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2,862 Tutorials

How to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer

Change Bing to Google on IE 6, IE 7, IE 8, IE 9 and IE 10

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

Here's how to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer from Bing to Google.

You have to give some credit to Microsoft. Only a couple of years ago it was trying to tout Windows Vista, Windows Mobile and Internet Explorer 6. Whatever your gripes with Windows 8 and WP8, Internet Explorers 9 and 10 are a mile ahead of previous versions of Microsoft's web browser. Fast, stable and customisable, IE10 in particular is a step forward.

But there is one gripe peculaiar to Internet Explorer 10: by default it uses Bing as its embedded search engine. There's nothing wrong with Bing, but Google is the preferred choice of most.

Here we explain how to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer, working back from IE10 which we will show you in detail, and working through to IE6 via IEs 7, 8 and 9 in a quicker manner.  See also How to change the default search engines used by Firefox and How to change the default search engine on Chrome.)

How to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer 10

Click the Gear icon in the top righthand corner of the browser window - it looks like a cog.

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

Now scroll down to select 'Manage add-ons'...

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

...and then choose 'Select Search Providers'. You'll see a list of the search providers currently installed in your browser. They are in the order that they appear if you click the search arrow in your address bar, and the default - probably Bing - will be marked as such.

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

In order to change which of those search engines click on one you want to move and then hit 'Move up' or 'Move down', just below the middle of the window, on the righthand side. You can also change the default this way - select the one you want and click 'Set as default', which is in the bottom righthand corner of the window, next to 'Remove'.

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

The chances are, however, that Google isn't in this list. If you want to set Google as your default search engine in IE, scroll down and click 'Find more search providers', in the bottom lefthand corner. This will take you to a new web page listing all the web-search add-ons for Internet Explorer.

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

Find and select Google - it should be near the top as the most popular choice. Then click the 'Add to Internet Explorer' button.

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

Now an 'Add Search Provider' box will appear. You'll find a 'Make this my default search provider' checkbox - stick a tick in it, and then click 'Add'.

How to change default search engine on Internet Explorer

Now Google is your default search engine. Below we'll quickly show you the slightly different processes for making Google the default search engine in different versions of Internet Explorer.

How to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer 9

Click the 'Tools' icon in the top righthand corner of the browser window. Next select 'Internet options'. Open up the 'General' tab, find the 'Search' section and click 'Settings'. Choose Google from the list, hit 'Set as default' and click 'Close'. (See also: Internet Explorer 9 review.)

How to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer 8

Find the search box in the top right corner side of your browser. Hit the tiny down arrow next to the magnifying glass icon. Choose 'Find More Providers' and select 'Google'. Tick the box next to 'Make this my default search provider' and choose 'Manage Search Providers'. Now simply click 'Add'.

How to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer 7

Look for the search box in the top righthand corner of your browser. Click on the small down arrow next to the magnifying glass icon. Now hit 'Find More Providers' and select Google. Tick the box next to 'Make this my default search provider'. Choose 'Manage Search Providers' and hit 'Add Provider'.

How to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer 6

Hit the Search button above the address bar and select 'Change preferences'. Select 'Change Internet search behavior'. Choose Google.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor and Windows 8 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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