If your search has stopped working along the Windows 11 Taskbar, you can restart Windows Explorer rather than restarting, which also typically fixes the issue. Often restarting isn't an option because you are in the middle of something, so this quick fix is often more convenient.

Steps to restart Windows Explorer and fix an inactive Search box in the Taskbar

1. Open Task Manager (CRTL+SHIFT+ESC, or right-click the Windows Icon in the Taskbar and select 'Task Manager'.

2. Locate and right-click on 'Windows Explorer' (depicted with a yellow folder)

3. Click 'End task' (the Taskbar will disappear, which is normal).

4. Click the 'Run new task' button along the Processes bar

Restart Explorer.exe to fix Search in Taskbar
Restart Explorer.exe to fix Search in Taskbar

5. Add 'explorer.exe' in the 'Create new task' dialogue and click the 'OK' button

6. Windows Explorer will restart, and your search should work again

This fix works when the Search bar is not working in the Windows 11 taskbar.