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Change default search engine in IE through registry

Changing the default search engine to something other than Bing is really easy in Internet Explorer and only requires a few clicks. That is, unless you are working in a corporate environment and your network administrator has blocked your web browser settings.

Some admins go too far with restrictions, and forcing people to search using only Bing is a good example. In this article, I’ll show you how to change some registry settings so that you can use Google as your default search engine instead of Bing.

If Registry Editor is also disabled on your computer, be sure to check out my previous article on how to re-enable Registry Editor. It should be noted that the registry keys that we will be changing are not essential for the system and therefore if you damage something, nothing bad should happen to your computer.

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However, just in case, be sure to read my article on how to back up and restore the registry first. The procedure is a bit technical, but if you follow it slowly, it is not too difficult. I tested this on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 and it worked on all three operating systems.

Edit SearchScopes for IE in the registry

In IE, each search engine that you add to the browser is called a registry search scope. First of all, before entering the registry, we need to create a new GUID that we will use as a key. It sounds scary, but just follow the instructions below.

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Stage 1: Open Shell Power clicking Start and typing powershell.

When prompted, just copy and paste the following command:

:: NewGuid ()

This will generate a long number with letters and dashes as shown below. Select the GUID, then press CTRL + C to copy it to the Clipboard.

Now we have to convert this to uppercase because the registry is hard on the case when creating keys. The easiest way to do this is to open Word, paste the text, select it, and then choose CAPITAL.

2nd stepNow let’s open the registry editor by clicking Start and typing regedit. Now go to the following key:

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HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSearchScopes

If you click Search for oscilloscopes, you will see some keys on the right side. The main thing that interests us is DefaultScope. Double click on it and paste in the new scope ID we just created.

Note that you need to add an opening brace and a closing brace around the GUID we generated.

Click OK and the value should update. Now that we have configured the default search scope, we actually need to create the new search scope.

Step 3: Right-click on the Find Oscilloscopes enter the left navigation panel and choose NewWrench.

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Again, paste the value of the new GUID as the name of the key. Again, be sure to add the loop hook to the front and end of the GUID. The registry keys should now look like the image below:

Step 4: Now let’s move on to the fun part. We need to create some new keys in the right pane for the new search scope. So first of all select the new search scope we created and you will see that there is only one key called Default.

We need to create a total of five new keys. To create a new key, right-click any white area in the right pane and choose New then choose String value for the first key.

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You want to give your new key a name of Show a name then press Get in. Then double click on the new key and you can enter the value information. Guy Google in the Value data box and click OK.

Now let’s add the rest in the same way. Below I will list the name of the key (in bold), the type you need to choose (in italics), and the value you need to enter.

FaviconURL – String Value – http://www.google.com/favicon.icoShowSearchSuggestions – DWORD (32-bit) Value – 1SuggestionsURL – String Value – http://clients5.google.com/complete/search?q={searchTerms-lex.europa.eu&client=ie8&mw=[ie:maxWidth-lexeuropaeu&sh=[ie:sectionHeight{&rh=[ie:rowHeightíritu&inputencoding=[inputEncoding}&outputencoding={outputEncoding}[ie:maxWidth-lexeuropaeu&sh=[ie:sectionHeight{&rh=[ie:rowHeightíritu&inputencoding=[inputEncoding}&outputencoding={outputEncoding}Url – String Value – http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}

Once you’re done, your final entries should look like the image below:

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Once everything is set up in the registry, go ahead and open Internet Explorer. You shouldn’t have to restart your computer for this to work. When IE opens, you may see a message at the bottom stating that an unknown program wants to change your search engine. Go ahead, click Change.

Now when you type something in the address bar it should give you search suggestions and it should search using Google when you hit Enter.

If something is not working properly, be sure to check all keys correctly and the GUID is the same for DefaultScope and by the name of the key below Search for oscilloscopes. Also make sure the GUID has the opening and closing curly braces in these two instances.

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Hope this helps you access Google search in IE even if your system is locked. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!

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