How to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge

How to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge has become a very solid browser ever since Microsoft transitioned to using the Chromium project as a base, and that means Windows 11 comes with a great browser right out of the box. It no longer has to be the browser you only use to download Google Chrome or whatever your favorite browser may be. It’s also a one of the best browsers you can get on Android. However, Edge does have one flaw that many users won’t like – by default, it uses Bing as its search engine.

Bing isn’t terrible, but most users will no doubt prefer Google, or maybe a more privacy-oriented search engine like DuckDuckGo. How good it is can also depend on where you are, and Google is more consistently good in different parts of the world, while Bing is more heavily focused on a few key regions. Whatever your reason is, we’re going to show you how to change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge.

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How to change the search engine in Microsoft Edge

Changing the default search engine in Edge isn’t a terribly complicated process, but there are some things you may not know. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Launch Microsoft Edge on your PC
  • Tap the menu button (the three dots) near the top right corner of the window, then choose Settings, near the bottom of the list.
    Edge menu with Settings option highlighted
  • In the settings page, choose Privacy, search, and services from the side bar. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the Address bar and search option, then click it.
    Privacy, search, and services page in Edge settings with Address bar and search option highlighted
  • Here, you’ll see an option that reads Search engine used in the address bar. This includes a dropdown list with some popular search engines, but it will also include any website you’ve visited that’s also labeled as a search engine. Choose your preferred search engine from the list.
    Dropdown menu to choose de fault search engine in Edge settings
  • Here’s an important part you might miss: Below the option we just mentioned, there’s an option called Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar. This can go unnoticed but it makes a big difference. If it isn’t already, you’re going to want to change this option to Address bar.
    Choosing to use the address bar to power searches on the New Tab page in Edge
    This is because the new tab page in Microsoft Edge is powered by Microsoft services, and that includes Bing. If you perform a search using the search box in the new tab page, it will search with Bing regardless of what your default search engine is. However, if you set the search box to use the address bar instead, it will follow your default search engine preference.

That should be all you need to know about choosing a default search engine in Microsoft Edge. But what if the search engine you want to use isn’t listed? As we’ve mentioned above, whenever you use a website that serves as a search engine, Edge will automatically register it as a search engine option. If you want to add a specific search engine to the list, the easiest way to do it is to simply visit that search engine and perform any search with it. Edge should be able to automatically register it as an option. That’s the easiest and fastest way to do it, and it should work with the majority of websites that have a search feature.

Microsoft Edge does give you the option to add a search engine manually, which you can access using the Manage search engines option in the page we mentioned above. However, you can’t use that search engine as your default.

And that’s about all you need to know. It’s not a very complicated process, but there are some things you might not know right away. Specifically, having to set the new tab search to use the address bar instead of the search box is something not everyone will think of.

One thing to note is that you won’t be able to change the search engine that’s used when you perform a search using the Windows search bar. This is locked to using Bing, and the only way to try and fix that is to use a third-party app like MSEdgeRedirect.

If you don’t want to use Microsoft Edge at all, you may also want to check out our guide on how to change your default browser in Windows 11.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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