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QuickBooks Search Not Working Issue in Desktop

Contents1 What is “QuickBooks Search Not Working in Desktop?”2

What is “QuickBooks Search Not Working in Desktop?”

QuickBooks Search Function allows you to look for all your transactions list items, entries, or activities that match your searching criteria.

The search bar in QuickBooks has the magnifying glass symbol/ icon, where the user can write the “search keyword” and can either press Enter or click the “magnifying glass icon.” Once you search, QuickBooks will instantly start showing the results related to what you are looking for. 

Quickbooks provides search functionality to find or locate the information quickly. Search functionality works as a “shortcut” to finding information and helps to locate the information/ files that the user is not otherwise able to find.

QuickBooks also provides “Advanced Search” that allows the user to search for two years’ worth of data, i.e., transactions from 2021 to 2023.

When this option fails to work in QuickBooks, it often takes more time than usual to locate such things in the program manually. Failure of this search bar may badly affect your regular bookkeeping or accounting tasks as you have to manually look for the items (transactions, records, vendor profiles, etc.), which can be time-consuming, and for a new user, it can considerably impact the efficiency.

Generally, the search function fails to perform if there are issues with the Windows registry, corruption in the search index file, missing program components, interference by third-party applications running parallel to the Quickbooks, etc.

Possible Reasons Why QuickBooks Search is not working Error in Desktop!

It is observed that if the updates are not correctly installed after the download, you may bump into QuickBooks search functionality problems. Some other factors for the same are listed below:

  • The QuickBooks Desktop version you use is outdated or not updated.
  • Missing, damaged, or corrupted QuickBooks Search Index File. 
  • QuickBooks Desktop search issue can also be observed due to having Registry errors in the Windows Operating system. 
  • Windows Firewall, third-party software, or other security applications installed in your system interrupting with QuickBooks. 
  • The browser you are currently using does not allow you to access QuickBooks and prevents you from using the Online Search Function.
  • QuickBooks software is improperly or partially installed in your system. 

What are the troubleshooting methods for QuickBooks Search not functioning?

Are you unable to use the QuickBooks Desktop Search Function? It’s okay if it is happening continuously as we’ve come up with the easiest solutions that will help you root out the problem in one go. Here’s how: 

Solution 1: Update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest Release 

Any outdated application (generally older than QuickBooks 2020) may be incompatible with your system and prevent you from accessing all the latest features and functionalities.

If your current QuickBooks Version is not updated for a long time or You’re using an older version (2020 or older). The occurrence of QuickBooks Search not working is the major cause for the same. To fix this, implement the steps as follows:

  1. Navigate to the Help menu and then choose Update QuickBooks Desktop.
update quickbooks to latest release 1
  1. Now, select Update Now, then click on Get Updates.
update quickbooks to latest release 2
  1. Once the update is done, close and reopen the QuickBooks application.
  2. If you are prompted to install the update, hit the Yes tab.
  3. When you’re ready, follow all the instructions appearing on your screen.

Note: Hold and press F2 or Ctrl+1 to open the Product Information Window, and then check your current version and release from here.

  • QuickBooks 2024 R3_61
  • QuickBooks 2023 R7
  • QuickBooks 2022 R9_74
  • QuickBooks 2021 R13_19

Solution 2: Rename the QuickBooks Search Index File

Changing the name of the QuickBooks Search Index File is the best way to remove the corruption from your search index file, as it might be the main reason for essential data loss. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. To begin with, close QuickBooks and then press the Windows Start button.
  2. Now, type *.SearchIndex under the Search Programs and Files search box and hit the Enter key.
  3. This will direct you to the C:\ Users\ UserName\Public \Documents\Intuit\ QuickBooks\Company File\ Companyfilename.QBW folder containing the QBW file. 

Note: Company file types has different extensions and different uses;

QuickBooks Company File Extensions Functions/ Uses
QBWQuickBooks Company File
QBBQuickBooks Backup file
QBMQuickBooks Portable file
QBOQuickBooks Bank Statement file
  1. After this, locate the qbw.SearchIndex folder and then click right on it.
  2. Select the Rename option and type .old at the end of the folder name.
  3. Press the Enter tab to save the new name and then close this window. 
  4. When you’re ready, open the QuickBooks company file again and then hit the Search icon/ Magnifying Glass icon from the top left corner of the Window. 
  5. Select the Update Search Information option and then hit the OK tab. When you notice the update in progress, please wait for notification.
  6. Once the update is completed successfully, try using the QuickBooks search functionality.

Solution 3: Fix the Damaged or Broken Windows Registry 

Fixing the Damaged or broken Windows Registry items is required to make your system stable or let it function normally. It also rectifies multiple performance issues and allows you to use QuickBooks Online Search functionality. Here are the steps you need to perform for this: 

Step 1: Activate QuickBooks again

  1. Hover over the Help menu and Manage my license, then Change my license number.
  2. Next, enter the license number as all 0s and press the Next button.
  3. You don’t need to enter a validation code and click Finish.
  4. Now, go to Help, Manage my license, and Change my license number again.
  5. At last, type your License number, choose Next, and then Finish.
Activate QuickBooks again

Step 2: Create Windows Registry Backup

  1. Firstly, choose Start and type regedit.exe into the search window, and then hit the Enter key. 
  2. If you are asked for an administrator password or for confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.
  3. From the Registry Editor, locate and hit the registry key or subkey that you want to back up.
  4. After this, select File> Export.
Create Windows Registry Backup 1
  1. Opt for the location where you want to save the backup copy under the Export Registry File dialog box and then type a name for the backup file in the File name field.
  2. Finally, press the Save button.
Create Windows Registry Backup 2

Step 3: Download and Install QB Tool Hub

  1. Initially, close QuickBooks and download the latest QuickBooks Tool Hub version.
  2. Now, save the File somewhere you can easily access it, such as your Downloads folder or Windows desktop. 
  3. If you have already installed Tool Hub, you must find out which version you have. For this,
    • Hit the Home tab, and the version will start displaying in the bottom right corner of your screen.
    • Also, choose About to view the version option.
  4. After this, open the File you downloaded named QuickBooksToolHub.exe and follow all the on-screen instructions to install and agree to the terms and conditions.
  5. Once the installation finishes, click the Windows desktop icon twice to open the tool hub program.
Download and Install QB Tool Hub
From the Tool Hub, run Quick Fix My Program
  1. Go to your Desktop and right-click on the QuickBooks Tool Hub icon. 
  2. Select the option Run as Administrator.
  3. Now, choose Program Problems under the QuickBooks Tool Hub.
  4. You must click on Quick Fix My Program.
  5. This will scan the QuickBooks program with all its files and detect or fix the problem you are currently facing. 
  6. Then,restart the QuickBooks Desktop application and open your data file that is causing the Search Function not working issue in QuickBooks Desktop. 
Run QuickFix My Tool from QB Tool Hub

Solution 4: Turn off Microsoft Defender Firewall Temporarily

Check if the firewall is blocking the QuickBooks application and restricting it from functioning properly; you need to disable it for a temporary time period. Adhere to the steps described below:

  1. The very first step is to click the Start button and then open Settings.
  1. Now, select Windows Security > Firewall & network protection under the Privacy & security window. 
Turn off Microsoft Defender Firewall Temporarily 1
  1. Choose a network profile: Domain network, Private network, or Public network.
  1. After this, Under Microsoft Defender Firewall, switch the setting to Off in the Microsoft Defender Firewall. This could make your device or network more vulnerable to unauthorized access. 

Note: If there’s an app you want to use that’s being blocked, you can allow it through the firewall instead of turning it off.

Activate Private Network

Solution 5: The browser you have does not allow you to access QuickBooks using the Online Search Functionality

You are recommended to try logging into the QuickBooks account using a private or Incognito Window and access your software without using a cache that stores data causing browser-related issues.

Below, we have listed the shortcut keys for the different web browsers, so use the following key combinations according to the Internet Browser you are running: 

  • Google Chrome: Ctrl + Shift + N
  • Safari: Command (Cmd) + Shift + N
  • Mozilla Firefox: Shift + Ctrl + P
  • Microsoft Edge: Ctrl + Shift + N

Note: Clear the cache and cookies of the Internet browser you are using once you are able to use the Search icon. This process also helps you to restore the default setup of the browser.

Solution 6: Improper, incomplete, or partial QuickBooks Installation

Uninstalling and reinstalling the QuickBooks Desktop Application from scratch fixes the issue, if there is any, with the software you are working on. Below are the instructions to be followed:

Step 1: Uninstall QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Hold and press the Windows + R keys to open the Run command.
  2. Now, enter the Control Panel into the search bar and then hit the Enter key.
  3. Select Programs and Features and click on Uninstall a Program option.
Uninstall QuickBooks Desktop
  1. After this, choose the QuickBooks Desktop you wish to remove from the list of programs.
  2. Click on Uninstall/Change, Remove, then press the Next button.

Note: If you don’t get this option on your display, sign out and sign back into Windows as an administrator.

  1. The final step is to follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation process.

Step 2: Reinstall QuickBooks on your System

  1. Open the File QuickBooks.exe.
  2. Now, perform all the instructions appearing on your display, accept the software license agreement, and press Next.
  3. You must enter your product and license numbers. Then, hit the Next tab at the end.

Do you know:

When you try to look for a company file, all the files can be seen under the list based on the related keyword you use in QuickBooks. You can also locate your files using a wildcard search of File Explorer. For this, do the following:

  • Go to the Windows Start menu and type File Explorer into the search, then open File Explorer.
  • Select My Computer or This PC from the navigation bar.
  • Now, ensure that you include the asterisk (*) before the extension under the search field and type (*.qbw, *.qbb) to find all corresponding files. For QuickBooks, you can also search *.qb.

Summing it Up!

QuickBooks Search not working issue in Desktop can be resolved by fixing the damaged Windows Registry, changing the name of the QuickBooks Search Index File, and much more. 

Have you tried everything but unable to get over the issue? At times, unrecognized reasons or less knowledge of the software may trigger the error in your system.

Hopefully, the above-given information is useful for you. But if you still facing any kind of issues with your software and need professional assistance, regarding accounting, bookkeeping & accounting software-related issues then feel free to get in touch with us at +1-802-778-9005, or you can mail to us at: [email protected]


By : February 5, 2024
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