Windows 11 Search Doesn’t Find App. Shortcuts Under “Start Menu” Folder


win11reluctant

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OS
Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 OS Build 22631.3447
My Windows 11 PC/Desktop machine is in a state where windows search, as invoked by “windows-Key <search text>”, isn’t working right.

If I put a shortcut to an app. into. C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu then search doesn’t find it. However, this problem only occurs for one local user account, let’s call it “user3”. For other logins, like “user1”, an admin local account, or “user2”, another non-admin local account, there are no search problems.

This problem started recently. Was working fine before.

Don’t know what caused it but have been wondering if it was triggered by changing behavior of Windows 11 Calendar app. I activated “Try the New Outlook” in Calendar, which led to the local user3 account becoming attached to my Microsoft account. I didn’t want that, so switched it back later. But now I’m stuck with Search not working right in that one account. I don’t know for a fact that the search breakage was related to the Calendar thing. Just speculating.

In any case, am now in a state where, for this local account “user 3”, Search doesn’t find shortcuts in Start Menu or Start Menu / Programs. I did try rebuilding the search index but that had no effect. I actually didn’t expect it to have any effect since Start Menu is a machine global folder and searching it works fine for the other accounts.

I also tried “sfc /scannow” and “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth”. But they found nothing.

Another thing I noticed was that if I put shortcuts on the user3 desktop, search finds them OK. Almost like search from user3 can find things in its own file space but not in a machine wide file space like C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.

OS version is Win11 23H2 build 22631.3593.

What I’m experiencing is a little bit like this
Redirecting

But I’ve tried what was suggested there and it had no affect.

Any ideas?
 
Windows Build/Version
Win11 23H2 build 22631.3593.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 OS Build 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B734
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G with Radeon Graphics 3.80
    Memory
    16.0 GB (15.4 GB usable)
There are two Start Menu/Program folders

Code:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

And

Code:
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3593
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
The second folder has no support for renaming apps.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP ZBook G2
    CPU
    Intel® Core i7 5500u
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Family Graphics AMD Firepro 4150M
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Audio
    Hard Drives
    1 TB SSD
    Mouse
    HP USB Mouse
    Antivirus
    Zone Alarm Free Antivirus/Zone Alarm Free Firewall NEXT GEN
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Zbook G4
    CPU
    Xeon 1535m v6
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Quadro Pro 4100
    Sound Card
    Bang and Olufson Audio
    Hard Drives
    1TB SSD
    Mouse
    HP USB Mouse
    Antivirus
    Zone Alarm Free Antivirus/Zone Alarm Free Firewall NEXT GEN
The second folder has no support for renaming apps.
Where did you get that idea? Apps can be renamed anywhere. I just changed the name of Everything to Something and then back again with no problem whatsoever.

Maybe I misunderstood you. Please explain your claim and give us some evidence.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Pro 24H2 26100.994
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GBDDR4 @ 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB NVMe SSD, 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    250GB NVMe SSD (OS and programs), 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    500GB NVMe SSD (Data)
    Case
    Lenovo SFF
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome, sometimes Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
  • Operating System
    11 Pro 24H2 26100.994
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i5-8400 @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 @ 2600MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS NVMe; 1 x Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
    Case
    Lenovo Think Centre SFF
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium and MS Defender, beautiful together
Check the Search Index..., perhaps certain locations are excluded under certain users.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS ROG Strix
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS VivoBook
Thanks, guys.

Putting shortcuts to app.s in AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\ provides a work-around. But I'm still baffled as to why Search doesn't find them when they are in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 OS Build 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B734
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G with Radeon Graphics 3.80
    Memory
    16.0 GB (15.4 GB usable)
I'd wonder if it's because most Desktop items are shortcuts to the actual executable files and Type of file with the parenthesis makes a difference.

1716211784136.png
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
I'm still baffled as to why Search doesn't find them when they are in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.
Could it be a matter of a certain Local Account may not see inside the All Users folder?

Do both folders show in Indexing?

6956.jpg
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS ROG Strix
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS VivoBook
Or could it be that a Local Account with Admin. Rights can do more than a Local Account with Standard Rights?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
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