I like to keep our copy of Office 365 updated, but I read that the next update of Office 365 ProPlus will switch the default Chrome search engine to Bing? WTH? How can I restore the default search engine to Google if that does happen?
You’re correct that the industry buzz is that the February 2020 update to Office 365 ProPlus is going to be changing the default search engine on your Web browser to Bing regardless of its current setting. PC Magazine says that Microsoft’s explanation is that “by making Bing the default search engine, users in an organization with Google Chrome will be able to take advantage of Microsoft Search, including being able to access relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar.” Okay, but no-one likes surprises, so I’m hopeful that by the time that the release hits our computers they’ll have changed to a pop-up that prompts you to change if desired.
[Update: “Microsoft is allowing the switch to Bing to be excluded from the installation process, but it does take a bit of extra work on the part of system admins.” Now, will your admin go through the extra steps?]
Anyway, whether that happens or not, it’s actually not too difficult to change the default search engine in Google Chrome to whatever you’d prefer. For example, want to try the additional privacy offered with DuckDuckGo? You can do that with just a few mouse clicks. Let’s have a look…
First off, here’s Google Chrome with Bing as the default search engine. How do I know? Blank tabs open with the Bing home page. Of course the default home page and the search engine can be different, but notice the address box’s text:
This is further reinforced by a simple search. Heck, you don’t even need to do the search to see what’s going on:
To change the default search engine (which, interestingly, changes the default page to display on new tabs too), click on the three-dot icon at the top right. A menu pops up:
As highlighted, you’ll want to choose “Settings” to get to the many, many different settings and preferences you can tweak.
Then click or tap to choose “Search engine” from the list on the left side. Here’s what you’ll see:
Ahhhh, there’s that “Bing” set as the default search engine. Pshaw!
To change that simply click to open the menu and see your default set of choices:
No big surprises here: Bing, Google, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. You can add more and change things through the “Manage search engines” link on the settings page if you’re curious. But with this set of choices, simply opt for “Google” and close the window.
Did it work? Well, a new tab now shows the Google home page, and an address bar search now looks like this:
All fixed up. Easy, really. Not much of a crisis at all, even if everyone in the media is getting rather hot & bothered about it 🙂
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