After the recent cumulative updates to Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909), things haven’t gotten much better. Users are still reporting problems with Windows 10’s File Explorer search bar and bug appears to be widespread.
Windows 10 version 1909 includes an updated File Explorer that allows you to quickly preview the search results of local and OneDrive contents. While the new search bar is useful, it freezes for a long period of time and this has been confirmed by a good number of users.
The November Update also disables right-click in the File Explorer and users cannot paste text in the search bar with the mouse.
Microsoft is apparently working on a fix and File Explorer search issue has already been addressed in preview builds of Windows 10 20H1.
In the changelog of Windows 10 20H1 Build 19013, Microsoft noted that it has resolved an issue where it is not possible to set focus to File Explorer’s search box.
“We fixed an issue where you could get into a state where it wasn’t possible to set focus to File Explorer’s search box in order to type your query,” Microsoft explained in an announcement dated October 29.
It’s worth pointing out that Build 19013 was shipped to testers a few weeks before the November 2019 Update release. This once again highlights that the company’s testing processes are simply not up to the task.
Microsoft is also adding back the ability to right-click within the Search bar and you will be able to delete the recent search results as well. This has been added with Windows 10 20H1 Build 19536:
“We’ve updated the new File Explorer search experience to enable you to remove previous searches via an option if you right click the entry in the dropdown,” the company said.
This is pretty basic stuff and users are apparently not happy with Microsoft’s quality control:
“This is seriously bad quality control. As far as quality and reliability, Windows 7 was definitely the better product. It’s too bad because I do like Windows 10 but the fact a different part of it breaks as often as it has been lately makes Microsoft look like a company that’s struggling,” a user wrote in Microsoft’s community forum.
We don’t know when Microsoft is planning to backport the fixes to Windows 10 November 2019 Update, but it’s likely to happen in January 2020.
If you are having issues with File Explorer search and you are tempted to reboot your PC, you can just restart Windows Explorer and the search bar will work again.
To unfreeze search bar, open Task Manager, select “Windows Explorer” and then click the “Restart” button.