SharePoint 2013 Search Stopped Working


Search has encountered a problem that prevents results from being returned. If the issue persists, please contact your administrator.

I’ve been working on a SharePoint 2013 Standard farm for a customer, trying to get RBS configured, and low and behold, I discovered that Search had stopped working and was providing the above error message. No search would work, from any search center from any Web Application throughout the farm.

It didn’t take too long to figure out the issue, but it certainly was cause for alarm since I’ve been having issues with RBS.

What was the problem?

Turns out, the issue was due to URLs being configured in the Content Sources that either didn’t exist, or did not have a proper DNS entry that pointed the server to the correct location.

Steps to Resolve

  1. Navigate to Central Administrator
  2. Click Application Management
  3. Click Manage service applications
  4. Click Search Service Application
  5. Under Crawling section click Content Sources
  6. Click Local SharePoint Sites
  7. In the Start Addresses section (see below) remove all URL’s that do not exist
  8. Click OK
  9. Try search again and it should now work

Why are these URL’s a problem?

My search server was locking up whenever a crawl would run. This meant that a full crawl or even an incremental crawl never finished. Obviously the issue was due to the site not existing or not being available for the crawler to index the content.

I hope this helps, should you run into this error. Mind you, this error is not indicative to only this issue. I am not saying that just because you get this error that you should assume the only solution is a bad URL in the Content Source. I’m sure if I search my Event Viewer logs I’ll find some events in there indicating those URL’s I removed were not accessible in some way.


3 thoughts on “SharePoint 2013 Search Stopped Working

  1. Hi

    It has been solved after I have insured that all the application pools are started and the identity for them are same of search service account.

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