Setting Google as the default search engine in MS Edge in 1703 using GPO

In Windows 10 1703 we have some new really great new Group Policy settings for Microsoft Edge, the most important making it possible to sync favorites between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. We can also set the default search enginge to something else than Bing with group policies.

To do this we first need to create an .xml file that complies with the Opensearch 1.1 framework https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/dev-guide/browser/search-provider-discovery and we need to host that file on a Webserver that the clients can reach and it must use HTTPS.

Update!

This can be done in two ways, the easiest one that I overlooked is to actually use the opensearch.xml file hosted by Google! Method 2 still works, Thanks for the comment on this post!

Method 1

The URL is https://www.google.com/searchdomaincheck?format=opensearch then we don’t have to host any .xml file of our own.

We simply add that to the Group Policy settings and we are done!

Set default search enginge_1

Method 2

Here is an .xml file that can be used to set the default search engine to Google instead of Bing using a group policy, it can be downloaded here: Opensearch.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/">

<ShortName>Google</ShortName>

<Description>Search Google</Description>

<Url method="get" type="text/html"

template="https://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}"/>

</OpenSearchDescription>

We then need to place that on a webserver reachable from the clients that use HTTPS, in my lab I put it on my SCCM server under Opensearch and called it opensearch.xml as well.

XML File

Then we configure the Group Policy setting to point to the .XML file we added above.

Set default search enginge

When logging on the a computer which the group policy is applied to, you can if you are fast enough see that the search engine changes from Bing to Google under Settings\advanced settings.

Google default search engingeThis can of course be used to change the search engine to something else than Google as well, just create an .xml file that points to that search engine instead and make sure it supports Opensearch 1.1.

Thanks to my colleague Sassan for testing and supplying the .XML file!

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