Earlier this month, we reported widespread problems with the Windows 10 Search bar. The Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide crews were among a large group of Windows users who couldn't access the search feature and were instead presented with a blank white or black box.
Microsoft acknowledged the bug at the time and said it would investigate "access and latency issues" with various Microsoft 365 services. An update was pushed out on the same day but some users (including myself) were still having trouble.
Now a pair of optional updates -- Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 --- will fix "an issue that prevents the Windows Search box from rendering properly," Microsoft wrote in the release notes. This hopefully means the problems will be resolved for all users.
Along with fixing search, these updates will deliver improvements to battery life during Modern Standby mode, and fixes several issues, including one that prevents the speech application from opening for several minutes in a loud environment.
How to download the update
This is an optional update so there are some extra steps you'll need to take to install it on your PC.
Microsoft first recommends that you install the latest service stack update (SSU) for your operating system before installing the cumulative update. According to the company, service stack updates improve the reliability of the update process. You can find and download the latest SSUs at this link.
Once you've completed that step, go into settings> Update & Security > Windows Update. Press the "View optional updates" link under "Check for updates" to download versions 1903 and 1909. Note, you might need to check for official updates first.
This should fix any lingering search box issues you've been experiencing, and, fingers crossed, not cause any new problems.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.