Why does screen indicate "searching"?
The handset cannot communicate with its base.
When the handset cannot establish its secure (encrypted) radio
link with the base it is 'paired with' or 'registered' to, it will first
say "Connecting....", then it will display "Out of Range or No
Power at Base", then it settles at the infamous "Searching..."
Although rare, the registration between base and handset can
become corrupted and lost so that we must de-register and
then re-register the pair.
First, ensure that power is 'on' at the base (a more common cause)
and the cradle will charge the handset, etc.
Second, be sure the handset battery is well charged as a weak battery will interfere with the registration process.
Then try the following ( 'works for the D1680, D1481, and similar):
To deregister the handset:
1. Press and hold the [END] and [ # ] keys at the same time,
after a few seconds the display will say
"System Reset, Deregister Handset"
scroll to "Base Unavailable"
press [SELECT] (chirps) press [END]
display reads "Place in base..."
Next, to re-register the handset:
2. Set the handset into the base cradle and wait,
after ~30 seconds the handset should display
"Handset #" and be good to go...
or it will display "Registration Failed"