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How to Change the Default Search Engine in Microsoft Edge (New & Old)

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. One result is that Edge is being replaced with Edge — meaning that the original Edge browser is being replaced with a new version that’s completely rewritten and based on Chromium, the technology that powers several other popular browsers (including Google’s Chrome).

In either version, changing the default search engine is well hidden.

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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 own Bing.

Search engines, like browsers, are 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.

Edge

Changing the setting in Edge — Chromium

The new Chromium-based version of Edge is identified by its new icon.

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

Ellipsis menu item in Edge
Ellipsis menu item in Edge.

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

Settings link on the Edge menu
Settings link on the Edge menu. (Click for larger image.)

This will open a new Settings page. On the left, click on the “hamburger” icon to open a menu of options, if it’s not already visible. Then click on Privacy and services.

Edge Privacy and services settings link
Edge Privacy and services settings link. (Click for larger image.)

On the resulting (lengthy) privacy page, scroll to the bottom and click on Address bar.

Edge Address bar settings link
Edge address bar settings link. (Click for larger image.)

Finally, on the resulting page, click on the drop-down to expose the list of options for “Search engine used in the address bar”.

Edge search engine choice
Edge search engine choice. (Click for larger image.)

Click on the search engine you wish to use. Once complete, you can close the tab containing the settings.

Microsoft Edge

Changing the setting in Edge — “Legacy”

The legacy version of Edge is identified by its icon.

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

Ellipsis in Edge Legacy
Ellipsis in Edge Legacy.

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

Menu in Edge Legacy
Menu in Edge Legacy. (Click for larger image.)

This will bring up another menu. Click on Advanced.

Advanced settings link in Edge Legacy
Advanced settings link in Edge Legacy. (Click for larger image.)

Once again, a new menu will appear. Scroll down to “Address bar search” and click on Change search provider.

Change search provider button in Edge Legacy
Change search provider button in Edge Legacy. (Click for larger image.)

This is where things get… interesting.

Change search engine in Edge Legacy
Change search engine in Edge Legacy.

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

Getting the search engine you want in Edge Legacy

This is not Microsoft being “evil”. Just the opposite, in fact. ANY search engine can be listed here.

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.

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

  • Dismiss all the menus we just traversed (or close the settings tab).
  • 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.

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

Google as a search engine option in Edge Legacy
Google as a search engine option in Edge Legacy.

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

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

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Footnotes & references

1: As specified at OpenSearch.org.

Posted: April 2, 2020 in: Edge
Shortlink: https://askleo.com/25563
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12 comments on “How to Change the Default Search Engine in Microsoft Edge (New & Old)”

  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!

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
          • 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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply

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