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How to Fix WooCommerce Search by SKU Not Working

Want to know how to fix Woocommerce search by SKU not working?

Solving this problem is important to ensure a positive user experience for your customers and increase your sales.

In this article, we’ll show you how to find out why search by product SKUs doesn’t work on your site and how to fix this issue.

Since this tutorial contains a lot of helpful tips, we’ve organized it into several sections for you.

Feel free to click on a specific section to skip ahead:

2 Common Examples of Woocommerce Search by SKU Not Working

Let’s look at 2 of the most common examples of why search by SKU of WooCommerce products might not work on your site.

WordPress Doesn’t Search by WooCommerce Products SKUs on Site

To begin with, let’s clarify what product SKUs are and why searching by them can be useful.

SKU stands for stock keeping unit. This is a unique product ID you’re free to specify the way you want. By assigning it to a product, you can help your customers to find it faster.

The main reason you can’t find a product by SKU is that WooCommerce stores this data in custom fields.

Custom fields are fields where you can add any extra information to your posts, pages, or products.

Apart from SKUs, WooCommerce also stores in custom fields product price, weight, color, and many other attributes.

This is valuable data, adding which can make it much easier for your customers to find the products they’re looking for.

But, there is a problem. WordPress doesn’t consider custom fields when performing a search.

Thankfully, you can handle this issue with a couple of clicks.

We’ll show you how to make SKUs and other custom fields data searchable later in this guide.

Or you can skip ahead to the solution and learn how to make WordPress consider WooCommerce products SKUs when searching right now.

Search by WooCommerce Products SKUs Doesn’t Work in the Admin Panel

WooCommerce supports searching for products by their SKUs in the admin panel by default.

So if you can’t find your products, it means that your plugin doesn’t work correctly.

A list of possible reasons why this might happen includes:

  • Plugin conflict. Some of the plugins you use on your site may not be compatible with each other.
  • Import a large number of products via CSV. If you uploaded tons of products at once through a CSV file import, it could have corrupted the WooCommerce database.
  • Hosting memory limit. Some web hostings have hidden memory limitations that may cause WooCommerce not to work properly.

We’ll show you how to fix all of these issues later in this article.

Or you can skip ahead to the solution by following the how to fix search by WooCommerce products SKUs doesn’t work in the admin panel link.

How to Fix Woocommerce Search by SKUs Doesn’t Work on Site

The easiest way to enable search by product SKUs on your site is to use a plugin like SearchWP.

SearchWP logo

Why? Because this is the most powerful and easy-to-use WordPress search plugin on the market.

Using this plugin, you can make any additional info about your products searchable – no technical knowledge needed.

But this is only a small part of SearchWP features. In fact, with this plugin, you can create custom search forms, prioritize specific products in search results, and many more.

Over 30,000 eCommerce websites are already using SearchWP to give their customers more relevant search results.

Here are a few more amazing things that you can do with this plugin:

  • Display search results in live mode. Want to show search results to visitors in live mode? With SearchWP, you can add live search with autocomplete feature to your site in a few clicks.
  • Track searches on your site. Wondering what products your customers were looking for on your site? SearchWP collects data on search activity in your store so that you can better understand your audience’s needs.
  • Add a search bar with a shortcode. Looking for a way to add a search bar to your site? With SearchWP, you can display a search bar using a shortcode at almost any place on your site.
  • Enable search by partial matches. Want your visitors to find the right product, even if they enter its name with a typo? Enable SearchWP fuzzy search feature to make it easier to find products in your store.

With that, let’s see how you can use SearchWP to enable searching by WooCommerce product SKUs on your site.

Step 1: Install and Activate SearchWP

To get started, you can get your own copy of SearchWP here.

The next step is to sign in to your SearchWP account and navigate to the Downloads tab.

navigate to the Downloads tab

Once you’re there, press the Download SearchWP button to begin downloading the plugin’s ZIP file to your computer.

press Download SearchWP

After you finish downloading, copy the plugin license key at the bottom left on the same tab.

copy your license key

The next step is to upload the SearchWP plugin’s ZIP file to your site.

Not sure how to do that? You can follow this step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon the plugin installation, navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click the SearchWP button at the top bar.

go over to the SearchWP settings

Then, go over to the License tab.

go over to the License tab

Put the license key you copied in one of the previous steps into the License field and click Activate.

click Activate

Once you activate your copy of SearchWP, the next step is to install the WooCommerce Integration extension.

Step 2: Install and Activate the WooCommerce Integration Extension

This extension ensures seamless integration of SearchWP and WooCommerce plugins.

To get started, go to the WooCommerce Integration download page and click on the Download Extension button.

download the WooCommerce integration extension

Once you’ve downloaded the extension ZIP file to your computer, upload it to your site the same way as SearchWP and activate it.

After that, you can move on to the next step and start customizing your site’s search engine.

Step 3: Make Custom Fields Searchable on Your Site

To get started, head to your WordPress admin dashboard and click the SearchWP button on the top panel.

click SearchWP

It’ll take you to the Engines tab, where you can see and manage search engines created with SearchWP.

the list of your search engines

By default, there is only one search engine called Default. Any changes you make to it apply to all existing search boxes on your site.

With SearchWP, you’re free to fully customize a search engine to meet your needs.

For example, you can specify what search sources WordPress should consider, which pages exclude from search, and many more.

SearchWP also allows you to create multiple search engines and link them to individual search forms.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make WooCommerce product SKUs searchable using any search box on your site.

The first step is to add WooCommerce products to the Default search engine’s list of search sources.

To get started, press the Sources & Settings button.

click Sources and Settings

Then, tick the box next to the Products source and click Done to save the changes.

check the Products search source and press Done

Once you’ve added WooCommerce products as a search source, the next step is to make WordPress consider SKUs.

To get started, click on the Add/Remove Attributes button under the Products section.

click add remove attributes

Then, type _sku into the Custom Fields field and press the Enter button on your keyboard.

how to fix Woocommerce search by SKU not working

Once you’ve finished, press Done to save the changes.

click Done

The last step is to click the Save Engines button in the upper right corner to save all the changes you’ve made.

press Save Engines

Now let’s try out how search by SKU works on your site.

Step 4: Test Your New Search

To do that, click Visit Site under your site’s name in the top left corner of your WordPress dashboard.

press Visit Site

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ve added to our test site a product called Mountain bike, which has “MB7534” as the SKU.

Let’s see if we can find this product by SKU alone.

click Find Results

As you can see, we found the product.

we found a WooCommerce product by its SKU

It means that search by WooCommerce product SKUs now works on our test site.

How to Fix Woocommerce Search by SKUs Doesn’t Work in The Admin Panel

Now let’s see what you can do if search by WooCommerce product SKUs doesn’t work in the admin panel.

How to Fix Plugin Compatibility Issue

The most common reason for that is plugin incompatibility.

To find out if it’s your case, you first need to disable all the plugins installed on your site.

To get started, navigate to the Plugins tab in your WordPress dashboard.

navigate to the Plugins tab

Then, tick a checkbox next to every installed plugin except for WooCommerce, SearchWP, and its extensions.

When you’re finished, select the Deactivate option from the drop-down menu and press Apply.

deactivate all plugins

Try to search by a product SKU after these actions. If it works correctly now, then the problem was in the plugin incompatibility.

You can start activating plugins one by one to find out which one is causing problems with search.

If product search in the WooCommerce admin panel still doesn’t work, you can also try the following solutions below.

How to Fix WooCommerce Products Database Corruption

Recently uploaded a large number of products using the CSV file import?

In this case, the problem with search in the admin panel may be related to corruption of the WooCommerce database.

You can update your product database to fix this problem.

To get started, navigate to WooCommerce » Status » Tools in your WordPress dashboard.

go to the Tools tab

Then, scroll the page down to the Product lookup tables section and click Regenerate.

press Regenerate

After that, scroll the page to the very bottom and press the Update Database button at the appropriate section.

click Update database

When you’re done, wait for a couple of minutes to let WooCommerce finish updating the database.

Then check if the search in the admin panel has started working properly. If updating the database didn’t help, try the following method below.

Navigate to Products » All Products in your WordPress dashboard.

go to the All Products tab

Highlight all the products you have in your store by checking the topmost checkbox.

check all products

Then, click on the Bulk actions drop-down menu, choose the Edit option, and press Apply.

click Apply

After that, click the Update button to update all your products at once.

press Update

It’ll make WooCommerce reindex all products and help solve problems with their display in search in the admin panel.

How to Deal with Hosting Memory Limitations

Another possible reason that can cause problems with search in the admin panel is hosting memory limitations.

Typically, you don’t have access to the hosting configuration options and can’t increase the memory limit yourself.

So the only way to solve the problem is to contact your hosting support team.

They’ll help you to figure out if it’s your case and increase the memory limit if it’s necessary.

In this article, you learned how to fix Woocommerce search by SKU not working.

It’ll allow your customers to find the products they’re looking for faster and increase your sales.

If you’re ready to fix not working search by WooCommerce products’ SKU on your site, you can grab your copy of SearchWP here.

Stumbled upon any other issues with WooCommerce search? Check out the how to fix WooCommerce product search not working detailed tutorial.

Want to make WordPress consider any product attributes when performing a search? Follow the how to search by WooCommerce product attributes guide.

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