How To Add Search Engines To Internet Explorer

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 2, 2011
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Internet Explorer, Search

Internet Explorer gives you options to select a default search engine, also called search provider, during the initial setup on first start. You find a list of search providers that are currently installed in the browser under Manage Add-ons. Please note that this guide uses Internet Explorer 9 to walk you through the steps of setting up a search provider, and that it may differ if you are using a different version of Microsoft's Internet browser.

Internet Explorer 9 users click on the Tools icon in the upper right corner of their browser and select Manage Add-ons from the context menu. This opens the add-on manager that displays all toolbars, extensions and search providers installed in the browser. Switch to search providers to see a list of search engines currently available in the browser.

One of the search providers is listed as the default search engine under Status. If you are lucky enough, the new search provider that you want to use is already in the list. If that is the case select the new provider and click on the Set as default button afterwards to switch the default search engine in Internet Explorer.

default search provider

It is furthermore possible to select a specific search provider manually for a search query that you enter into Internet Explorer's address bar.

internet explorer search engines

But what can you do if the search provider is not in the list? Easy; You visit the Internet Explorer add-ons gallery and use the available categories, like travel, search or news, or the built-in search to find the provider you are looking for. Please note that everything is mixed up in the beginning. You can use the pulldown menu at the bottom right to filter for search providers so that all other add-on types are not displayed anymore.

internet explorer search add-ons

You add a new search provider with a click on the add-ons icon on the add-ons website and the selection of Add to Internet Explorer on the next page.

add to internet explorer

This opens a small confirmation window. You need to click on Add to install the new search provider. Options are available to make that provider the default search provider of the browser.


The new search provider is available right after it has been added to the web browser.


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  1. Matt Norwood said on December 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

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  2. Mohammad Hassan Golzari said on December 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

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  3. Swapnil said on December 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    This is not a convenient method for me.

    In Opera browser, I can

    1) Go the website of the search engine (for example for Google I would go to and for Bing I would go to; select and then right-click the text search field, then click ‘Create Search’ from the context menu.

    2) Add the search engine and it’s parameters manually by pressing Alt + P > Search Tab > Add button.

    Isn’t it cool?

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