If you don’t like Bing, then you must really hate the Windows 10 Start menu’s web search. You may even have it disabled entirely. We don’t blame you, but there’s a second option that gives you the best of both worlds: the ability to search the web from your Start menu using a different search engine entirely.
Yes, you can switch things up and search with Google (or another search engine) from the Start menu instead, but you’ll need the help of third-party software to get there. There are a handful of open-source applications that can do it, but Search Deflector is one of the few that are still actively supported and simple to use.
The free installer is safe to use; if you run into any issues installing it, there’s also a paid version of Search Deflector available on the Microsoft Store for $2. Whichever you go with, both versions are visually and functionally identical.
Once you’ve installed the utility, here’s how to change both Windows 10’s Start Menu search engine and which browser the search results load in.
Screenshot: Brendan Hesse
- In the Search Deflector window, select which browser you want to load search results in from the “Preferred Browser” dropdown menu. There are built-in options for all the usual suspects: Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. “System Default” uses your PC’s default browser app, and is the easiest option if you only use one browser and have already changed Windows 10’s default browser app in the system settings. You can also pick “Custom,” then click “…” next to “Browser Executable” to find and select a browser’s .EXE file manually.
- Next, use the “Preferred Search Engine” dropdown menu to change your search engine. Search Deflector defaults to Google search, but there are 18 different options to pick from. If you don’t see your search engine of choice listed, pick “Custom” then copy/paste the website’s URL under “Custom Search Engine URL.”
- Once your browser and search engine changes are set, click “Apply” and close the app.
- Type a search word in the Task Bar or Start Menu search bar and select “Open in Browser”.
- Click “Set Default” when prompted.
- Select “Deflector.exe”
- The search results should pop up in your preferred browser and search engine.