How to Change Windows Start Menu Search Engine and Browser

Read here how to quickly change Windows Start Menu default search engine and browser by using the app Search Deflector.

Any web search done in Windows Search automatically uses Microsoft Edge and the Bing search engine by default.

If you set another browser as your default choice or Google as your preferred search engine, Windows Search will still use Microsoft Edge and Bing, because Microsoft doesn’t allow users to change their Windows Start Menu search settings.

So, to change your Windows Start Menu search engine and browser, you need to use a third-party app called Search Deflector; this app will redirect every web search you do in the Start Menu to your browser and search of choice.

Next, I will show you how to use Search Deflector to change your Start Menu search engine and browser.

(You can also block web results in Windows Search, to learn how to do it, read my article on how to disable web results in Windows 11.)

How to Change Windows Start Menu Search Engine and Browser with Search Deflector

Search Deflector allows you to immediately change the default browser and search engine used in the Start Menu. This is how to use it:

  1. Download Search Deflector on GitHub and install it:

    (Scroll down to LINKS and click on the link next to Download.)
  2. On Search Deflector, select your preferred browser and search engine, and click on Apply:

    (Search Deflector will open automatically after installing it, if not, just do a quick search for Search Deflector on the Start Menu to open it.)
  3. Now open Windows Search, and search for anything with web results. Click on Open results in browser:
  4. On the next window, select Deflector and mark Always use this app:
  5. Click OK to make the changes permanent.

From now on, any search made on Start Menu will be done on your favorite browser and search engine.

Important: If your preferred browser in Deflector is Microsoft Edge, and you select Google (or another search engine) as your default browser, Edge will only use Google in searches made via the Start Menu.

If you want Edge to always use Chrome in searches, you will need to do it as shown below.

Setting Google as the Default Search Engine on Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, and click on the three dots in the upper-left corner to open Settings.
  2. On the Settings Windows, click on Privacy, search, and services on the left sidebar.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of it to find Address bar and search:
  4. Change search engine used in the address bar to Google, and search on new tabs uses search box or address bar to Address bar:

This will ensure that Edge also uses Chrome in searches made on new tabs.

(But, if your search engine keeps changing to Bing regardless of your settings, your PC might be infected with malware, see here how to fix your search engine keeps changing to Bing.)


It is impossible to change your default Start Menu search engine or browser via Windows, as Microsoft wants everyone to use their products, but you can change them by using Search Deflector.

Follow the steps at the beginning of this article to use Search Deflector to change Windows’ default search engine and browser.

If you are still looking for ways to improve Windows Search, check the two apps on how to make Windows search faster.

If you want more privacy on your web searches, read here to learn where your incognito mode history is saved.

Laerthe Côrtes

Laerthe Côrtes

My first desktop computer, back in the 1990s, opened a whole new world for me; since then I am a heavy PC user (who will never get used to smartphones.) I worked for five years in the PC software industry, and my favorite version of Windows is still Windows 95.

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