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How to Restore Missing Search Box in Windows 7 Start Menu

If you find that the Search box is missing from your Windows 7 Start menu, it means that the search component is disabled by an administrator in your system or maybe disabled by default in your Windows 7 installation. Here is how to enable the Start menu Search feature in Windows 7.

Press Win + R to bring up the Run dialog, type OptionalFeatures.exe, and press Enter.

Enable Windows Search checkbox, click OK, and restart Windows.

Additional Information

(From What happens if I turn off Windows Search?)

  1. All the search boxes in Windows will disappear, including the search boxes in Windows Explorer, the Start menu, Control Panel, the Documents library, and other libraries.
  2. Programs that rely on Windows Search might not function properly.
  3. Internet Explorer won’t have enhanced search capabilities.
  4. Tablet PC handwriting recognition won’t work.
  5. Windows Media Center won’t have enhanced search capability.
  6. You’ll no longer be able to arrange your library views by metadata, and your column headers will only sort items, not stack or group them.
  7. Options that affect Windows Search functionality will be removed, including indexing in Control Panel and the Search tab in Folder Options.
  8. Windows will no longer recognize these search-based file types: search-ms, searchconnector-ms, and osdx.
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