How to Change the Search Provider From the Address Bar

by Jacqui Lane

Firefox and Internet Explorer are the two most widely used web browsers and both contain a search box built into the address bar. If you have a preferred search engine, you can change the default search provider by using the configuration menu in Firefox or directly from the toolbar in Internet Explorer.

Using Firefox 3

Launch Firefox.

Enter "about:config" without the quotation marks in the address bar and press "Enter."

Scroll down to the entry named "keyword.url" and double-click on that line. Enter one of the following search strings into the text box, minus the punctuation, and click "OK." To change your search engine to Yahoo, enter "http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=." To change your search engine to Google, enter "http://www.google.com/search?&q;=." To change your search engine to Bing, enter "http://www.bing.com/search?q=."

Using Internet Explorer

Launch Internet Explorer.

Click the arrow icon in the right-hand corner of the search box and select "Manage Search Providers" if you are using Internet Explorer 8. If you are using Internet Explorer 7, click "Change Search Defaults."

Select one of the search providers listed, or click "Find More Search Providers" to launch a list of available search engines. If you choose to find a different search engine, click the "Add to Internet Explorer Button" beneath the description of the provider that you want to use.

Click "Set as Default" in the "Manage Search Providers" window to change the search provider to a new one that you have selected.

About the Author

Jacqui Lane has been writing professionally for print and the web since 2004. She got her start at a small publisher, where she wrote, edited, designed advertising and handled page layout for up to five magazines a month. She writes primarily about video games, technology and internet culture. Lane holds a Bachelor of Arts in online journalism from Marshall University.