Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

How Do I Get Rid of Bing?

Poor Bing. It gets no respect.

Honestly, it’s a reasonable search engine, but due to Microsoft’s ham-handed approach to ramming it down the throats of first Internet Explorer and then Windows 10 users, it’s developed a reputation as more of an annoyance than anything else. While Microsoft seems to be dialing back the marketing a little, Bing still shows up more often than many people would like.

Let’s get rid of Bing.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

What Bing is

BingIt’s important to realize that Bing is nothing more than a website. Seriously, that’s all it is: bing.com.

On that website, you’ll find a search engine. That’s the service Bing is attempting to provide, in direct competition with google.com.

So the knee-jerk reaction is simple: if you don’t like Bing, don’t go to bing.com. Done.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.

Bing as the browser’s search provider

I repeat: Bing is a website that has a search engine. Nothing more.

But browsers have default search providers. When you type something that isn’t a web address into the address bar, they assume you want to search the internet, and fire up the configured search provider.

It should be no surprise that Microsoft Bing is the default search provider in Microsoft Edge1.

If you’re using Edge (and the newest version is a reasonable Google Chrome alternative), you can change the default search provider. Here’s how to do it. If you’re running a browser other than Edge, chances are you already have a different search provider, but you can check your settings. Exactly how you make a change depends on which browser you use.

Bing as Windows 10’s default search engine

If you use the search box in the Windows 10 Start menu, or if you use Cortana, Windows 10 will always perform internet searches using Bing. There is no built-in configuration option to change this.

While it’s reminiscent of the “ham handed” and “ramming it down your throat” comments I made earlier, in some ways it’s no surprise that Microsoft Windows would use Microsoft Bing. (I believe it also always uses Microsoft Edge, regardless of your default browser setting.)

There’s at least one third-party solution that intercepts most attempts to force-run Edge and instead runs the default browser. It’s called EdgeDeflector, and it allows you to configure the default browser to be used in that scenario, which of course would use your default search provider.

is configured within your default search engine.

Bing on the Edge “new tab” page

Speaking of Edge, if you do use it, you’ll find that while you can change the default start page and the browser home page, you cannot change the browser’s “new tab” page. You can configure it a bit, but all configurations include a search bar that uses — you guessed it — Microsoft Bing.

The only solution I’m aware of here is to use a third-party browser extension to configure a custom new tab page.2

Or use a different browser.

Bing in browser extensions

Even if you don’t use Edge, Microsoft would like you to install a browser extension that sets Bing as your browser’s search provider and perhaps  even Bing as your browser’s home page. Originally there was even something called the “Bing bar” which was installed, often by default and occasionally as a PUP, but thankfully, it seems to have fallen by the wayside.

The solution here is to review your browser extensions and add-ons and disable or remove any that seem to be associated with Bing.

And of course, when installing software, always choose custom installs and be on the lookout for PUPs, or Potentially Unwanted Programs, as you go. There’s nothing “potentially” about it.

If you found this article helpful, I'm sure you'll also love Confident Computing! My weekly email newsletter is full of articles that help you solve problems, stay safe, and give you more confidence with technology. Subscribe now and I'll see you there soon,

Leo

Podcast audio

Play

Video Narration

Footnotes & References

1: And Internet Explorer, but you shouldn’t be using that anymore, anyway.

2: It seems very silly to me that of all things, this isn’t more highly configurable. I just want it to open the same page as my browser Home button.

8 comments on “How Do I Get Rid of Bing?”

  1. I have tried Bing and found that it fails to find the better answers to what I am looking for, too much of the time. There is a reason that Google’s search and their maps are the most popular.
    However, I do occasionally go the Bing maps to see what their birds eye view shows. Sometimes it is better.

    Reply
    • Amazon’s “Alexa” uses Bing, and as a result fails to find most of the things I ask her for. I very much wish I could switch Alexa over to Google instead! Bust That Bing!

      Reply
  2. You said: “1: And Internet Explorer, but you shouldn’t be using that anymore, anyway.”

    But why has it started auto-opening up Internet Explorer as default when I accidentally hit one of the function keys? (rhetorical question).

    It reset itself during the last 2 or 3 Windows updates, just when I had figured out how to stop the F2 key opening up a help window. It also reset the auto connect to the Internet setting. That is the main thing that annoys me about forced Windows updates.

    Reply
  3. It’s a shame that your article only seems to deal with ‘Edge’ and appears to be slanted towards Windows 10. I have remained quite firmly with Windows 7 Professional and use Google Chrome but occasionally a search produces ‘Bing’ as the search engine. How do I prevent that, at any time?

    Reply
    • Bing being rammed down people’s throats is mostly a Windows 10 thing. While I realize that some people are sticking with Windows 7, by far, now, most have moved on to Windows 10.

      For your situation I’d have to know the specifics of what you were doing at the time that resulted in a Bing search.

      Reply
    • I’d personally ditch the Chrome browser. Too many privacy issues with it.

      Personally I use Opera, and yes it uses the Chromium engine, but it isn’t Chrome.

      Alternatively I also use the Brave browser.

      And websites being websites, sometimes I’ll need to use another altogether different browser, in which case, and it is very, very seldom, I use Waterfox. Faster and better than Firefox. By miles.

      Reply
  4. I have windows 10 and I have used google chrome for years for my mail and search. But just recently in the past fewm days all of the sudden I see Yahoo and bing showing up when searching. Wonder how this happened or what I have done wrong. Leo thank you for sharing your expertise with us. I have known you for many years through this Social Media. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.
    bert

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.