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Change Internet Explorer in Windows Vista to Search Google by Default

Windows Vista includes Internet Explorer 7, and on a new install it defaults to Microsoft’s Live Search, which is just terrible. Here’s the easy steps to make Google the default search engine instead.

First, open up Internet Explorer, and then click the little search dropdown:

You should see a page with Google Web Search on it:

Click Google as fast as you can!

Make sure you check the default search provider box.

This will also work in IE7 on XP as well.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/2/07

Comments (8)

  1. Shelley Ruh

    I have mess on ToshibaA130/135 from earthlink vs. vista. Will system restore fix? Error message is ConfigMgrErr31. Won’t allow me to install corrected software.Thanks

  2. magikilwizard

    in ie explorer , in the options/search ….you can set google there as default then remove live search. that way
    regardless if you type an phrase to search it won’t matter weather using the main address bar or the google search bar.

  3. kimpatsu

    there is a minor problem – whenever i chosen the google default, each time i search it gives me the “google.co.uk” site. i usually need the sites that are most connected to my home country so google in the UK isnt what i need.

  4. chris rushlau

    wrong. The google option, of all the searchers provided, does not give the “make default” option. It is a different window, saying only that google is already installed. Like they’re searching for more antitrust trouble. XP SP2 (or is it 3 now?). I assume making this default designation will carry over to MSN 9.6, my browser.
    Thanks anyway.

  5. Marvin

    i cant remove delete the default live search.Is there any other method or registry hack in changing the search provider?,,

  6. OppfinnarJocke

    I have the exact same problem with IE7 (proXPsp3) as kimpatsu; I get google.co.uk as the default search engine. I live in Sweden, goole.com is what I want, google.se is what I’ll accept, but never *never* google.co.uk. I’ve removed and reinstalled the default provider several times, I’ve cleared cahce and cookies etc, but to no avail. Note, this happens on one machine only, and does not happen with Firefox 3.

    Anyone has any ideas, solutions?

  7. RooX

    thank you very much , it worked!!!!

  8. fred roellig

    Nope, I clicked the little search dropdown and did NOT see a page with Google Web Search on it. You missed a step, you sloppy dope.

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