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How to change the default browser and search engine in Windows
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How to change the default browser and search engine on Windows

Your choice of search engine can be determined by many factors, including speed, appearance, ease of use, privacy and customization options. Some people stick to the default search engine included with their browser. But it would be best if you took some time to choose a search engine that works best for you.

You may want to put privacy ahead of everything else, or you’ll pick the one with the best search filters. We’ve rounded up four options to get you started. Tap or click here to check out our comparison between Google, Startpage, DuckDuckGo and Bing.

Windows 11 launched last year, and along with it came a new version of Edge, with the Bing search engine set by default. It’s the same case for Windows 10. If you want to change both or either of these default options, we’re here to help.

Changing your default browser

Microsoft is ending support for Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022. If you’ve ever tried to remove the browser from your computer, you know it’s not an easy process.

While you can disable the browser, the files remain on your computer. Deleting these files could cause problems, as the browser is tied to other Windows processes. There are workarounds for this, but you would be taking a chance.

RELATED: New tips and tricks for Windows 11.

The same case goes for Edge. You can switch the default browser to a different one, but you shouldn’t uninstall it. Microsoft doesn’t want you to mess with Edge, and the process to change it is not so straightforward, but it can be done through Windows.

To change your default browser in Windows 11:

  • Go to Settings > Apps > Default apps.
  • Scroll down to your preferred browser or type its name in the search field.
  • Select your preferred browser and scroll down to a list of browser files (http, https.).
  • Click the name of the current default browser for https and change it to your chosen browser and click OK.
  • Do the same for each specific file type: http, .htm, .html.
  • If you get a Before you switch popup, just click Switch anyway.
  • You must change the assigned browser for every specific file type.

To change your default browser in Windows 10:

  • Go to Settings > Default apps
  • Click the current default browser under Web browser and select one you want to change it to.

RELATED: Malware exposes passwords saved in browsers – Check your data now

Changing your default search engine

The steps for changing your default search engine differ depending on which browser you’re using.

To change your default search engine in Edge:

  • Open Edge and tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner and tap Settings.
  • Tap the three-line menu in the upper left and choose Privacy, search and services.
  • Scroll down and tap Address bar and search under the Services section.
  • Open the drop-down menu next to Search engine used in address bar and choose your preferred search engine.
  • If you don’t see your search engine, click Manage search engines, then click Add to get the one you want want.

To change your default search engine in Chrome:

  • Open Google Chrome and select the three vertical dots next to your profile icon and select Settings.
  • Select Search engine from the menu along the left side.
  • Choose a different option in the dropdown next to Search engine used in the address bar.
  • To add a new search engine, select Manage search engines and click Add, then fill out the fields for Search engineKeyword and URL with %s in place of query.

To change your default search engine in Firefox:

  • Open Firefox and select the three vertical lines next to your profile icon and select Options.
  • Select Search and choose a different option in the dropdown under Default Search Engine.
  • To add a new search engine, select Find more search engines at the bottom of the Search page. Search for the search engine or find it in the list, select the option, then select Add to Firefox.

To change your default search engine in Safari:

  • Open Safari and go to Safari menu > Preferences.
  • Select the dropdown menu next to Default search engine and select the one you want to make your default.

Tap or click here to check out a privacy-focused search engine that wants to replace Google.

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