How to Change the Default Search Engine In Microsoft Edge

written by Michael Anderson posted on July 19, 2021

Microsoft Edge is a powerful browsing tool for users looking to access the World Wide Web quickly and easily. When you open up Edge for the first time or after a long hiatus, you may be greeted with a bar that asks, “Would you like to set Microsoft Edge as your default browser?” that lets you set Bing as default. But if you ignore it and try to search for something by typing a word or phrase in the search bar, you’ll find that Bing is already the default option.

It’s no surprise that Bing would be the default, as Microsoft tries to encourage more users to adopt Bing. And despite Bing’s widespread usage and benefits, many users prefer to utilize competing search engines like Google or Yahoo. Edge, like many browsers, makes it relatively simple to switch to the default search engine. But before you do, make sure that your search engine returns the results you want and that it’s a safe option.

Choosing the Best Search Engine

Google’s longstanding dominant market position, massive search engine advertising business, and mainstream popularity have many users convinced it’s the most effective search engine. But when you’re searching for popular items, like information about an upcoming superhero movie or the world’s largest companies, there’s very little variation, if any, in the results you get. When you search for information on less common or more complex topics, your results will vary.

However, many non-Google users swear their preferred search engine returns more relevant results. Since “relevant” may be subjective given the search term in question, it’s difficult to assess which is better. Whichever major search engine you choose, make sure the search results it returns are relevant enough for your personal or professional use.

Also, make sure to avoid little-known search engines, as cybercriminals have been known to develop search engines for the express purpose of distributing malware. When you search for a keyword or phrase using one of these fraudulent search engine sites, you’ll be taken to search results leading webpages directing you to download an application. For example, you might search for a movie trailer and be presented with links to pages that encourage you to download a video player to watch the trailer.

Instead of a video application, you’ll wind up downloading malware, and you may soon find your device rendered inoperable, sensitive information stolen, or data encrypted and held for ransom. Some fraudulent sites will lead you to pages that encourage you to enter email passwords or financial information through sophisticated social engineering lures. If you haven’t heard of a search engine that’s popped up, stay away or do some due diligence. In general, however, it’s best to stick with one of the most prominent ones, like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

Changing Your Search Engine in Microsoft Edge

To change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge to the one you prefer, first, look up the search engine you want to use in your Edge browser. Next, search for something – anything – in that search engine. Then, you’ll want to click the Settings icon – the three horizontal bars to the right.

You’ll be taken to edge://settings/ on which you’ll see a Settings pane to the left. Scroll down and select Privacy, search, and services. You’ll see Tracking prevention at the top, but scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll be able to make the change.

At the bottom of the page, click Address bar and search, and you’ll find yourself on a page with an option to Search engine used in the address bar. There is a dropdown to the left of this text, where Bing will be listed as the default option. To change it, select one of the three other options: Google, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo.     

When you change the search engine, say, to Google, for example, Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar appears. You have two options, Search box (Recommended) or Address bar. If you select Address bar, your query will be redirected to the address bar to use Google (or your preferred search engine) when you type it in the search field at MSN.com. If you select Search box, the queries you enter into the address bar will also be searched using Google (or your selected search engine). However, for queries entered in the search field on MSN.com, Edge will use Bing.

Selecting Another Search Engine Option

But what if you want to change your default search engine to something other than Google, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo? Underneath Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar is Manage search engines, which will take you to the list of your four available options when selected.

To add a new search engine to the list, open a new tab and enter the URL of the search engine you’d like to use. Make sure that the search engine is legitimate first and not a security threat. When your selected search engine comes up, toggle back to the Manage search engines window and refresh that page. You’ll now see the new search engine listed below the first four. And if you go back to the Address bar and search page, you’ll see that search engine listed as an option in the dropdown.

Using Microsoft Edge

Like Google and Bing’s search engines, both Chrome and Edge browsers get the big things right. Not only do they look similar, but they’re both fast and come with a range of browser extensions that expand each browser’s functionality significantly. However, Edge does have a few features that Chrome lacks. Edge has a greater collection of Privacy and security settings than Chrome does, and they’re easier to find. Edge Collections provides you with a simple way to organize your webpages, while the Read Aloud feature, which reads webpages out loud, is an excellent accommodation for the visually impaired. And Edge uses considerably less memory than Chrome does, which is helpful if your system has limited memory.

If you’re using Microsoft Edge or another Microsoft solution and want to know more about how to unlock its full potential, contact us at 365 Technologies. We specialize in helping businesses improve their productivity by helping them identify, implement, and understand the solutions they need to grow. If you’re looking for local Winnipeg IT support services, contact us and let’s discuss your business technology needs.

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