How to change Cortana’s default search engine [Explained]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Cortana uses Microsoft's search engine. If Bing isn’t your cup of tea, correct that right away.
  • To forget all about this default search engine, there are a few extensions for Chrome which redirect Cortana’s results to Google.
  • If you’d like to read more posts related to this subject, just visit our Cortana section.
  • There are even more tips waiting to be applied. You’ll find them all in our Tech Tutorials Hub.
Cortana search engine

Microsoft made Cortana be probably the most useful feature of Windows 10. But, also had one hidden intention with Cortana.

Using Cortana is a great way to promote Microsoft’s own search engine So, by default, you can’t change the default search engine in Cortana.

The good news is that with a few simple tricks, that is possible. And we’ll tell you exactly how you can do that.

As changing your default browser in Microsoft Edge is enabled by Microsoft, which is a good move, because if it was otherwise, it could drive away a lot of users, Microsoft didn’t include this feature in Cortana.


Quick Tip:

If you’re worried about keeping your browsing history private and want to prevent browsers from profiling you, use a privacy-focused VPN.

Developed by Kape Technologies, Private Internet Access is a top choice with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The VPN further extended its compatibility towards Surf.

Since it uses distributed technology, it encourages developers to build websites without servers, allowing users to privately publish to the open web.

Download Private Internet Access here


How can I change Cortana’s default search engine?

1. Download and install the appropriate extensions

install Chrometa extensions

Some developers came up with the solution. Namely, they developed and released a couple of extensions for Google Chrome which redirect Cortana‘s search results from Bing to Google.

So, if you’re using Google Chrome as your default browser, just download and install one of the following extensions.

Every time you search for something with Cortana results from Google will appear in your browser.

Once installed these extensions will redirect the same term you typed in Cortana‘s search from Bing to Google.

Download Bing2Google (Google only)

Download Chrometa (Google, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo)

2. Use Firefox as your default browser

Firefox default browser

If you’re using Firefox as your default browser, redirecting your search result from Bing to Google is even simpler.

Actually, you don’t have to do anything at all. That’s because the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, 40, comes with this option as a built-in feature.

So, you just have to use Firefox as your default browser, and update to the latest version, if you didn’t yet.

This was completely expected, because Mozilla CEO, Chris Beard recently called out Microsoft for ‘pushing Edge to Windows 10 users over the rival browsers.

So, we can interpret this as Mozilla’s direct glove in the face to Microsoft, Bing, and Edge.

There is no response on this from Microsoft, yet, but if things like this continue to happen, we could witness the beginning of the war between two huge companies, Mozilla and Microsoft.

If you use Edge as your default browser, you cannot redirect your Cortana search results from Bing to Google, even if you set Edge as your default browser.

And you shouldn’t expect this option in the future, because it won’t make any sense for Microsoft to allow you to let Cortana search Google on Edge.

You may also use a privacy-focused search engine such as DuckDuckGo. As stated above, you can force Cortana‘s to use DuckDuckGo as its default search engine as well, so the choice is yours.

You can use DuckDuckGo with Cortana or separately. To further secure your browsing data, try out a privacy-friendly browser too, such as Tor.

Let us know if you managed to change Cortana’s default search engine in the comments area below.

FAQ: Learn more about Cortana’s default search engine

  • What search engine does Cortana use?

Cortana uses Microsoft’s own Bing search engine. If you prefer using other search tools, you can make the change.

  • How do I get rid of Bing on Google Chrome?

To remove Bing from Google Chrome, you need to change Chrome’s settings and reset it. For detailed steps, take a look at this quick guide.

  • Can Cortana use Google?

Yes, it can. You just need to use one of those Google Chrome extensions which redirect Cortana’s search results from Bing to Google.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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