already have lots of files saved on your drive or your system space is consumed by junk, then you have to take action and remove them as soon as you can.

To remove system junk and other unwanted files, you have two options. The first one is quite time-consuming and risky. You need to go through all the folders and delete any suspicious-looking files.

The second option involves the use of a third-party PC cleaning tool. Simply run a quick scan using the tool, wait for a few minutes, and delete any junk files it identifies. It’s so fast and easy.

Fix #9: Re-register Cortana.

It Cortana’s components become corrupted, it can go missing. To solve the problem, try to re-register its components. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select Run PowerShell as Administrator. Alternatively, you can use the Windows + S keys, input powershell, hit Enter, and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Input the command Get-AppXPackage -Name Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”} and hit Enter.
  4. Wait for a few seconds while PowerShell executes the command.
  5. Restart your computer.

Fix #10: Perform a Quick SFC Scan.

Sometimes, the Cortana search box can go missing due to corrupted system files. But it’s no big problem because you can fix it by performing a quick SFC scan.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Press the Windows + X keys.
  2. Depending on which of the two options is available, select Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin).
  3. On the command line, input the command sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
  4. The System File Checker (SFC) scan will now begin. The process may take up to 15 minutes. Make sure you don’t interrupt it.

After doing an SFC scan, check if the problem persists. If it does, try doing a Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scan. To do this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select Command Prompt as Administrator.
  3. On the command line, input the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command.
  4. The scan will now commence. Do not interrupt the scan to avoid repeating the process all over again.

Wrapping Up

Microsoft Edge and Cortana are truly useful tools. But that does not make them problem-free. Hopefully, the fixes above can help solve your problems with the Cortana search bar.

Let us know other ways to fix Cortana search bar problems. Comment on them below!

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