Fixed “Incorrect permissions for Windows search directories” bug

  • When you use Windows Search to search for files, the files you hope to find may not appear in the search results.
  • This happens even if the files are present on your computer.
  • In some cases, searches can be very slow, whether the folder is included in the index or not.
  • In this article, you’ll learn how to solve search problems in Windows 10 and earlier versions.
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Even if the files are present on your computer, you may not find the files you hope to find through Windows Search if you search for them via File Explorer or Cortana.

A Windows server’s file permissions can be changed using this page.

The ghost file problem can also occur if files you deleted a long time ago are included in search results. This may slow down searches in some cases, regardless of whether the folders have been indexed.

This article will help you fix search problems in Windows 10 and earlier.


What is the cause of the “Incorrect permissions for Windows search directories” error?

What is the cause of the "Incorrect permissions for Windows search directories" error?

According to our analysis of various reports and repair strategies, this particular problem may be caused by a number of scenarios. Below is a list of possible causes.

The data folder does not belong to the active account: In most cases, this problem occurs because the folder used in the search query (data) does not belong to the account that is currently active. Many users who have also encountered this problem have been able to solve it by taking over the Data folder.

Damaged system files: Damaged system files can also be responsible for this problem. If this scenario applies, you should be able to restore normal function to the search function by fixing the corruption with utilities such as SFC and DISM. In more serious cases, you need to perform a repair installation to get rid of the corrupted files.

Damaged user profile: Another reason why this problem may occur is a corrupted user profile. In this case, you should be able to resolve the damage conflicts underlying the problem by creating a new user profile and using it instead of the current one.

Faulty Cortana module: According to various user reports, this error can also occur when the Cortana search function or one of its dependencies is affected. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by returning Cortana and all of its related components to factory status.

Incorrect Permissions On Windows Search Directories

In addition to Jefferson’s answer not working for me, Windows continues to overwrite the permissions of the data folder, and the error message stated that the permissions of the Windows Search directory are incorrect.


How do I fix the “Incorrect permissions for Windows search directories” error?

Updated: March 2024

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How do I fix the "Incorrect permissions for Windows search directories" error?

Reboot your computer

The problem can sometimes be resolved with just a quick restart. Use your preferred method, or press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard. Select “Restart” from the “Close” or “Disconnect” button.

Use the Windows Search Convenience Store

Download it from Microsoft’s official website if you cannot find it on your Windows computer.

  1. Click on Control Panel from the Windows Start menu, or press Windows + R to activate the Command Prompt and type Control Panel at the runtime prompt. Click OK to activate the command.
  2. You can run Search and Indexing as an administrator by right-clicking Search and Indexing and selecting Run as administrator.
  3. Once you have selected the themes you are interested in, click on Next, then pick the one that you are interested in, and click Next.
  4. After troubleshooting the problem, try this method if it does not work.

Fix Windows Search Service

  1. By holding down Windows and R at the same time, you will be able to open Windows.
  2. Press Enter when prompted to run services.msc.
  3. In the list, find Windows Search, and if it’s running, click Restart. If it’s not running, follow these steps:
  4. Select Properties from the right-click menu of the service.
  5. Select Automatic as the startup type.
  6. You can now click OK after clicking Apply.

Adding system permissions to folders

In order to index unauthorized files, you need to follow the steps below.

  1. You can add an indexing folder by right-clicking, then selecting Properties, and then selecting Security.
  2. You can edit the user name or group by clicking the Edit button.
  3. Select Add. Enter SYSTEM in the Enter names of the objects you want to select (examples). Click Check Names. Click OK.
  4. Make sure SYSTEM is allowed to read, execute, and list folder contents by selecting it from the group or user name list.
  5. Once you click Apply, click OK to confirm.

Rebuild Index

  1. To access the indexing options, open the control panel and look for an option named indexing.
  2. Choosing Rebuild from the Advanced menu. Clicking OK confirms the action.
  3. Afterwards, click Close to restore the index.

Turn off Windows Cortana

The Windows search doesn’t work problem can sometimes be solved by turning off Cortana, a virtual assistant similar to Apple’s Siri.

  1. Using the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys, click on the Task Manager icon in the Windows task bar.
  2. Choose Details. Under Processes, click Cortana.
  3. You can finish the task by right-clicking and selecting Finish.
  4. Now find the process called Search. You can finish the task by right-clicking and selecting Finish.
  5. You should now be able to access Windows Search.

Fixing the Cortana registry

  1. The Windows + X keys should be pressed and held down.
  2. Select File Explorer from the screen’s menu.
  3. Open Windows PowerShell 1.0 in C:WindowsSystem32
  4. Powershell.exe should be run as an administrator by right-clicking.
  5. The following command must now be entered:
    Invoke the Get-AppXPackage command with the option “AllUsers” and then “Foreach” with the option “Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml.”.
  6. Run a Windows search to see how it works.

Have Windows create a new UsrClass.dat file.

  1. The UsrClass.dat file can be found at C: Users [user name here] AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows.
  2. Select Rename from the right-click menu.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, type UsrClass.dat.old.
  4. You will see a clean UsrClass.dat file when you restart your computer.


RECOMMENATION: Click here for help with Windows errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

From the Properties menu, use the horizontal bar at the top to click the Security tab, then click Advanced to access additional data security settings. While in the advanced data security settings, click Edit hyperlink associated with the owner.

  1. Right-click on the folder you want to add to the index and select Properties. Then go to the Security tab.
  2. Click the "Edit..." button under the "Group" or "Username" table.
  3. Click on the "Add" button...
  4. Now select SYSTEM from the list of groups or user names and check its permissions.
  5. Click the Apply button and then click OK.

  1. Press Windows + R and display regedit.
  2. Find the problematic key in the left pane, right-click it and select Permissions.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. Select the proprietary creator and click Disable inheritance.
  5. Now select Remove all inherited permissions for this object.

One of the reasons why Windows 10 Search doesn't work for you is due to a bug in the Windows 10 update. If Microsoft hasn't already released a patch, one way to fix Windows 10 Search is to remove the problematic update. To do this, go back to the Settings app and click Update and Protect.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.