Restore Classic Search in File Explorer in Windows 10 version 1909

Restore Classic Search Box Behavior for File Explorer in Windows 10 version 1909 with Syntax Highlight, Deleting Items

With a recently released update KB4532695, Microsoft tried to resolve several issues that made their first appearance with the public release of Windows 10 version 1909 'November 2019 Update'. After installing the patch the search is finally usable, but its behavior is ridiculously different from the classic Search box of File Explorer in OS versions prior to 1909.


Besides the list of fixes introduced in KB4532695, the update is known for fixing the issue with the search box in File Explorer on Windows 10 version 1909, which can become unresponsive and unusable once it receives focus, or a mouse click event.

However, even after installing the patch, the search box in File Explorer has the following limitations/changed behavior:

If File Explorer is your primary file management tool, you may find these changes frustrating. Thankfully, it is possible to revert the search box to its classic look and features, like it was available in Windows 10 version 1803. Here is how.

To Restore Classic Search in File Explorer in Windows 10 version 1909,

  1. Download the mach2 tool from its official GitHub page. To find which version you need, see the article How to determine if you are running 32-bit Windows or 64-bit.
  2.  Extract the ZIP archive to any folder you want. For example, you can extract it to the folder c:\mach2.Windows 10 Mach2 Archive
  3. Open a new command prompt as Administrator.
  4. Go to the folder that contains your copy of the mach2 tool. E.g.
    cd /d c:\mach2
  5. Type the following command: mach2 disable 18755234.
  6. Restart the Explorer shell, or restart Windows 10.

Congrats, you have restored the classic search feature in File Explorer on Windows 10 version 1909.

Windows 10 Restore File Explorer Classic Search

Unfortunately, this is not a permanent solution. Windows 10 may revert your change at any moment with an update. Or, Microsoft may remove the underlying code which provides this classic functionality.

Many thanks to Rafael.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

21 thoughts on “Restore Classic Search in File Explorer in Windows 10 version 1909”

  1. Do people at Microsoft not use Windows 10 or something? They’re breaking the very thing they use day in-day out; surely they must suffer from the bugs and regressions like we do. And yet a buggy search bar still gets pushed to release. Fortunately it’s very easy to avoid 1909 or uninstall it since it’s an extremely small update. Doesn’t really add anything of use so it seems easier to just ignore it until (if) Microsoft fixes things.

    1. Hi Jason, I am firmly convinced that all of the upper echelon at M$ are MAC user. They are hell bent on turning Windows into a piss poor imitation of the MAC OS.
      Don’t get me wrong, I have used both, DOS and Windows since 1985 and MAC OS since mid 90’s. I do not really like the MAC OS, for some reason I can’t quit get my head turned 180 degrees to understand it and I really don’t like what they are doing to Windows.
      Just my opinion.

  2. Someone please create another solution for this; it doesn’t work in 2004. Maybe a DLL injection via Regsvr32 would do.

  3. It’s still available if you run Control Panel (not This PC->Control Panel, just Control Panel typed in address bar)…how can we get this to be set as Explorer default? If you go ‘up’ from there, you’ll see the datemodified calendar etc when you type it. Although it’s a little buggy.

  4. This is working for me today.
    Win 10 21H1 64-bit Build 19043.1466

    1. Download, install and open WinAero Tweaker.
    2. File Explorer / Enable Classic Search
    3. Check box next to ‘Enable classic search in File Explorer.’
    4. Use ‘Restart Explorer’ option within tweaker or just Sign Out of Windows from Start menu.

    Returns the Search tab so one can set criteria BEFORE typing into search box. Calendar pop-up restored as long as I click cursor after colon (e.g. date:| , datemodified:| , etc).

    God bless Winaero, Sergey and Rafael!

    I also utilize the ‘Customize Quick Access Toolbar’ feature built into the File Explorer ribbon to add shortcut buttons to some of my most used search options.

  5. The classic search (live search) feature has been returned by Microsoft in the beta and dev builds of Windows 11.

  6. Win11 broke the search history with some update from the end of 2023,
    Does enabling this change will also fix it along the way?

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