07
Jun
unnamed

For the last several days, an unknown number of Android users have been getting inconsistent results when using the built-in Google Search app on their phones and tablets. And by "inconsistent," I mean that they aren't getting any at all, instead being greeted by the enigmatic message "can't load search results" whenever they try to use it. While none of the Android Police staff have experienced this, threads on Google Code, Google Groups, and Reddit continue to receive replies.

original by1Bb3r

Left screenshot from commented "abqnm."

At present there doesn't seem to be any reliable way to fix the issue on the user's end, though some are seeing limited success from wiping the app data. For some a voice-activated search will work while text search won't. The issue is affecting users on a variety of devices and Android versions. Responses from Google have been short and inconclusive: representative "DeLayne T" seems to be giving the only direct replies in this thread.

Hi everyone, 

Thank you everyone for letting us know about this issue. We are currently working on it and I will post an update on this thread once we know more. 

Thank you for your patience!

Best,

DeLayne

Tempers are beginning to run hot on the support pages, with many Android phone owners wondering why a company with Google's resources hasn't been able to fix such a glaring issue in a more timely manner. Considering the amount of responses proportionate to the Android userbase as a whole, we're still looking at a tiny minority of affected users.

The search errors seem to be limited to the primary Google Search app at the moment. If you're experiencing difficulties, try searching from the address bar in Chrome for Android or the AOSP browser. Or you could always try Bing.

Source: Google Groups, Google Code (2), Reddit - thanks to everyone who sent this in.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • DeadSOL

    Hmmm... Never had any problems and I don't know of anyone else having problems. Also, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of trolls and fake accounts there (with a small proportion of people having genuine problems).

    • Sven79

      Oh, OK then. I could have sworn that when I tried searching from the search bar, I received the "can't load results" reply, but I must have been hallucinating, since no one you knows has the problem. And the thousands of people in the forums that are reporting the same behavior are all trolls? Really? I didn't know that; do you want me to report then to Google, or will you handle that?

      It started after the 4.3.3 upgrade, and seems to affect a lot of different hardware (Nexus 5 here). I received the OTA upgrade; didn't do the side load.

      If I switch to another gmail account in Google Now, text search seems to work from the search bar, but after I switch back to my primary account, I get the same annoying error message.

      • DeadSOL

        Unless you're the architecture collective from Sweden who wanted to build a giant fire-breathing dinosaur model, I don't know you. So, my statement still stands.

  • abqnm

    I have definitely had issues since yesterday. It also seems to be connection agnostic. I tried toggling between wifi and mobile data and it happens regardless. Searching from Chrome, however, is fine. http://imgur.com/HZJBEVH

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Thanks! I'm adding that to the story.

    • joser116

      The Watch Now card, when pressed, comes out empty now.

    • Yersinia pestis

      Uninstalling the latest update and replacing it with factory version did the trick (for me). No longer getting this error.

      • ltredbeard

        Are you referring to the search app? If so, that worked for me for one search and then it broke again. Sucks since I didn't notice it broke again until I set up my home screens (otherwise I would have restored my backup).

        • Yersinia pestis

          Yes, I'm referring to the Google Search app. I'm back to the latest version again as Google appears to have fixed it.

  • naysayer

    Deleting the cache fixes the problem for me, at least temporarily.

    • bart745

      Killing Chrome Widget in ES Task Manager restores search functionality (for awhile).

  • Ibrahim Yusuf

    I could not use the search app since yesterday, but now it works again. I just tried it.

    it's like magic

    • usaff22

      Same here.

      • irina

        Samsung told me Android platform is unstable. Want me to do a factory reset.
        They know nothing and neither does Virgin Mobile. Started last night.
        Sometimes voice activated works. Stupid.

        • usaff22

          You called Samsung over an app?

  • Josh Crumley

    Use bing. Ha. Riiight.

  • Gagan Deep Singh

    It has been working fine since always as I remember.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Dat font.

      • Gagan Deep Singh

        What about the font ? Just installed it this evening.

        • Daniel Traynor

          I HATE THAT FONT, Reminds me of when I was a kid changing the font on my shitty Samsung d900!!! thinking I was too cool !!!

          • Gagan Deep Singh

            Was bored and had nothing to do. So installed this font. Was using Storopia font earlier cause sony sketch was getting boring.

          • Daniel Traynor

            Get bored again and change it back :D

          • Gagan Deep Singh

            Bwahaha did that already !! :D

          • asdf

            What font is that? I actually like that font...

          • Gagan Deep Singh

            Pencil sketch something. I don't remember the name now. Using Roboto Condensed since then.

  • pyroguysf

    Definitely all on Google's end. My friend has been experiencing it for a few days, but I was going to help him root his N5 yesterday anyway, and even the factory reset from unlocking the bootloader did nothing.

    • fasd

      I have a feeling Google pulled the 4.4.3 update due to this bug...

      Its very Annoying they didn't tell us they pulled it if they did.

      The same thing happened to 4.4.1.
      The released it then pulled it.

      • pyroguysf

        Has nothing to do with 4.4.3. Many users are having issues who haven't got it yet, including my friend who was still on 4.4.2, so the timing is probably coincidental. I just mentioned factory reset since it's kind of the ultimate form of wiping the app's cache/data like some are trying.

        • fasd

          Agree, the update has nothing to do with it. However I have a feeling Google stopped the roll out... just to be sure the updates not causing the bug.
          Most likely the bug is server-side.

          I own a Nexus 4 and Nexus 10... and still waiting for 4.4.3

  • Niall Murray

    I was blaming my Rom..

  • Jaden Rosencrans

    Or you could always try Bing?!

    I am one of the people experiencing the bug and I would rather search through Chrome than switch search engines lol.

    But for real Google, we need to be able to search the web.

  • Jason

    I've been experiencing the problem for nearly three days now. Clearing the cache and data, signing in and out or switching accounts have not helped. Nexus 5, Android 4.4.3.

  • Matthew Fry

    Since I've got xposed and some other root apps installed I assumed it was just me. Someone elsewhere suggested uninstalling updates and downloading it again. Didn't work for me.

  • conniecrayon

    I was one of those who noticed this on the morning of Thursday 6/5. I determined it wasn't a network issue and posted about it. The 4.4.3 update had not yet been pushed to me. It was, four or more hours later; and as everyone knows, it doesn't help. I could see that those who only noticed it later on were convinced it was caused by the update. It wasn't, at least not directly. This particular issue is described exactly the same way by users who have examined their phones. Please don't confuse things by saying "some people can get results from voice input, and text input into news, image, shopping, etc. And can search from the browser. " That's true as far as I can see of everyone with the June 5 syndrome from what I can see and I've read a few hundred posts. The people who describe something different are confused or aren't part of this event. I am on a Nexus 5 which is particularly galling since the search app can't be completely uninstalled and is integral to every home screen. Google has trained me to use a feature constantly throughout the day, and now it doesn't work.
    By the way there are lots of people who have tried the fixes and had the problem recur after one search. I wish people who have friends with the same devices who are not experiencing trouble would comb through them for differences in settings and third party apps and post that for us.

  • scuttlefield

    Did you just use the B word??!! We're not that desperate yet, are we?

  • queque

    My note 3 has been doing this for three days now. Voice search seems to work, but I have resorted to using the chrome app.

  • vince

    Bing what am I a communist

    • red

      I think they use Yandex and Baidu.

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    "Tempers are beginning to run hot on the support pages, with many Android phone owners wondering why a company with Google's resources hasn't been able to fix such a glaring issue in a more timely manner." Yes, because that's always super easy to do when you can't even reliably reproduce the bug. If there isn't anything in logcat then it's a case of getting hold of a device with the issue and debugging with a physical device. (or at least, that's one way)

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      Well, it is their core feature; search.

      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

        Yes, but they are not magic, they can't fix a problem until they know what causes it, and they can't find out what causes it - until they find a way to recreate it.

        • Wesley Modderkolk

          Well it is taking them a damn long time for such a huge company. And guess what, it isn't the first time such a thing happens. a few months ago a similar issue was going on with installing from the play store.

          Seeing how I witnessed it last Wednesday their core service has been working badly for days now, sure, things can go bad from time to time. But days is quite a long time, a very long time.

          If they can't properly fix their core service in a timely manner, what gives me the guarantee that Android Silver is going to be working properly? Nothing, I'd guess.

  • Kurt Schultz

    I'd be more excited if they would fix the bug that happens when the results load but nothing happens when you click any of the results!

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    There's always Bing Search for Android.

  • Don Abalos

    I think this is related to the account itself. I have the same issue in both my nexus 4 and 7. Nexus 4 has the new 4.4.3. While the nexus 7 wasn't updated. But my wife's account works fine even on the nexus 7 that we share.

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    Witnessed this on my N7 last wednesday. After directly repeating the search, it worked again.

  • Martin Cohen

    It's happening to me. My "fix" is to type the search string into Chrome and then the search works just fine.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    OMG! I just wiped my phone entirely over this, thinking it had to be a serious problem with my device. I've been having various problems since 4.4.3, so figured this was part of it and time to clean house.

    Oh well. It WAS time to clean house. But annoyed that the impetus wasn't valid.

  • http://google.com/+ThomasBeling Thomas Beling

    Thank you guys for this post. I had a hard time trying to fix this issue. At least I did a factory reset and had to wait till 12am Mountain View time to see the app working again.

  • hairdoctor

    Google search finally up and working fine after 3 days of installing and uninstalling everything possible...and made no difference. Guessing Google fixed the mess.

  • https://plus.google.com/111019692970182387850 Carlos Sarthou

    I had issues right after flashing 4.4.3 on my Nexus 5. Uninstalling all updates and reinstalling them did the trick for me.

  • AngelaN

    I've been experiencing this issue off and on for about 2 weeks now. Searching Google.com from Chrome has been my work around.

  • MeCampbell30

    I'm getting constant google now crashes. Search works fine though. It's happening on both my Moto X and Nexus 7 with the GEL.

  • Narcisa Reyes

    have this issue been solved yet? cannot load search resulst is a message I keep getting when searching in google, chrome, etc!!!... need help. I have a samsung galaxy table S

  • Catherine Rodrick

    i hav.e a SWIPE HALO VALUE android 4.1.1. i have been unable to write on the google search for the last 4 days. how to resolve this problem.

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