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Grow Your Business Technology

How to Change the Bing Default in Cortana

Cortana
Credit: ymgerman/Shutterstock

Cortana is a great artificial intelligent (AI) assistant designed to help you control your Windows 10 computer or search the web. It works with voice commands or as you type. However, for searching the web, Cortana is hardwired to search using Microsoft's own search engine, Bing. It's also required to default to the company's preferred browser, Microsoft Edge. Microsoft claims this is so Cortana can deliver personalized search results in an end-to-end environment.

Not everyone loves Edge or Bing. If you prefer using other search tools, such as Google, Firefox or Yahoo, there's currently no easy way to make Cortana access them without disabling the AI. There are some workarounds to make Cortana pull up search results from other search engines and web browsers, if you know where to look.

Unfortunately, this isn't a perfect solution. Cortana will still give you an initial voice answer using information found on Bing. However, by following the steps below, you can change the settings so that expanded search results come from your preferred search engines. You can even have them open in your default web browser, rather than Microsoft Edge.

Download the most recent browser of your choice. Then, in Windows 10 Settings, go to Apps > Default Apps. Select your default web browser to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or whatever you prefer.

Since Cortana will open all search results Microsoft Edge, despite your default browser being something else, you'll need to deflect this action. Edge Deflector is a free program that redirects Windows to open your default browser when it tries to open Edge.

Once you make it so Cortana can only access your default browser, it will still search with Bing. Chrometana is a free Chrome extension that, similar to Edge Deflector, will redirect Cortana from Bing to either Google, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo. You can choose to redirect all Bing searches to your preferred search engine, not just ones from Cortana.

Even though Microsoft's personal, digital assistant Cortana introduced with Windows 10 can prove to be helpful, there are times when you might want to turn it off.

The first thing you'll need to do is open Cortana. One way to do this is by typing "cortana" in the Windows 10 search bar and selecting the Best Match that appears called Cortana & Search Settings.

Once you do this, you'll simply need to click the indicator to 'Off'.

If it is successfully disabled, you will get a notification telling you so and instructions on how to enable Cortana again, if you decide to.

If you simply don't plan on using Cortana for some reason or feel like it might be a privacy concern for you, Microsoft provided you with an easy way to disable it for good.

Andreas Rivera

Andreas Rivera graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in Mass Communication and is now a B2B writer for Business.com, Business News Daily and Tom's IT Pro. His background in journalism brings a critical eye to his reviews and features, helping business leaders make the best decisions for their companies.