Make any Search Engine the default on Windows 10

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 17, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

The following guide describes how you can make any search engine the default when you are running searches on Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.

If you have used Windows 10 before you know that search is powered by Cortana in the operating system, and that Microsoft has added web search to desktop search which returns web results or suggestions depending on the query.

A search for Yahoo for instance may return various Yahoo web results -- Yahoo Mail, Finance or News -- which, when selected, open a search results page in the default web browser (which by default is Microsoft Edge with Bing as the search engine).

If you use another browser, say Firefox or Chrome on Windows 10, then results are opened in that browser instead.

Update: Microsoft just announced that it decided to limit search on Windows 10 to Bing and Microsoft Edge. This means that the following instructions no longer work.

Make any Search Engine the default on Windows 10

windows 10 web search

Web Search on Windows 10 is linked to the default web browser automatically on the operating system, but the browser's default search engine is not necessarily used.

Some browsers, like Microsoft Edge, don't offer functionality to enforce usage of the default search engine regardless what it is and will use Bing always to display web search results when you search using the operating system's search functionality.

Others let you use the default search engine automatically when they are the default system browser (Mozilla Firefox), or let you do so after you make a configuration change in the browser first (Google Chrome).

If you don't have Firefox or Chrome installed you need to do so, as those are the browsers that provide you with the options to change the default search engine for Windows 10 web searches.

Setting the default browser

default web browser windows 10

You need to make Firefox or Chrome the default web browser on Windows 10. Read on to find out how that is done:

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application on Windows 10.
  2. Select System > Default apps when it opens.
  3. Locate the "web browser" entry there (it should read Microsoft Edge), and click on the name of the default browser.
  4. Windows 10 displays a list of browsers. Pick the one that you want as the new default system browser.

Note: even after setting the default browser, you will get a "how do you want to open this" prompt the first time you select a web search result.

how do you want to open this

The default browser is selected automatically in the prompt, and to avoid getting future prompts, it is suggested to check the "always use this app" box on the screen before you hit the ok button.


Mozilla added an automatic option to Mozilla Firefox 40 that switches Bing search to the default search engine of the browser.

This means that you don't need to do anything besides setting Firefox as the default web browser on Windows 10 to use its default search provider for Windows 10 web searches.

Google Chrome

chrome desktop search redirection

The situation is different if you are using Google Chrome instead. While you can set Google Chrome as the default browser on Windows 10, you will notice that Bing is still being used as the search engine when you run web searches on the operating system.

Google added an experimental flag to Chrome 50. It is likely that this flag is going to be removed in favor of using the browser's search engine automatically just like it is handled in Firefox.

For now, you need to do the following to enforce usage of Chrome's default search engine for Windows 10 Internet searches.

  1. With Google Chrome open, load chrome://flags/#enable-windows-desktop-search-redirection.
  2. Switch the flag to enabled, and restart the browser afterwards (a prompt is displayed at the bottom of the window when you modify flags on the page).

Now Read: How to turn off web search in Windows 10

Make any Search Engine the default on Windows 10
Article Name
Make any Search Engine the default on Windows 10
Find out how to change the default search provider when you run web searches on Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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