Microsoft made Cortana to be probably the most useful feature of Windows 10. But, also had one hidden intention with Cortana. Using Cortana is the great way to promote Microsoft’s own search engine, Bing! 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.
How to change Cortana’s default search engine
But, just a couple of days after the release of Windows 10, some developers came up with the solution. Namely, they developed and released a couple of extensions for Google Chrome which redirect the 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 and every time you search for something with Cortana, results from Google will appear in your browser: Bing2Google (Google only) and Chrometa (Google, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo). Once installed these extensions will redirect the same term you typed in Cortana‘s search from Bing to Google.
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’s 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 re-direct 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.
If you’re worried about keeping your browsing history private and stop browsers from profiling you, you can drop Cortana web search altogether and use a privacy-focused search engine such as DuckDuckGo. As stated above, you can also 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, you can also use a privacy-friendly browser, such as Tor.
RELATED GUIDES TO CHECK OUT:
- How to bring back Cortana after you removed it
- What to do if Cortana Can’t Send Dictated Emails or Take Notes
- How to block Cortana’s web searches in Windows 10
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.