A reader is having an issue finding the search box in Windows 10:

“Hi, The search bar on my win 10 taskbar disappeared. The one to the right of the windows taskbar. Can you help me get this back in my taskbar?”

I’m assuming that the rest of your Start Menu is there. Because if your Start Menu won’t come up at all, it’s separate problem. If you’ve just lost Cortana and/or your search box have disappeared in Windows 10, here’s where they might have gone.

This is what your Windows 10 desktop is supposed to look like. Your search box is always visible. If you have Cortana enabled, she’s on alert and waiting for your commands.

win-10-search-cortana

But it’s possible to hide the search box, Cortana, or both from view. If you have search completely hidden, your desktop will look like this in the lower-left corner.

win-10-no-search

Here’s what it looks like if you have search, but no Cortana.

win-10-search-no-cortana

This is what you see with Cortana and no search.

win-10-cortana-only

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to fix. Find a blank spot on the taskbar and right-click. From the menu that pops up, choose Cortana and click the little arrow next to Cortana.

win-10-cortana-drop-down

Remove the check next to Hidden and select Show Cortana icon and Show search box.

win-10-search-uncheck-hidden

The search box should now be visible again.

win-10-search-cortana

Once it’s back, it’s probably not a bad idea to right-click on the taskbar again and choose Lock taskbar from the menu.

If this doesn’t restore your search box, you may need to either create a new user account or refresh your PC.