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.
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.
This will expose a menu of options. At the bottom of the list, click on Settings.
This will bring up another menu. Scroll down to click on View advanced settings.
Once again, a new menu will appear. Scroll down to click on Change search engine.
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.
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.
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.