Bypass Windows 10 limitations and set desired search engine in Cortana

Today, Microsoft introduced a new limitation in Windows 10 that Cortana can only be integrated with Bing and Microsoft Edge. They did this by making server-side changes which locked down the ability to change the search engine in Cortana to Google or to use alternative web browsers. Here is a way to unlock this ability.

A friend of mine, Valentin-Gabriel Radu, a talented developer from Romania, has created a tool which is able to redirect Cortana back to the default browser (you can use Chrome or Firefox, as described HERE). This will force Cortana to use the default search engine set in your browser of choice.

Here is what you should do.

  1. Download the program's zip archive from here: download the app.
  2. Unpack it to any desired folder location.
  3. Install the required Visual C++ Runtime from the "vsredistr" folder.
  4. Run SearchUIMonitor.exe and you are done!

The latest version is compiled with VC++ 2013 and its runtime is included with the app.
Now, every time you need to redirect Cortana to your default browser, you only need to launch SearchUIMonitor.exe so it will transfer those search queries automatically.

The application is free and open source. The source code can be found here.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

41 thoughts on “Bypass Windows 10 limitations and set desired search engine in Cortana”

  1. I downloaded and installed everything, but the program refuses to find the dll files. I checked, and they are there.

    1. It looks like the app is compiled with the Debug set of Runtime libraries.
      I asked the author to re-compile it. It will be fixed very soon.

      1. Thanks for using the app, I have recompiled it for “Release”, instead of “Debug”, so it shouldn’t be causing any trouble, and the updated version will be uploaded soon to WinAero. In the meantime, you can take a look on the source code, available in a public repo, at

        1. Hey it opens Chrome but always searches using Bing even if Google is the default engine in Chrome. The whole purpose of redirection is to avoid use of Bing and prefer Google. Can the developer kindly fix this please?

          1. There is a Chrome extension called “Bing2Google” Or something like that. Just….. Bing it.

  2. Thank you I thought I was going crazy here for a bit. I downloaded all of Visual Studio Community but still get missing ucrtbased.dll I have the ucrtbase.dll, but I suppose the problem is the debug compile. Thank you for your help.

      1. Thanks. If it is still not working, I have reuploaded it again in OneDrive, compiled again for “Release”, both for x86, and x64, with source code included as well:!59245&authkey=!AMMRZz0KsDGLX3c&ithint=file%2czip

      1. Thanks. If it is still not working, I have reuploaded it again in OneDrive, compiled again for “Release”, both for x86, and x64, with source code included as well:!59245&authkey=!AMMRZz0KsDGLX3c&ithint=file%2czip

      2. Not working for me. My default browser is chrome and whenever I’m searching using Cortana query open in Chrome browser, but search with BING search engine. I’m using Windows Insider 14316 build

        1. Yeah, that was the intended behavior. You need to use an extension like Bing2Google to perform the redirect, from Bing to Google. I left it like because I though some people would rather keep Bing, but in their default browser, instead of Edge, and knowing most browsers support extensions anyway. But I think I will change it, in my own internal version I already to the conversion of the URL, from Bing to Google, as that can help if the default browser is Microsoft Edge, which does not have yet an extension like Bing2Google…

          1. The thing is:
            1. Google gives superior search results
            2. The more Microsoft gets revenue from Bing, the lower incentive they have to make Windows better. So it’s better if everything goes to Google.

      1. Should be working with the latest version as well, I have reuploaded it again in OneDrive, compiled again for “Release”, both for x86, and x64, with source code included as well:!59245&authkey=!AMMRZz0KsDGLX3c&ithint=file%2czip

    1. Probably, but I do not think the web searches work anymore anyway with Edge uninstalled. Or do they open in IE? With Edge uninstalled, I do not think there is much you can do to get it working…

      1. With Edge uninstalled, Cortana still tries to open Edge but since it isn’t present, nothing opens. Even if SearchUIMonitor.exe is running, it doesn’t redirect to any other browser.

        1. The application closes Edge and intercepts its URL to open in the default browser.
          No Edge – no trick for you, Bob.

    1. Actually, only SearchUIMonitor.exe runs in the background. EdgeAutomation.exe is just a helper app that redirects the search from Edge to the default browser, when SearchUIMonitor determines that a search has been performed using Cortana. So there is no need to run EdgeAutomation at startup, it will most probably just close itself straightaway as there is nothing to redirect. You can check the fact that it is not running by looking in Task Manager. Thanks for using the app, I hope it serves its purpose.

  3. Hi I can’t seem to get it to work, when I click searchUImonitor I get an error. MSVPC140.dll not found. I’m using a French version of windows so I’m not sure if that would cause a problem?
    When I click on edgeautomation it launches whatever my last search on cortana was. So it almost works, what should I do for troubleshooting?

    1. Apparently this application , EdgeAutomation.exe is , but is VC ++ 2013, because SearchUIMonitor.exe appears to have been built with VC ++ 2015, https: // details.aspx? id = 48145
      You might want to install .

  4. I’ve downloaded it but nothing runs. It wants vcruntime140.dll and MSVPC140.dll. I ran the vcredist64 file
    (I’m on a 64 bit operating system) and it continues to behave in the same way. Any ideas?

  5. I updated the archive.
    Now it includes VC++ 2015 runtime to avoid vcruntime140.dll issues.
    Thanks to everyone.

  6. Now Cortana says “Here is what I’ve found,” and pulls up results in her window. But, if you click on a link Valentin-Gabriel Radu’s fix still works.

  7. It works, but for some strange reason after finishing the installation and rebooting I had to reinstall my Intel Wireless Drivers. No idea why, but now I get google search in my taskbar.

    Thank you so much for sharing this!!

  8. It looks like that if Cortana is disabled because of Windows being localized (Cortana supports limited amount of languages) then this program wouldn’t work—everything you search in web using search in taskbar is searched through Bing in Microsoft Edge.

  9. Hey this works great, but I think I installed it too many times because I didn’t think it worked, so I double clicked the file three times and now Cortana searches open in three Chroms tabs. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks for this application by the way!

    1. I had too many tabs opening as well. I came here looking for help but figured it out myself. Simply go to task manager and end the extra “SearchUIMonitor.exe” processes under Background Processes. Duh!

  10. I dislike the amount of control that this massive IT company has over MY computer. And not just this company, but all the giant companies. It’s no longer a personal computer, it’s a device we paid for to let large advertising companies direct us to places they want us to go.

    Why would they make you use Edge!? It’s more than useless! Nothing works in it because it’s so “advanced”!

    I guess I answered my own question there; They’re just trying to push people to use it more.

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