Fixing Start Menu search in Windows 10 “Redstone 4” builds

Recently I have been using the pre-release builds for the next upcoming Windows 10 feature update code named+ as “Redstone 4” due out sometime in March this year. Upon running some of the newer builds daily on both of my primary machines I noticed that search from the Start Menu had suddenly stopped populating results.

A bit of a background; both of these machines are joined to an Active Directory Domain and have the Microsoft Security Baseline for Widows 10 version 1709 configured via Group Policy.

Knowing that these policies have recommended configurations for Windows Search within a corporate environment I figured that one of those settings might be the cause of the problem.

Jumping into Group Policy Management, selecting the appropriate GPO and looking under Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search I went through each configured options one by one setting them to “Not Configured” then running gpupdate /force and testing Start Menu search again until I found the offending setting.

As it turns out when the setting “Don’t search the web or display web results in Search” is enabled Start Menu search in Redstone 4 builds fails to populate any results – simply setting this to “Not Configured” and letting Group Policy refresh again fixes the issue.

I can only assume that this is an incompatibility with the current Windows 10 1709 security baseline settings and recent code changes within Redstone 4. I’m sure Microsoft will update those at or nearer final release and announce on the Security Guidance Blog when they become available.

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