Q: I recently upgraded my PC from Windows 10 to Windows 11. Since the upgrade Search has not worked at all. Selecting the magnifying glass on the app tray does nothing. Right clicking the windows start icon and selecting search does nothing. Trying to type anything in the search field that pops up when selecting the Windows Start icon does nothing except close the Start app.
As I result, I am unable to search for installed programs. I can’t find anything about this on Microsoft Windows Support. The Indexing troubleshooter reports that it can’t find a problem. The Windows start menu also has a nasty tendency to close when I try to scroll through the program list. Aside from these issues, Windows 11 seems to be working fine. Any idea what may be going on and how I might get Search to work?
— John Kugler
A: The same thing happened to me. Well, on one of my computers, anyway. I know others that have updated to Windows 11 without any subsequent search problems.
Here’s what worked for me.
It turned out that somehow during the update the Windows indexing was changed. Once I made sure that all the locations I wanted indexed were listed and I rebuilt the index things worked fine.
To do this, click on the Start icon in the Task Bar and then type “indexing options” in the search field at the top of the window that pops up. When the Indexing Options utility opens make sure all the folders you want to index are selected. If not, click on the Modify button and add those locations. Next, click on the Advanced button and then click on the Rebuild button.
Be aware that it can take quite a while for the indexing to complete.
Another thought. If you have files and folders stored in the cloud and not synced to your computer you may have to sign into your cloud service before you can access those files.
Q: Every time I use the Office icon in Office 365 to launch the suite of available apps to use I get an “Install Office” button. I have already done the download, the account is current, the number of devices is correct and below the limit. Any ideas?
— Bill May
A: Did you install the Office programs on your computer or are you just accessing them online?
If you’ve installed the programs on your computer, instead of launching the Office program launch the individual Office programs you want to use. And if you use some of the programs frequently you may want to put them on your Task Bar.
Q: Is there really a law that says Google needs my birth date? I wanted to use my Gmail on my friend’s iPad so went through the verifying process. I’m in, and there’s a screen that says, “Your date of birth is missing. This info is needed to comply with the law.”
And there’s an “Add Birthday” button. I ignored this and went on with my business with no problem, but really?
— Deborah Bowler
A: I’m not aware of any legal requirement for Google to ask for your birthday. According to Google support, “When you sign up for a Google Account, you may be asked to add your birthday. Knowing your birthday helps us use age-appropriate settings for your account. For example, minors may see a warning when we think they’ve found a site they may not want to see.”
Of course, knowing your birth date also makes it easier for Google to profile you for advertising. I would do as you did in not providing that information.