With default settings, Windows 10 allows you to search the web right from the taskbar search box. The search uses Bing as the web search engine and opens search results in the Edge which is the default web browser in Windows 10.
As you likely know by now, there is no setting under Settings app or Control Panel to use Google or any other search engine as the default search in taskbar or Start menu search instead of the default Bing search engine.
About a month ago, we shared a workaround to enable Google search in Windows 10 taskbar search box. The workaround requires setting Google Chrome as the default web browser in Windows 10 and then installing a free extension. What if you use Firefox instead of Chrome?
In this guide, we will see how to use Firefox to set Google as the default search engine for the taskbar web search in Windows 10.
UPDATE: There is a tool called Search Deflector to make the Google default search engine for Windows 10 taskbar web search without using any browser.
Method 1 of 2
Use Foxtana Pro to force taskbar web search to use Google instead of Bing
Foxtana Pro is a free add-on for Firefox to redirect web searches from Bing to Google or any other search engine that you prefer using. With the help of Foxtana Pro we can set Google as the default search engine for the taskbar/Start search in Windows 10.
Step 1: First of all, you need to set Firefox as the default browser in Windows 10 to make this guide work. To do that, navigate to Windows 10’s Settings app > Apps > Default apps page.
Step 2: In the Web browser section, click on the plus (+) icon (or click on the Edge/current default browser’s icon) and then click on the Firefox browser to make Firefox as the default one.
Step 3: On your Firefox browser, head over to this Foxtana Pro page. Click the Add to Firefox button, and then click Add button to get the add-on installed on your Firefox.
Step 4: Now that you installed Foxtana Pro add-on, you need to install another small utility on your PC. Here is why? Foxtana Pro alone cannot force the Cortana or the Start search to use Google search instead of Bing. We need a little utility named Edge Deflector to force the Cortana use the default web browser instead of the built-in Edge browser. Get it from here.
Step 5: Run the Edge Deflector setup and follow the on-screen directions. When you get the following “How do you want to open this?” dialog, select Edge Deflector from the list. That’s it!
Searches made through Cortana or the taskbar search box will be automatically redirected from Bing search to Google now.
You may navigate to Foxtana Pro’s settings page to set Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Baidu or any other search engine as the default search engine for the taskbar/Start search in Windows 10.
Method 2 of 2
Make Google the default search in Windows 10 taskbar
UPDATE: This method no longer works in the latest Firefox releases and Windows 10 versions.
It looks like Mozilla, the developer of Firefox, is also not happy with Microsoft’s decision to offer no settings to change the default web search engine used in the taskbar or Start menu search box in Windows 10.
In the latest Nightly build (version 42), Mozilla has added a new option labelled “Use this search engine for searches from Windows”, and is enabled by default. The option allows you to easily set Google as the default search engine in Windows 10 taskbar. In fact, you can set any other search engine like Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo as the default search of the taskbar using this new feature. Needless to say that the feature works only when you set Firefox as your default browser.
The only catch is that the default search in Windows 10 taskbar will be the default search engine in Firefox as well, which means that the default search engine in Firefox and Windows 10’s taskbar search will be the same.
Setting Google as the default search
To make Google as the default taskbar search engine in Windows 10 or set any other search engine as the default, you just need to complete the following steps.
Step 1: First, download the latest version of Firefox Nightly build from this page of Mozilla, and then install the same on your PC. Note that you can install Firefox Nightly alongside the stable build without any issues.
NOTE: You won’t need to download and install the Nightly version of Firefox once Mozilla releases the final version of Firefox 42. We will update this guide once the final version of Firefox 42.0 is out.
Step 2: After installing Firefox 42 or above version, open Firefox Options page. To open it, click the Open menu button (see below picture) and then click Options.
Step 3: On the left-pane, click Search to view all search related settings on the right-side.
Step 4: Now, under Default Search Engine section, select Google or any other search engine that you want to set as the default search in Windows 10 taskbar and Firefox search.
Step 5: Finally, enable the option titled Use this search engine for searches from Windows option, it’s not enabled already.
That’s it! Google should now be your default search engine in Windows 10 taskbar (for web search) as well as in the Firefox browser. Good luck!
Enjoy Windows 10!