Windows 10 S laptops won't let you switch from Edge or Bing

Google cannot be your default search engine in Windows 10 S.

When Microsoft revealed the details of Windows 10 S on Tuesday, it sounded awfully similar to the beleaguered Windows RT. But it looks like there’s a little Windows 8.1 with Bing in there too: Microsoft will not allow Windows 10 S device owners to change the default web browser or the default search engine, as first spotted by The Verge.

That means Microsoft Edge and Bing are the inescapable defaults for Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of Windows 10 that only allows programs to be downloaded and installed from the Windows Store.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft didn’t tout the defaults disadvantage during the low-buck operating system’s debut, including it it in an online FAQ instead.

Nevertheless, the truth is out there now, and it sucks for anyone who prefers Google or DuckDuckGo as their search engine. Not that there won’t be workarounds. Presumably, Microsoft Edge will be no different in Windows 10 S than it is in the current version of Windows 10.

If that’s the case, open the Edge menu (the three vertical dots in the upper right corner) and go to Settings > Open Microsoft Edge with > A specific page or pages. Now enter Google.com as your desired webpage, and you’ll be ready to use Google in a flash every time you open Edge.

Unfortunately, you can’t open every new tab to Google, and anytime Cortana kicks you to a web search it will be Bing. The Cortana-Bing marriage is also solid in regular Windows 10 unless you’re willing to use a few tools to help Cortana cheat on Bing.

As for Edge being the one and only default, that’s not as big a deal as there are no other browsers in the Windows Store right now. Unless Windows 10 S grows significantly in the coming years, we’re unlikely to see Chrome or Firefox hit the Windows Store. That said, Chrome did dabble on the “Metro” side in the Windows 8 days, so anything’s possible.

The impact on you at home: Even if Chrome or Firefox did show up in the Windows Store they could never override Edge as the default—at least not without a little trickery. Once Windows 10 S hits the market it’s only a matter of time before developers roll out some registry hacks or other workarounds to make Windows 10 S behave like a proper Windows build, just like with Windows RT. That won’t help anyone with a device that’s had its administrative privileges locked down by an IT department, however.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftWindows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?