Windows File Explorer feature 18755234 is gone

The feature on Windows for which I was scolded by my mother

Windows 10 File Explorer feature 18755234 named “SearchSuggestions” was a new feature of File Explorer on Windows 10 that was introduced in version 1909.1 What it does, made the search bar on File Explorer thicker and coupled with new features like Bing search straight from your File Explorer. The problem with this update is that it made the search function on Windows Explorer slow, since it uses EdgeHTML WebView to render the UI,2 and it made the file searching experience on File Explorer worse.

My mother always uses the search function on File Explorer, and it was quick and instant before this feature update. In November 2019, when this feature update got installed on our computer, my mother started complaining to me: “why does I can’t find my files now when searching?” I investigated, and found out the search function on File Explorer is new, and I was wondering why. Then I found out it was a new update for Windows. I told my mother that it was a new update for Windows and I couldn’t do anything about it since Microsoft did it, and my mother said: “No, you must figure it out how to bring back the old version; I can’t find my files anymore!” Then, after I was scolded by my mother, I started deeply investigating this new feature. After a couple of hours, I found out the name of the feature and the way to disable it and bring it back to the old version. The feature name is called feature 18755234, and I found a tool named Mach2 that allows disabling the said feature.

I then disabled feature 18755234 using Mach2 using this command mach2 disable 18755234 and now I have disabled the feature. I was happy that I fixed it, and my mother is not mad anymore since she can search again just like before version 1909. Then I restarted our computer, and found out that the dreaded feature 18755234 is here again, the search bar is thick again. I checked out if the feature got re-enabled using this command mach2 display and found out it is still disabled, and I was wondering why is that? Then I tried revering the changes using this command mach2 revert 18755234 and disabled it again using this command mach2 disable 18755234, and the old thinner search is back again. Now I was thinking that since this feature needs to be reconfigured again and my mother will call me again and again, I started creating a batch script for automated feature 18755234 disabler and planned to add it to Task Scheduler.

Then, I found out that Mach2 has a bug that prevented it from being used in pipes, which I needed to pipe the output to findstr to determine if it needed to revert the feature before disabling it, so I created an issue on GitHub, and then I created a semi-automatic batch file for disabling feature 18755234 for the meantime. Riverar has not responded to my issue yet and I’m so tired of being called on again and again when my mother needs the search feature, this is where I started looking for alternatives for a fast file search on Windows. I stumbled upon a program named Everything, and I installed the program and taught my mother to use Everything from now on. After 3 months, Riverar has now fixed the issue and released version of Mach2. This is where I finally created a fully automated batch file for disabling feature 18755234 and I added it to Task Scheduler to run at startup, now my mother is happy that she can now search for her files without any hiccups.

In October 2022, we brought a new computer, and I did not install my automated batch file for disabling feature 18755234 there. It seems like my mother stopped using the built-in search function inside File Explorer and instead now always uses Everything for searching her files.

Fast-forward to December 2023, I noticed on our new computer that the old thinner search bar is back on Windows. I wondered if this is a bug, then I found out that feature 18755234 actually got disabled by Microsoft by pushing an update named KB5033372.3 Microsoft is silent about this update,4 and apparently, they disabled it to comply with EU requirements to decouple Bing search from Windows.5 I felt like this is the greatest tech revenge and justice to me for what feature 18755234 had done to me for letting me get scolded by my mother back in 2019. Thank you very much European Union!

By Shawn M.
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