In 2019, Microsoft made changes to the search box in Windows File Explorer and began allowing users to search their OneDrive cloud storage and local files at the same time. Microsoft also updated the recent files section in Explorer and added support for Office.com entries.
By adding these features, Microsoft made Explorer slower, and the search box stopped responding when users tried to search their local files. However, it appears that Microsoft plans to give users more control over their results in the “quick access view” of File Explorer.
A new change included in early preview builds will allow users to disable the Office.com integration in File Explorer. According to a new entry in the Group Policy editor, you can disable Office.com files in the operating system and File Explorer will stop including cloud files in Quick Access view.
Additionally, when you disable the Office.com integration, it will also prevent File Explorer from making web requests to Microsoft services to retrieve data from recent cloud files. This could reduce background resource and data usage and improve your overall Windows experience.
Interestingly, this change will also apply to the recommendations section of the Start menu. When the feature is disabled, the Start menu will stop getting Office documents.
It’s worth noting that the Office integration includes Microsoft 365 and personal accounts, so this change will benefit all users.
Upcoming changes in File Explorer in Windows 11
As we have noted in our previous reports, File Explorer has become slower in Windows 11. The context menu, which appears when you right-click on a file or folder, is slow and slower than expected.
With Windows 11, Microsoft has changed the way the context menu works by prioritizing the most used options. Slow performance or slow animation is one of the annoying problems with File Explorer.
In some cases, users have observed a 1/2 second delay as the menu tries to resize when clicking anywhere within the Explorer window.
In addition to bug fixes, Microsoft also introduces a new keyboard shortcut that will allow users to quickly copy the path of files or folders. At this time, users must right-click on an item and select “Copy as path” to copy its location.