Change web search engine for Cortana in Windows 10

By default, Windows 10 performs an online search for everything you type in the search box of the taskbar. But the default search engine is Bing and the end user cannot change it easily. In this article, we will see how to change the web search engine used by Cortana in Windows 10 and set it to any search service you want.

Before you continue: the trick mentioned in this article does not work any more.See in detail:

Windows 10 won’t allow replacing search engine of Cortana

There is a workaround which allow you to bypass this limitation partially. See

Bypass Windows 10 limitations and set desired search engine in Cortana

To change Cortana's web search engine in Windows 10, you need to install an alternative web browser. As of this writing, there are two browsers which do what we need - Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Since these are two of the most popular browsers, you probably have one of them installed already.

Before you continue, you need to set the appropriate browser as the default browser in Windows 10. Do it as follows:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to System -> Default Apps -> Web Browser.
  3. Pick Firefox or Chrome as your default app:

Change web search engine for Cortana in Windows 10 using Firefox

Suppose you set Firefox as your default browser. You also need to use Firefox 40 or above. A few versions ago, Mozilla added a nifty option to its Firefox browser to override the Bing search engine in the taskbar in Windows 10 and set it to any other desired search engine for Cortana.
We covered this in detail here: Set Google as the default search in Windows 10 taskbar.

In short, do the following:

  1. Open Firefox Nightly. Open Preferences.
  2. In its Preferences, select Search on the left.
  3. Select the desired search engine which you want to use in the Windows 10 taskbar instead of Bing.
  4. Tick the checkbox Use this search engine for searches from Windows.
  5. In the screenshot above, I used Google for the search engine option. You can use any search engine you want.

Change web search engine for Cortana in Windows 10 using Google Chrome

This assumes that you have set Chrome as your default browser. You need to use Chrome 50 or above. In Chrome 50, Google added a new experimental flag which enables Cortana search redirection to the browser's default search engine. The only thing you need to do is activate the appropriate flag. Do it as described below.

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser and type or copy-paste the following text into the address bar:

    This will open the flags page directly with the relevant setting.

  2. Click the Enable link.
  3. The link text will be changed from "Enable" to "Disable" and the Relaunch Now button will appear at the bottom. Click it to restart the browser:Image and credits: via via WindowsClan.

After that, Cortana will use the default search engine from Google Chrome, which can be set to any search service you want.

If you don't like the idea of using web search from the taskbar, you can disable it using these instructions: How to disable web search in the Windows 10 taskbar.

Which option do you prefer? Are you happy with Bing in Cortana or have you changed it to an alternative search engine?

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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.

5 thoughts on “Change web search engine for Cortana in Windows 10”

  1. Thanks Sergey for sharing this guide, its really helpful. I was not aware of the third method using Google Chrome

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