Make Cortana use Google

Microsoft wants Windows 10 users to use all things Microsoft. When you use Cortana to search the web, Microsoft Edge opens and Bing is used to search. If you like Cortana but you don’t like Edge and Bing, you can make Cortana use Chrome or Firefox instead of Edge, and Google Search instead of Bing.

Today we’ll show you the basics of searching using Cortana and how to make Cortana use Google as the search engine in Chrome or Firefox.

The Basics Of Cortana Search

Previous versions of Windows (Windows 7 and earlier) had a search bar on the Start menu. Pressing the Windows key or clicking on the Start button would put the cursor in the Search box automatically. As of Windows 10, the Search box became Cortana and is now located on the Taskbar.

NOTE: If you don’t like Cortana, you can disable it, which automatically enables the plain Search box.

Cortana search box on Taskbar

To display the Cortana icon on the Taskbar instead of the Cortana search box, right-click on any empty area of the Taskbar and go to “Cortana” > “Show Cortana icon“.

NOTE: You can also hide Cortana by selecting the “Hidden” option on the menu.

Select Show Cortana icon

Now, you’ll only see the Cortana icon on the Taskbar.

Cortana icon on Taskbar

When you click the Cortana icon or box, or press “Windows key+Q“, type what you want to ask Cortana. At the top of the search pane, you’ll see three buttons, “Find results in apps“, “Find results in documents“, and “Find results in web“.

Click the “Find results in web” button. Then, tap the result under “Best match for web“. Microsoft Edge opens and Bing is used to search the web and display the results.

Use Cortana to search the web

Change Your Default Browser To Chrome Or Firefox

The first step to make Cortana use Google Search in Chrome or Firefox, instead of Bing in Edge, is to change the default browser.

When you install a major update to Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is set as the default browser, even if you had a different one set previously. To change the default browser back to what you want, open Cortana and type “default browser“.

Then, click “Choose a default web browser” under “Best match“.

Click Choose a default web browser

On the “Default apps” screen in the “Settings” app, click on the box below “Web browser“, which most likely reads “Microsoft Edge“.

Click Web browser under Default apps

Select either “Google Chrome” or “Firefox” from the “Choose an app” pop-up list.

Select Chrome as the default browser

Click the “X” button in the upper-right corner of the window to close the “Settings” app.

Close the Settings app

Make Cortana Use Google Chrome or Firefox Instead of Edge

Even though you changed the default browser, Cortana will still open Microsoft Edge to display the web search results. Cortana uses a special Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) to mask normal URLs so they will only open in Edge. For example, Cortana will convert “https://www.example.com/” to “microsoft-edge:https://example.com/” so only Edge will be able to read that URL.

So you need to install a free tool, called EdgeDeflector, that will force Cortana to open your default browser instead of Edge. Download EdgeDeflector and double-click the downloaded .exe file.

Run the EdgeDeflector installer

If the “User Account Control” dialog box displays, click “Yes” to continue.

NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings. We don’t recommend disabling UAC entirely, however.

User Account Control dialog box for EdgeDeflector

On the “EdgeDeflector Installer Setup” dialog box, accept the default “Destination Folder” and then click “Install“.

Click Install for EdgeDeflector

Once the installation completes, click “Close“.

Close the EdgeDeflector installer

To use EdgeDeflector, simply perform a web search using Cortana like we described in the first section.

Use Cortana to search the web

Now, instead of opening Edge to display the search results, the following dialog box displays. Click “EdgeDeflector” in the list.

By default, the “Always use this app” check box is checked by default every time this dialog box opens, even if you uncheck it. If you want the option of using Edge sometimes, uncheck the “Always use this app” check box so this dialog box displays every time you use Cortana to search the web.

Click “OK“.

Select EdgeDeflector when you use Cortana

Now, we got Cortana to open our default browser instead of Edge. However, Cortana will still use Bing to search the web. Read on to find out how to redirect Bing searches to Google in Chrome and Firefox.

Set Chrome To Open Cortana Searches In Google Instead Of Bing

To make Cortana use Google Search instead of Bing in Chrome, we will install an extension called Bing To Google. Visit the Bing To Google page in the Chrome Web Store and click “Add to Chrome” to install the extension.

Install Bing To Google extension in Chrome

On the confirmation dialog box, click “Add extension“.

Click Add extension

A pop-up dialog box displays telling you that Bing To Google has been added to Chrome. Click the “X” button to close the dialog box.

Now, if Chrome is you default browser, and you’ve installed EdgeDeflector, Cortana web searches will automatically be performed using Google Search in Chrome. You will see Bing results display briefly before your search is redirected to Google.

Bing To Google has been added

Set Firefox To Open Cortana Searches In Google Instead Of Bing

If you use Firefox, the Bing-Google add-on will redirect all Bing searches to Google, which will make Cortana use Google. Visit the Bing-Google page and click “Add to Firefox” to install the add-on.

Install Bing-Google add-on in FIrefox

On the confirmation dialog box, click “Install“.

Click Install for the Bing-Google add-on in Firefox

Then, click “OK” when you see the message saying the add-on was installed successfully.

Now, if Firefox is you default browser, and you’ve installed EdgeDeflector, Cortana web searches will automatically be performed using Google Search in Firefox. The redirection to Google Search from Bing is immediate in Firefox.

Bing-Google add-on installed correctly

NOTE: Any search on Bing, whether you’re using Cortana or Bing.com directly in Chrome or Firefox, will be redirected to Google Search.

Do you use a different browser as your default browser? Have you found an extension or add-on for another browser that redirects a Bing search to Google? Let us know in the comments.

Lori Kaufman
Freelance technical writer living in the Sacramento, CA area. A gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. Loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, attending musical theatre, and is an avid Doctor Who fan.