How to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge


It is possible to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge, but predictably the setting is buried deep inside the menu system. We help you navigate the labyrinth.


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The Microsoft Edge web browser serves as the default browser for Windows personal computers. For the most part, Edge fulfills its default role well, and most users are satisfied to use it for general web browsing, except for one glaring problem—Bing is Edge’s default search engine.

While Microsoft’s Bing search engine has vastly improved over the years, if you took a poll of users, they would likely tell you Google’s search engine is superior. (It is my personal preference.) It is possible to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge, but predictably the company has buried the settings allowing the change deep inside the menu system.

This how-to tutorial shows you how to change the default Bing search engine in Microsoft Edge to Google Search or some other search engine.

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Change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge

First, let’s briefly discuss why you might want to change default browsers. Take a look at Figure A: the side-by-side comparison shows results for the same search of mark w kaelin (yours truly).

Figure A


As you can see the first result matches for both search engines, but after that Bing provides suspect results and flat out wrong results, whereas Google provides links to my social media. Simply put, which set of results would you prefer?

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To change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge, start the Edge browser and expand the settings menu by clicking the three dots located in the right-hand corner of the navigation bar. From the menu, as shown in Figure B, select the Settings item.

Figure B


On the Settings page, shown in Figure C, we want to find and select the “Privacy, search and services” menu item in the left-hand navigation bar. If that item is not on the navigation bar, click the expand menu button (three horizontal lines) next to Settings in the title box.

Figure C


Once the privacy settings are selected, scroll down the page (Figure D) until you find an entry with the label “Address bar and search.” It will likely be located all the way at the bottom of the list.

Figure D


Scroll down the next page (Figure E) to finally find the setting we are searching for called “Search engine used in the address bar.” Click the down menu button to reveal a set of common alternatives to Bing.

Figure E


Search engine choices under this dropdown menu include Bing, Yahoo, Google and DuckDuckGo. If none of those choices appeal to you, click the “Manage search engines” link go to a page that will allow you to add any alternative search engine you would like.

It is important to note that this change of default search engine in Edge only applies to searches conducted from the Edge address bar. To force Edge to use your new choice of search engine even when typing your search terms in the default search box, change the setting labeled “Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar” to say Address Bar as shown in Figure F.

Figure F


Now, no matter where you start your search inquiry in Microsoft Edge, the browser will use the search engine you chose and not the default Bing.

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