Dave Taylor

Changing Your Default Search Engine in IE8

By: Dave Taylor
August 31st, 2010

On two separate computers, I have tried to change my Search Provider on Internet Explorer 7 by (1) chosing the option on required settings page, (2) right clicking on the search icon to change/add defalt search provider, and (3) using the TEST option. Each time, I get a message at the bottom of the page that says "(!) Error on Page". Please help. I HATE Bing!

Dave's Answer:

Unfortunately, I don't have MS Internet Explorer 7 (aka "MSIE7") on any of my computers any more, so I couldn't duplicate the problem, but I did go through the process step-by-step with IE 8 to see if I could find a "test" feature. I couldn't.

I hate to say "upgrade your version of Internet Explorer" but, well, I guess I just did. There might be some weirdness with the preferences or settings you have for your version of IE7 that is instantly remedied by the upgrade. If you want to, it's a free download - and well worth it, in my opinion, muchly because of the significant improvements in online safety and virus-prevention -- here: Upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer.

Once you've done so, here are the steps required to change your default search engine from the "hated" Bing to Google...

First off, in IE8, if you look on the top right, you'll see it shows the name of your default search engine (Bing). Adjacent to the tiny magnifying glass notice the downward-pointing triangle (highlighted here):

windows ie8 search box provider 1

Click on the triangle and you'll get a little menu of options to appear:

windows ie8 search box provider 2

Choose "Manage Search Providers" and it'll pop up a window with your current search providers and a bunch of other customizable add-ons and settings:

windows ie8 search box provider 3

It's hard to see, but at the bottom there's a link for "Find more search providers...". That's what you want. Click on it and it'll take you to one of Microsoft's lesser known sites: IE Add Ons.com (specifically for search helpers):

windows ie8 search box provider 4

Scroll down or search the site to find Google. The entry is a bit curiously worded:

windows ie8 search box provider 5

To me, this sounds like it'll only offer search suggestions, not actually deliver the results from searches you do, but perhaps I'm reading it too literally? Anyway, click on the big "Add to Internet Explorer" button and as you would hope, a security confirmation window shows up:

windows ie8 search box provider 6

Hopefully there's no reason to be suspicious when it's from Microsoft's site. Click on "Add" to continue and badda-bing, badda-boom, it's done!

windows ie8 search box provider 7

There ya go. The hated Bing has been relegated to a hidden alternative search engine. :-)


About the Author: Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is internationally known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a strategic marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs. AskDaveTaylor.com http://www.intuitive.com/blog/