Full-Text Search is not installed or a full-text component cannot be loaded

Using SQL Server, you just encountered the error “Full-Text Search is not installed, or a full-text component cannot be loaded.” In my case I was creating a Full Text on a table.

It simply means that this specific feature using indexes is either not installed on your SQL Server instance or there’s an issue with loading its components. Find below a short guide to help you diagnose properly your case and fix the issue:

1. Why the Full-Text Search feature is not working ?

Full-Text Search in SQL Server enables you to perform advanced querying on textual data. This feature must be installed and correctly configured to work. If it’s not set up or encounters a problem, SQL Server can’t execute full-text queries.

2. Diagnose the Full-Text Search is not installed Error

As explained here, it is an optional component, and need to be installed independently, i.e. it is not installed by default.

Check first if the Full-Text Search feature is Installed: You need to open the SQL Server Configuration Manager and check the list of services. Look for a service named SQL Full-text Filter Daemon Launcher to confirm if Full-Text Search is installed.

If the service is not in the list, you need of course to install it.

3. Fix the Issue

  1. Install the Full-Text Search Component: If you find that Full-Text Search is not installed, you’ll need to add it. This process involves running the SQL Server setup from the installation media (or setup file) and choosing the Full-Text Search feature during the setup wizard. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  2. Restart the SQL Server Service: After ensuring the Full-Text feature is properly set up, restart the SQL Server service. This step ensures that any changes are applied, and services are correctly loaded.
  3. I recommended to restart also the machine: restart your laptop or the server hosting the SQL Server instance.
  4. Check the Installation: Use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to verify that Full-Text Search is operational. Execute a basic full-text query or use the command SELECT FULLTEXTSERVICEPROPERTY(‘IsFullTextInstalled’) to check. If the query returns 1, Full-Text Search is installed and operational.
  5. Further troubleshooting: If you still encounter issues, check the SQL Server error logs and the Windows Event Viewer for any related errors.

4. About Maintenance and Best Practices

  • Regularly Update SQL Server: Ensure your SQL Server instance is up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates.
  • Monitor Full-Text Catalogs: Regular monitoring and maintenance of your full-text catalogs helps prevent performance degradation and issues.

By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the “Full-Text Search is not installed, or a full-text component cannot be loaded.” error, enabling your SQL Server instance to benefit from the capabilities of this powerful feature.

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