Make Google The Default Search Engine for Start Menu Search in Windows 10

windows-start-menu

Microsoft likes to keep you in their walled garden. If you’ve ever used Cortana or tried to search for something from the Start menu, it uses Bing to do the search. When you click on the search result, it opens in the Edge browser, even though it is not the default browser. And obviously, Windows 10 doesn’t come with an easy way to change this behavior. Though you cannot directly change the default search engine, you can force Windows 10 to use Google and open results in your favorite browser. This article will show you how to do that.

Set Google as Default Search Engine for Start Menu

Since Windows 10 has no options to change the default search engine or the browser when searching from the Start menu, we need to force it. To do that we are going to use a free and open-source software called Search Deflector. Using it, you can redirect all the searches to your favorite search engine in your favorite browser. You are no longer tied to using Bing and Edge. All you have to do is install Search Deflector and tell it what search engine and browser to use.

1. First, go to the software’s official GitHub page and download the latest version of Search Deflector. After downloading, double-click on the .exe file and proceed to install it.

search-deflector-install

2. While installing, Search Deflector asks you to set up the configuration by selecting the browser of your choice. Search Deflector automatically finds all the installed browsers on your system and lists them. To select the browser, type the number associated with it and press Enter. In my case, since I use Firefox, I typed in 3.

You can also choose the option “System Default.” This option makes sure that the search results will always open in your current default browser. The benefit of this approach is that if you ever change your default browser, you don’t have to reconfigure Search Deflector again.

3. Confirm your choice by entering “Y.”

search-deflector-select-browser

4. Choose your favorite search engine by entering the associated number. Since we want Google as the default search engine, type “7” and press Enter.

search-deflector-select-search-engine

5. Again, confirm your choice by entering “Y.”

6. You are done configuring Search Deflector. Press Enter to close the configuration window.

search-deflector-exit-config

7. On the main installation window, click on the Finish button to complete the installation procedure.

search-deflector-finish-installation

To test it, search for something web-related and press Enter. For the first time you will be asked to choose a default program. Select “launcher.exe,” select the checkbox “Always use this app” and click on the “OK” button.

search-deflector-select-launcher-file

Search Deflector will redirect the search to the search engine of your choice and open it in your favorite browser.

search-deflector-search-redirect

Do keep in mind that the quick results you see in the right panel when searching via the Start menu or Cortana are still served by Bing. When you click on the results, Search Deflector will redirect them according to your configuration.

In the future, if you want to change the configuration of Search Deflector, open File Explorer, go to the Search Deflector installation folder and double-click on the “Setup.exe” file.

Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences regarding using the above methods to change the default search engine of the Start menu in Windows 10.

Image credit: Flickr

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6 comments

  1. I find it odd how often these search tweakers include sites like wolfram, wikipedia, stack overflow but leave out Startpage. At least it included DDG.

    1. Creator here, from my analytics page.

      If you’d like, you can submit a pull request to add your engine to this file:
      https://github.com/spikespaz/search-deflector/blob/master/libs/engines.txt

      If there’s no pull request by the next release I’ll add it in.

  2. If I want to use a search engine I just go to their webpage. Not sure I appreciate what Search Deflector has to offer.

    1. One button. That’s the whole point. No clicking or extra typing. Not necessary mind you, but a nicety.

  3. I’ve just tried out this program, selecting Firefox and DuckDuckGo respectively: the resultant website came up
    in Internet Explorer 11! Quite a surprise so I think I’ll continue to put up with Bing.

    1. Michael, I’m the creator of this software. I came here through my traffic analytics. I need to keep up with comments on sites like this.

      This is a known issue, it’s not a bug in my software however. It’s a Windows bug.

      You can fix it by looking at the Troubleshooting section of the Wiki.
      https://github.com/spikespaz/search-deflector/wiki/Troubleshooting#opening-links-in-internet-explorer

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