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Updating the Search Engine on the Browser’s Address Bar

Tim from TX writes:

I do a search in the address bar and I get Yahoo results. How do I change it to get Google results? I have Windows Vista Home Basic.

Hi, Tim!

When you search for information on the internet, the browser you use often determines which search provider is used.  However, changing your search provider is really easy. 

Since you have Windows Vista, I am going to assume that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer.  If you use another browser like Firefox or Chrome, just respond in the comments to this article and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

You mentioned that you do a search in the address bar.  Usually, the search bar is right next to the address bar, so I’ll show you how to change the providers for both, just in case!

Change Search Provider in the Search Bar

Changing the provider here is really easy. 

1) Locate the search bar at the top right of your screen.  It is the empty fill-in-the blank bar located on the right in the picture below.

Address and Search Bars

2) Click inside the box.  A list of available search providers will display for you as shown in the picture below.

Search Bar

3) Simply click on the provider you want to use, in this case, Google.  When you do, the icon at the left of the search bar will change to the one that you have chosen.

That’s it!  This is by far the easiest way to change the search provider from the available options.  However, to change the search to always use Google, complete the following steps.

Change Search Provider in the Address Bar

Changing the provider here requires a few more steps but can easily be done. 

1) First access your browser.

Address and Search Bars

2) At the top of the screen, look for the word Tools on the Menu bar.  

Note: if your menu bar is not available, just hit your Alt key on your keyboard. 

3) On the Tools menu, choose Internet Options.  The Internet Options window will appear.

Tools Window

4) On the Internet Options window, on the General tab, locate the Search section in the lower part of the screen.  It is highlighted in a red box for you below.

Internet Options Screen

5) In that section, notice the Settings button. Click on it. The Manage Add-Ons window will pop up.

Manage Add-Ons Window

6) On this screen to the left, click on the Search Providers link. The box to the right will list the currently installed search providers.

To change providers, simply click on the provider you want.  Here is where you would click on “Google.”

To make it your default provider, click on the Set as default button located at the bottom right of the screen.  It is highlighted in yellow in the window above.  When you change the default, notice that the word default is now next to the search provider you have indicated.

To choose a search provider not currently listed, click on the Find more search providers… located at the bottom left of the screen.  It is in a red box in the screen above.

7) When you are finished, simply click the Close button.

That’s it, Tim!  Let me know if you have any questions!

~Karen Powers Liebhaber