This simple script will make Windows 11 Start Menu web searches open in your default browser

Nov 16, 2021

Over the weekend, there was an uproar among Windows 11 users who discovered that the popular program, EdgeDeflector was no longer working as intended. For those unaware, when you look up something using Windows 11's Start Menu/Search, it not only displays local results, but also emphasizes web results.

Windows 11 web search

When you click on one of these, the link opens in Microsoft Edge. That shouldn't happen though, your default browser of choice e.g. Firefox, Vivaldi, etc., must be used to load the web result. But Microsoft does not let you do that. That is why EdgeDeflector became a useful tool in the first place.

Now, with Windows 11 blocking said utility's functionality, it is not remotely surprising that users were annoyed by the restriction. Edge isn't bad per se, but that's beside the point, the lack of a choice is never a good idea, and users will always find a workaround.

Speaking of which, Martin wrote about a way to circumvent the restriction, though it is a tad complicated to do that. I was looking for something simpler, and came across a script called ChrEdgeFkOff. That's an interesting name, and a colorful way to say bye to Chromium Edge.

script to disable web search in windows 11

Before we get to it, the tool in question is open source (it is a script after all), and written by AveYo. If that name sounds familiar, that's because he/she wrote the MediaCreationTool.bat script, which many of us have found to be quite helpful, to upgrade computers that were otherwise deemed to be incompatible by the system requirement check forced by Microsoft.

Executing the script is quite easy. But I'll explain it in user-friendly steps.

How to redirect Windows 11 Start Menu web searches to your default browser

1. Go to the GitHub project page for ChrEdgeFkOff.

2. Copy the entire script to the clipboard.

3. Open a PowerShell window with administrator privileges.

How to redirect Windows 11 Start Menu web searches to your default browser

4. Paste the script in PowerShell, and a new window will open. This is a prompt from ChrEdgeFkOff, and it will tell you to press any key to close the window. If you don't do that within 5 seconds, it will close itself automatically anyway.

Now that the script has been added, it is time to put it to the test. Try running a web search from the Start Menu, and click on one of the results. It should open in your default web browser, instead of Edge Chromium. That was pretty simple, wasn't it?

If you change your mind and want to revert to Edge as the default handler for web searches, all you have to do is run the script again. The important thing to note here is that, when you run the script, the 2nd window that opens (with the 5-second timer) will indicate whether it has been Installed or Removed.

Windows 11 Start Menu web searches script

Does this trick work with the stable Windows 11 build? Yes, it does. And what about the Windows 11 Insider Preview Builds? I also tested in on the latest Developer Preview, aka Build 22499, and it works perfectly in it too.

I would have liked a way to choose the browser used for the web searches, but this should do the job.

Do you use the Start Menu for web searches?

How to make Windows 11 Start Menu web searches open in your default browser
Article Name
How to make Windows 11 Start Menu web searches open in your default browser
Don't want Microsoft Edge to open your make Windows 11 Start Menu web searches? We show you how to make the links open in your default browser.
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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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