Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Build 18894 looks like it will at least partially address one of the issues we found within the May 2019 Update: the slow, legacy File Explorer search option.
Windows 10 Build 18894, part of next year’s 20H1 release, contains a File Explorer search experience powered by Windows Search. Microsoft said File Explorer will now automatically suggest frequently-used files as you begin typing in the drop-down box.
Microsoft set out to revamp search within the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, separating the traditional search box from the Cortana digital assistant. While our review of the May 2019 Update questioned whether that was a step forward, there’s one improvement we cheered: It’s fast. In part, that’s because of a new Windows Search indexer that maps your hard drive in the background, then surfaces results almost instantly.
Microsoft’s build notes call out the new File Explorer search function’s integration with OneDrive, and don’t explicitly call out the speed of the experience. (We haven’t yet downloaded the new build, so we can’t vouch for how quickly search results are surfaced.) Still, it’s a positive step forward, even if you may not see it right away. The new Search experience will be pushed to a small percentage of users who download Build 18894, and expanded later on.
Microsoft noted that downloading this build will disable the Your Phone app because of an OS bug. Microsoft also has yet to fix an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software, which can crash your PC. Both are bugs that Microsoft’s still working to fix.
What this means for you: If you’re an old-school PC user, you probably use File Explorer to search for files. (And if you’re like me, you use the search box to launch apps.) File Explorer, however, is dog-slow. Any improvements will be welcomed.