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Change the Search Engine in Microsoft Edge

The Edge browser is Microsoft’s latest attempt to put a nail in the coffin of Internet Explorer. Designed from the ground up as a faster, safer, alternative browser, it’s the default web browser in Windows 10.

Unfortunately, it’s been slow to catch up to the level of features included with other browsers. In some cases, though, it’s not that a feature isn’t there – it’s that it’s so well hidden.

This seems to be the case with changing the default search engine used by Edge. It’s not really obvious how to do it, but it’s actually not that hard.

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Microsoft = Edge + Bing

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the default search engine in Microsoft Edge as provided in Microsoft Windows 10 is Microsoft’s Bing. There’s something of a theme there. 🙂

Search engines, like browsers, are largely a matter of personal preference. Some people like Edge; some don’t. Similarly, some folks are quite satisfied with Bing; others, not so much.

Fortunately, and again much like browsers, there’s a wide variety of alternative search engines out there. Personally, I tend to prefer Google.

Locating the setting

In Edge, click on the ellipsis – the “three dots” in the upper right of the Edge window.

Edge Ellipsis

This will expose a menu of options. At the bottom of the list, click on Settings.

Settings item on Edge menu

This will bring up another menu. Scroll down to click on View advanced settings.

Edge - View advanced settings

Once again, a new menu will appear. Scroll down to click on Change search engine.

Edge Change Search Engine Link

This is where things get… interesting.

Search engine not listed?

Depending on how you’ve been using Edge, you may find that the search engine you want to use is not listed.

Search Engine List without Google

This is not Microsoft being “evil”. Just the opposite, in fact. ANY search engine can be listed here. As you can see from the example above, even Ask Leo! can appear as a search engine. Note, however, that it’s listed as “discovered”. That’s key.

In order to appear in this list as a default search engine, two things have to happen:

  • The search engine needs to “expose” the fact that it’s available as a search engine.1
  • Your browser needs to have visited the search engine at least once.

I visited askleo.com and it’s search engine capability was “discovered”; hence, it’s on the list.

If the search engine you want isn’t on the list, all you need to do is:

  • Dismiss all the menus we just traversed.
  • Visit the website of your preferred search engine.
  • Return to this menu item via Edge -> (ellipsis) -> Settings -> View advanced settings -> Change search engine

The search engine should now be listed.

Changing the search engine

After visiting google.com, it appears in my list of search engines.

Set Google as Default Search

Note that you don’t need to remain on the search engine’s web site for the setting to appear. It’s enough that you visited it at least once before attempting to change the setting.

Click on the search engine you want, and then click on Set as default. Now all your searches performed via the address bar will use Google instead of Bing.

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Changing the Search Engine in Edge   Changing the Search Engine in Edge

Footnotes & references

1: As specified at OpenSearch.org.

11 comments on “Change the Search Engine in Microsoft Edge”

  1. I always use Google Chrome for browser and it suits all my needs….but once in awhile I like to give Edge browser
    a run for the fun.
    This is something that I was wondering about. I had no idea that this would work this way. Thank you very much!

    • I too use Chrome but I sometimes end up in Edge because I’ve typed something into the search box in the TaskBar, so this is a very useful tip!

      • From my experience, I get the Bing search engine when I do a search from the Windows Start Icon, which I believe you are referring to when you say a search from the Task Bar, even though I have my Edge search defaulting to Google.

          • That’s what my comment was about. If I knew how to change that, I would have included it in my previous comment. I don’t consider it a big one for me as I’ve only used the search function from the Start Tile menu to experiment with. I have been playing with Edge and I find is fast and seems to do what I need.

  2. I use internet browser11 to view my security cameras when not at home, no other browser will allow me to do this.
    Internet Browser11 has a compatibility setting in tools where you can log on to my-see.com and put it into the compatibility box and this allows me to log into my cameras.
    Do you know any other browser that will allow this since they do not have a tool box with compatibility view setting.

  3. Hi , Some time ago , after reading on Ask Leo , your helpful weekly advice , this was last year 2017 . How to get a web browser I want , not imposed on me Ie- Microsoft edge . It was easy following your information , to go back to internet explorer . occasionally I use Firefox . many thanks , yours sincerely. Alex.

  4. Interestingly this does not seem to work with Ask. I visited ask.com and ask.co.uk several times, but it did not appear in the list. I visited this site once to read this thread and askleo now appears in the list.

  5. There are dozens of guides to this issue but none seem to address the issue I have. Duckduckgo appears as discovered, I click on it and set it as default and it shows that it is the default engine. However when I click on Edge, it always opens to Bing.

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