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The Search Companion window sometimes disappears or comes up empty, making searching difficult or impossible. There are a couple of possible solutions.

My "Search Companion" window comes up empty and I can't search. How do I fix it?

"Search Companion" is the name of the left hand pane that appears in the Search Window under Windows XP when you select Search, For Files or Folders... The name "companion" comes from the animated puppy - your "companion"- that many people turn off immediately.

Sometimes the search companion pane is blank or gone completely, leaving you without a way to search. A couple of things could be going on.

The first thing that may have happened is kind of strange. The search companion pane can be closed by clicking the close control (small X) in its upper right hand corner. Once done, I've not been able to find a way to re-open it! Fortunately closing the Search window, and then selecting Start, Search, and then For Files or Folders re-opens the Search window with the companion pane restored.

That one took me by surprise. However I was also surprised by the other possible source of a problem: jscript.dll.

Apparently if this file is missing, corrupt, or not properly registered with the operating system several dialogs are affected including Search Companion, User Accounts, Windows Update, Help and Support, and System Restore.

Microsoft has provided a knowledgebase article on the topic, creatively titled: Several dialog boxes are blank. This details a couple of methods that should restore the proper functionality.

Article C1938 - May 12, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

August 5, 2004 4:22 PM

This worked! Can't thank you enough since I have spent a lot of time looking for the answer to this problem over the past 4 months. No one knew what I was talking about and of course, if you can't access System Restore, you are really stuck. I was almost ready to wipe the HD and reinstall the whole system.

August 27, 2004 10:43 PM

Spent about an hour searching MS site before I stumbled onto your hint. Fixed the problem in 2 minutes. By the way, the problem started when I tried to install Norton SystemWorks. 15 minutes to install and about 4 hours to repair the resulting problems including several safe mode restarts and then having to reinstall Mcafee. Thanks for the hint!

September 8, 2004 5:26 AM

Thanks. I was getting to feel quite desperate about how to fix this, and I use these features, particularly the search, regularly. In the end the fix was quick and easy.

September 8, 2004 9:49 AM

Wow! This worked great! Thanks for the link to Microsoft! I work in a Real Estate office as the admin person which also means I handle all of the computer problems. Well one of the agents has had this problem for a long time and after going to techs all over the place she came to me. I was able to fix the problem and I also think Norton System Works affected the computer somehow, or jscript.dll got corrupted when this agent upgraded from WIN98. But thanks a lot. Made me look like a computer wiz.

September 8, 2004 6:47 PM

THANKS SO MUCH! I was getting ready to tear my hair out because the search feature wasn't working after I uninstalled a piece of software!

September 16, 2004 9:14 PM

Is there anyway to get rid of the search toolbar? Because my problem is that whenever I hit a page with frames or such, the search companion toolbar pops up, every time! I have never used it, and i just want to know if there is a way to get it to stop popping up automatically. I just want it to come up when i hit search.

September 29, 2004 10:23 AM

My OS is Windows XP SP-2.

When I click Start and Search the search window opens with the search companion (dog) but there are no input boxes, text boxes, search button or any dialog boxes what so ever on the page. The left and right pains are empty. The window shows the menu bar (File-Edit-View etc) and the button bar along with a search bar and thats it. I can't do a search. Something has stripped the components from the window.

Also my IE home page keeps getting changed to

I have tried Adaware, SpySweeper, HiJackThis and AboutBuster. No help. Even tried to restore before the instalation of SP-2, however, Restore won't allow this.

Maybe just a coincidence, but my problem started after installing SP-2.

This file does not exsist in my registry.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID\{f414c260-6ac0-11cf-b6d1-00aa00bbbb558}\In procServer32
However this one does.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID\{f414c260-6ac0-11cf-b6d1-00aa00bbbb58}\In procServer32
Notice the only difference is 58 instead of 558.
The information in this file does meet the proper criteria that Microsoft has set forth except for the file name (558). Mine is (58)
Just wondering whats with this?

Doing the SFC does ask for an install disk, however I did not receive it with my system.
The manufacturer will send me one for a price. So, this will take some time.

Thank you for the info and have a GREAT DAY!

October 9, 2004 12:25 PM

I mainly want to know how to turn off the search companion. it bothers me every time I get on the internet it pops up after I am already working, and moves my typing to the little box. I think this thing was really for the people who have no clue how to use the internet, but they did not state on how to get rid of it. I don't want this search companion popping up everytime I access the internet only when I open it myself. if anyone knows how to get rid of it please email me at [email address removed] it would be much appreciated thanks.

October 12, 2004 6:16 PM

Thank you

October 27, 2004 12:56 AM

I tried everything listed here and nothing worked. My Search Companion was still coming up blank. I came across KB-281679 "You cannot open a new Internet Explorer window or nothing occurs after you click a link";en-us;281679
This did the trick. Simply typing in "regsvr32 urlmon.dll" from the Run dialog box worked for me.

February 1, 2005 3:20 PM

Hey I posted a long time ago on this issue and it seems I get a lot of people that send me emails about how to get rid of the search companion. You can actually get rid of any kind of services from your computer that you don't want even if it is a microsoft service they offer.

Go to start and then run and type in msconfig (then the run/go/open). A new window will open and you will see the tab services at the top of that window. If you click on it a list will appear. It should be located in there if I am not correct. I don't use XP anymore so I am not sure what the actual file is that you are disabling, but it should be in there. Hope that helps most of you who are still looking to get rid of mircosoft spyware.

siju s
February 2, 2005 2:53 PM

start-->run-->regsvr32 jscript.dll
that would enable you to open up the serach companion

February 9, 2005 6:08 PM

I lost the ability to search files and folders after installing service pack 2. Microsoft offers no solution other than to go back to service pack 1.

Adding a subkey in the registry to prevent the missing companion file from causing the search feature to fail was my solution, one that I found on another forum. This solution reverts the search interface to an earlier Windows version. That's just fine with me since I never asked for an animated companion anyway!

To see the fix, go to

March 25, 2005 8:06 AM

I had the black 'search companion' frame issue, I tried regsvr32 urlmon.dll with no success and then tried regsvr32 jscript.dll which fixed my problem, but both mat have been needed?

David Demmer
May 3, 2005 4:56 PM

I have the same problem (search window blank, media player "Internal Application Error", etc. I have "fixed" the registry as per microsoft, which doesn't work. When I register jscript and vbscript.dll, everything does work -- but, a couple of days later it's all dead again. I have re-registered over a dozen times, and it does always work (even over reboots) but a few days later it goes on the blink again.

Any ideas?

June 29, 2005 8:19 PM

I am using Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2. I've suddenly had a problem with Search Companion being open everytime I want to explore a folder on my PC. I can click F3 to kill it, but when I click on a system folder, I opens up in a new window with only the search companion, and it won't show me the contents of the folder. I don't even have "Open in new window" selected in Folder Options. If I right click the Folder, Open is no longer listed as an option, only Search is in its place. I've tried messing with Registry settings relation to Driver/Shell and Directory/Shell as mentioned on the internet. Nothing is killing this damn thing. I just want to open my folder like a normal person. I've never had this happen before and I'm this close to blowing away my drive and starting over. Also, when I try to click Control Panel in Star Menu, it tells me that I can't open it and the offers to create a shortcut to it on my Desktop. If I say yes and then click the shortcut, I get the same message. Someome please e-mail me at and let me know how I can fix this. Thank you!

July 12, 2005 6:17 AM

Wow I could not figure out the problem I was having with my dialog boxes being empty. After I found your article everything was fixed instantly. Thanks!!!!

October 21, 2005 4:08 PM

regsvr32 vbscript.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

it didn't work until I re-registered urlmon.dll

November 5, 2005 8:47 AM

Thanks sir! I just got mad and wanted to setup a new windows!! you are great :X:X:X

December 13, 2005 11:14 PM

I Just had to write and say THANK YOU!!!! I was at my wits end, ready to give up and take my computer a Dell Inspiron 8200 with Windows XP home edition to an expert. I had ran registry fix,Win sox xp fix, had checked the hardware through the computer set up frame (F2 key), the windows file protection, went to Microsoft support (though I did not find this specific link, obviously)and reregistered other dll files, did many online searches which gave me many possibilities which I tried (as long as I did not ask me to change a command or program that is). . . Then I found your page and though my search companion was not totally blank (just incomplete) and I had read and done other suggestions regarding search companion issues I still read on (had nothing to loose)when I got to the portion where you mention java script (I had gone to the Java site so I knew that was a possibility but I did not know what exactly was the problem and how to fix it) and the other dialog boxes that also show up blank I knew everything was going to be all right. Thank you again!!!

December 22, 2005 5:50 AM

trie all above and checked reg search compaion woprks ok for a while then goes blank again other user cannot re reg dll's and gets error return code 0x80004005

January 20, 2006 8:20 AM

This site helped me.

Search, Windows Update, even my Help Center works again.

January 26, 2006 2:22 PM

I found that on one of the computers I work on, the problem was caused by removal of McAfee Managed VirusScan. This program changes the InProc setting to use a McAfee proxy to the scripting engine to perform script scans. Upon uninstalling the program, the registry settings are not restored to the original dlls.

March 27, 2006 1:08 PM

Many thanks to Joe regarding the helpful .dll file re-registration information! My search function appears to be working properly now. I am an ignoramus regarding computing, and I am very grateful for the helpful suggestions found here.

March 28, 2006 2:33 AM


April 15, 2006 12:15 PM

search companion blank
start, search

where is the FOR FILES OR FOLDERS buton situated?

April 16, 2006 10:00 AM

It's a link off of the "Search" item on your "Start" menu.

April 18, 2006 11:00 PM

Thank you very much! I am having problems with javascript regsvr32 jscript.dll just fix it! thanks again

May 17, 2006 12:18 AM

a big thanks for helping me with my blank search companion problem.
I just copied "regsvr32 jscript.dll" to the run program and it now seems to work fine, many thanks

May 31, 2006 11:49 PM

Wow, All problems on my computer has come back normally!

thx for helping me with the missing dialogue boxes and many other problems which have made my computer ill >

ed galvan
June 13, 2006 6:56 AM

Bless you for the help! Reregistering the 2 dll's fixed my mysterious problem of no Search Companion and no "Restore". I was about to re-load Windows but thought I'd Google 1 more time. Found your site anf fixed my problem in 10 minutes--saved me hours of work. was no help til you pointed the way. (No reply needed.)

August 19, 2006 8:49 PM

Thanks, Leo!
I never thought that my searching dog will return so easily... lol!

Harry L. Jenkins
September 26, 2006 7:54 AM

After months of frustration, last evening I fired up my laptop and found your suggestion for my desktop problem.
I am so relieved to have my Norton 2006 loaded, my searching capibilities, and several other things that were missing back in operation.
Thank you very much for having your sight!

Alan Blaylock
October 26, 2006 11:35 PM

Thank you so much for having this site. I don't know how or why my search companion went down, but the first solution in the knowledgebase article you mentioned fixed the problem. I had already searched at Microsoft already, but didn't find anything. Thanks, again.

valerie harrell
November 26, 2006 6:10 PM

i can't get my search companion to work, all i get is an empty black box. I tried reinstalling it using the inf file, however that didn't help. I've also tried a few other things to no avail. I can not do a reinstall because I need the files I have on my pc and to back them all up would take a long long time, so please tell me how to fix my search companion.

valerie harrell
November 26, 2006 6:12 PM

also i tried doing the suggestions via the several dialog boxes are blank link as well to no avail. Please help, I am losing my mind.

December 10, 2006 8:44 AM

finally!!! thanks a lot, iīve been trying to resolve this problem (in fact a collection of problems) for already 3 months. i couldnīt even log in to some services on the internet due to this, and i was always suspecting, that there was some problem with XP and javascript, but i couldnīt find any in the meanwhile i started using other "not-in-OS-implemented" tools, which i find quite useful...but at least i know now, hahaha:)

Steve Davis
January 25, 2007 2:10 PM

Tried the MS 'fix' but my registry settings were as described. Despite this I still have a blank search companion. Have tried several other suggestions but nothing works. Steve Davis

March 24, 2007 2:52 AM

Blss you sir :) I first found a hot fix on the windows site but it was for sp1 only. I fixed it with your link and it took 10 whole seconds, literally.

April 1, 2007 7:28 PM

WOW!! DUDE!! THANK YOU!!..My computer has had problems for awhile now with dialog boxs blank, search wouldnt work, system restore wouldnt show anything! Just blank!.
Thought i had a real nasty virus there for awhile! All my tools and searching had lead to even more questions!....UNTIL..Your (AWESUM) site and link to Microsoft which i followed. I followed two simple steps and restarted!
OMG!! Everything that was missing that i needed is SHOWING again!!
YOU ROCK!! May the Gods shine fortune on you!

April 28, 2007 11:04 AM

I had the same problem.
1. Blank Search Companion
2. Yahoo messenger getting crash after login
3. Unalbe to right click zip files

Solution: START -- > RUN --->

regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

check this link too

May 5, 2007 5:47 AM

Fantastic! The solution is at the bottom of this page and it works.


I had the same problem.
1. Blank Search Companion
2. Yahoo messenger getting crash after login
3. Unalbe to right click zip files

Solution: START -- > RUN --->

regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

check this link too
Posted by: Imtiaz at April 28, 2007 11:04 AM

June 24, 2007 4:51 AM

regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

these commands were soooo helpful coz i had the same problem (empty search box). Another symptom detected: i couldn't download attachment or view .jpg (pictures). After excuting these commands, everything works fine :) (search + download matter) thank you.

September 8, 2007 6:55 AM

Oh My! I've been looking for a fix for these issues for months!

- Non-functional Zip files or context menu;
- Windows Security Warning when trying to open Outlook email attachments;
- Blank Search Companion window;

Re-register these DLLs:
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

Thank you SO much!!!

Joe Davis
October 13, 2007 9:36 PM

This worked great for me! Thanks
Solution: START -- > RUN --->

regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

December 11, 2007 12:27 AM

Wow dude, thanks for your answer:
it's really help me.
Thanks a lot.

Jose Delgado
December 26, 2007 4:49 PM

You guys saved my ass, i installed SP2 on win2k3 server and the problem started, i almost reinstalled everything, but this tip fixed it all, TY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert P
February 20, 2008 1:02 PM

My issue was that when searching the Windows Desktop, the search companion would return blank results.

This was fixed by doing the following:

START -- > RUN --->

regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

Thank you, Leo, and the other contributors, for helping me get my Desktop search results back.

- Robert

March 7, 2008 9:29 AM

2 1/2 days of my life lost until I found this article. Same problem - An uninstall of Norton Systemworks 2005 (to install 2008) led to absolute calamity. It's scary as to how much power that one simple dll file commands. Norton definately needs to know about this one & I intend to inform them. On a positive note, I did learn quite a bit about IE browser options - even though that ended up not even being the problem.

April 2, 2008 2:18 PM

Thnxxxxxxxxxxxxxx soooooooooo much !!

This regsvr32 thingy re-registering on page 5 works and FIXED my PC !

This happened to me when after removing AVAST! Home FREE edition ! Beware and dont install that
Antivirus app !!

But now PC is Running smooth !

Bravo for LEO !!

Thanx again !!

Tuyen Ng
May 12, 2008 1:14 AM

My search companion return blank too. It help me fix my problem too. Thank you very much!

Ng Tuyen.

May 29, 2008 1:00 AM

Dear Mr. Leo,

I have OpenOffice version running in RedHat environment, but I am really borring when I start up OpenOffice. Sothat, could you help me solve this issue above "Why OpenOffice Start-up too slow" and HOWTO fix this problem.

Thank you so much and I hope receive your respond soon

Best & Regards


May 30, 2008 5:27 AM

Wo0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0oW that's great ;)
it's really help me.
Thanks a lot

START -- > RUN --->

regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

July 25, 2008 8:55 AM

You are life savers, thank you so much!

July 28, 2008 12:58 PM

START -- > RUN --->
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

Note: regsvr32 jscript.dll alone did not help.
All three dlls had to be registered.

Also, I had to restart my PC to make it work.

Thanks a lot for the great help.


Lee Haberkamp
August 2, 2008 2:23 PM

Great fix,Thanhs

S. Bobde
August 3, 2008 3:39 AM

Wow! This was really useful. After spending 4+ hours, trying to practically re-install stuff, and following Microsoft guides, etc. when nothing seemed to help, this has come as a big relief.
Thanks a ton!!

August 21, 2008 9:32 PM

START -- > RUN --->
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

Hey Thanks ... You solved my Problem ...

November 2, 2008 6:26 PM

Thank you verry much it worked like a charm!!!!!

December 15, 2008 1:38 AM

Excellent, thanks! Yep, I have this exact issue, and running "regsvr32 jscript.dll" via Start > Run, per the MS article, resolved the issue.

I recently had a virus/malware infection, so I suspect this was responsible for the issue.

Again, thanks for posting this information.

Steve H.
January 18, 2009 10:03 AM

I have three users on my computer. All three had this problem, but when I followed the instructions to reregister the dll's it fixed it for the administrator only. I am not sure what to do next.

February 23, 2009 1:15 PM

wow thank you so much!
doing this solved the problem right away:

START -- > RUN --->
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

March 24, 2009 5:27 AM

thank you ,iv done as everybody else and worked perfect,
its [edited].... me of for a while until found this site,

START -- > RUN --->
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

thanks again

April 17, 2009 11:51 AM

I have tried the dlls but when i try the
regsvr32 jscript.dll,
i get a message that it failed, return code 0x80004005

Ationo TB
June 5, 2009 12:27 AM

For almost a week some of my windows XP functions such as : HELP AND SUPPORT, SEARCH, SYSTEM RESTORE, INTERNET EXPLORER 8, YAHOO MESSENGER don't work properly. Days after googling, finally I find this is very useful and helpful article. I just do this commands :

START -- > RUN --->
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

and everything back to normal. How wonderful...!!
Now I'm happy and I have to thank to Leo and whoever give contribution to this article.
Thank you so much..


August 25, 2009 3:31 AM

woooow!!! the same problem with my system thaaaanks

September 15, 2009 4:21 AM

i am using win2k3 server. the dll trick doesn't work for it. any remedy for my OS? :)

September 17, 2009 12:33 PM

I'm having the same issue as anil.
Tried reregistering

sanjeet sharma
October 21, 2009 12:18 AM

Yeah ,dear it worked.I was so anxicious about this problem and your trick worked wonderly ...Thanks a lot dear

January 1, 2010 5:49 AM

Thank you so much. It worked wonderfully!
START -- > RUN --->
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

March 21, 2010 3:53 PM

This little "fix" saved me a lot of grief. Thanks for what you do!

March 22, 2010 3:02 AM

Search Companion appearing empty.
When I try to run "regsvr32 jscript.dll. An error occurs.

dllregisterserver in jscript.dll failed: Return code was 0x80004005
Please suggest me best.

July 28, 2010 5:02 PM

I've been investigating how to fix this for a few days now, and have tried registering the files described but to no avail, the problem still exists.
I'm running WinXP SP3 and am now at a loss on what else to try.
Do you have any other suggestions?

October 3, 2010 5:07 PM

i have the same problem...the only thing i see is the Dog. i also tried runnning
regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll

the second one failed.
Return code was 0x80004005

PLease HELP!!

March 12, 2011 10:45 PM

Yes! it is working, now i am seeing all elements in the search Bar after register listed dlls & ocx. Thank You so much Sir!

August 2, 2011 5:43 AM

Thank you so much! Solved my problem right away and saved me from formatting my PC.

November 29, 2011 2:13 AM

I am using windows 2003 R2 when i click search button its getting error like "A File that is required to run search companion cannot be found. You may need to run setup"
Please provide me solution. Thanks in advance

Well, following the error message's suggestion is always a good start: re-run setup. You might also try SFC: What is the System File Checker, and how do I run it?
Mark J
November 29, 2011 11:18 AM

You might want to try running the System File Checker sfc/scannow. It restores missing or damaged files in Windows.
What is the System File Checker, and how do I run it?

December 2, 2011 6:48 AM

i have same problem
its great, my pc is normal again

February 21, 2013 10:24 PM

regsvr32 jscript.dll
dont kno wat it is but it worked to get my search companion boxes back!
thanks you guys!!
way thanks!

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