Microsoft’s built-in Windows search went down for many users for more than three hours today. Windows search is built into Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 operating system, and it started presenting blank search results for apps or any other search queries at around 8AM ET today. Windows search uses the Bing backend to search for results across the web, and it appears that this was the source of the issue.
Microsoft confirmed it was investigating access and latency issues “with multiple Microsoft 365 services,” before fixing the issue at 11:35AM ET. Microsoft blames a “third-party networking fiber provider” for experiencing a network disruption resulting in multiple Microsoft 365 services issues. While Microsoft has fixed this issue, many are still reporting that Windows search is still not working. You may need to reboot your Windows 10 PC to get search working again, though.
The Windows search issue comes just days after Microsoft’s Teams service experienced a widespread outage after the company forgot to renew an SSL certificate. This latest issue highlights Microsoft’s reliance on the cloud to power basic local search functionality in its Windows 10 operating system. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to comment on why a networking issue would impact Windows 10 search functionality, and we’ll update you accordingly.
Update, February 5th 12:30PM ET: Article updated with Microsoft’s comment on a fix and the root cause.