Change browser search engine

Hey Internet Explorer users—you aren’t stuck using MSN as your search engine when you search from the address bar or when you click “Search” to bring up the sidebar.

For NON XP SP2 Internet Explorer just click View / Explorer Bar / Search (or click the “Search” button in your Toolbar) to bring up the side panel. If you have a side bar with a little dog at the bottom, then click “Change Preferences” then “Change Internet Search Behavior” to bring up a list of search engine you can use.


Highlight the one you want then click OK.

If you have Win XP with Service Pack 2 installed then you have a newer version of Internet Explorer (6.0.2900…) which makes changing the search engine easier.

Click the Search Button then “Customize” in the upper right of the sidebar search window. You’ll see a list of services. Notice that Google is strangely missing from the list.

This new default setting will only apply to searches done in the side bar. If you type a word into your address bar, it still goes to MSN.

Non XP SP2 users, before you go on with the next step, be really sure that you want to change the setting to “classic” because I have not found a way to change back to the newer style search sidebar.To change where the address bar search looks, select the radio button marked “With Classic Internet Search” before clicking OK. Close Explorer and reopen it. You’ll notice that the sidebar looks different now. Plain text on white like the earlier versions of IE.

With XP SP2 IE you don’t need to change anything, just proceed to the next step to change the address bar search engine.

The menu bar has a button at the top marked “Customize”. Clicking it will open the “Customize Search Settings” box. Next, choose the “Autosearch Settings” button to bring up a box where you can change the default engine for address bar searches.


Once you pick the one you want, close the sidebar.

Now when you type a word in the address bar, it will bring up the results on the page of your favorite search engine.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.