How to Get The Search Bar to Work on TikTok

Written by Emilija - Reviewed by Tijana Social Media / TikTok

7 min read

With more than 1 billion active users on TikTok, a search bar is necessary for users to find the funniest and most entertaining videos on the platform.

Most TikTok users indeed manage to search for videos by entering a title or a keyword into the search bar. However, recently a growing number of users have reported that the TikTok search bar is missing from their apps.

The missing search bar on TikTok could result from various reasons, from glitches in the app to strict parental controls.

Whatever the cause, this article dives into the possible solutions for fixing TikTok’s missing search bar.

Where is the search bar on TikTok?

To effectively search for TikTok videos, hashtags, and filters, the platform offers a search bar that lists potential right suggestions when users enter a keyword, title, or hashtag.

The search bar in TikTok is located in the top-right corner of the app when users are on the ‘Home’ screen and as a separate field on the top of the mobile screens once users tap on the ‘Discover’ page.

Sometimes, however, the search feature is unavailable or simply does not provide relevant results, and there may be a variety of reasons for this.

  • Glitches and bugs in the TikTok app.
  • Issues with TikTok servers.
  • Outdated version of the TikTok app.
  • Corrupted data.
  • Unstable network connection.
  • Parental controls.

Luckily, most of these issues have a quick fix, and we have listed them all in the following paragraphs.

How to Get The Search Bar to Work on TikTok

In the previous paragraph, we mentioned the possible causes for the ‘TikTok missing search feature’ error; in this one, we will show you the possible solutions for each.

1. Restart the TikTok app

Restarting your TikTok app is the most straightforward action that can help you fix minor glitches in the app, including the missing search bar.

  1. Start by removing the TikTok app from your Recent Apps or App Switcher.
  2. Then, simply reopen the TikTok app from your homepage.

iphone recently viewed option

2. Check the TikTok server status

When TikTok's servers are down, in addition to not being able to search for specific videos, other issues might arise, which is the clearest indication that the problem is at TikTok's end.

In this case, there are two ways you can check TikTok’s real-time server status and outages.

1. Through DownDetector

TikTok outages reported in the last 24 hours

DownDetector is a third-party app that enables users to check real-time server status and outages reported by other TikTok users.

In addition, users can see a report from users passing on issues in the past 24 hours.

You can also check the comments section to see if someone has faced a similar issue in the last 24 hours since users constantly share their problems.

2. Through Twitter

tiktoksupport twitter account

Twitter, it’s what's happening!

Meaning that major social media platforms, including TikTok, are using Twitter to announce or inform their users of major issues happening on the platform.

Head over to @TikToksupport to see if the platform has some difficulties that might cause the search bar not to work correctly.

3. Use different TikTok search filters

Adjusting the TikTok filters may help you get more relevant results, and fix the issue with the search bar not working, some online sources suggest.

Supposedly, changing the filter preferences refreshes the search results and will give you better results.

Therefore, if you end up on the Network error page, here is what you can do to receive better results.

  1. Tap the ‘Settings’ icon in the upper-right.
  2. From the drop menu, choose a different filter.
  3. Tap ‘Apply’.

tiktok filter option

4. Update TikTok

An outdated TikTok version might be the reason for a missing or glitched search bar.

You may want to check if there are any pending updates for the TikTok app on your device and install them.

For iOS users

  • Access the App Store on your iOS device.
  • Next, look for TikTok.
  • Tap on the ‘Update’ button if there’s an available update for the app.

For Android users

  • Open the Google Play Store.
  • Tap on ‘Manage Apps & Device tab’.
  • Tap on ‘Updates Available’ and search for TikTok.
  • Tap the ‘Update’ button if there’s a newer version available for TikTok.

5. Clear TikTok app cache and data

If you haven't cleared TikTok's app data and cache for some time now, it could be causing some of the features not to work.

Namely, this can also cause the app to work significantly slower than usual, affecting the overall


1. Clear cache through the TikTok app settings

  1. Tap on ‘Profile’ from the bottom of your screen, and tap the hamburger menu in the upper-right to access ‘Settings and Privacy’.
  2. Scroll down and select ‘Clear cache’.

6. TikTok parental controls

TikTok launched parental controls in April 2020 to give parents greater control over what their teens watch and interact with on the platform.

The new tool enabled parents to control:

    • TikTok account privacy.
    • Whether or not their liked videos will be visible to others.
    • Who can comment on their children’s posts.
  • Whether the kids are allowed to use TikTok’s search feature.

Usually, parental controls are used and aimed at kids below the age of 13 for their safety and privacy to be satisfactory.

8. Contact TikTok technical support

TikTok technical support page

If none of the solutions from above fix the missing search bar, you may want to contact TikTok tech support.

On the TikTok website, you can search for articles regarding the missing search bar issue and see if some of the fixes TikTok has suggested will help you bring back the search bar.

Wrapping Up

The missing search bar in TikTok is not an uncommon issue.

Many users have reported that their search bar is either not working or missing altogether.

Try some of the solutions we have offered to bring back your search bar.