How to Change the Default Search Engine on Microsoft Surface

The Microsoft Surface is a great piece hardware that does a lot well. Searching the Internet isn't one of those things. Given the fact that the Surface is a Microsoft product, it’s not surprising that the default search engine on the device is Microsoft’s own Bing. But if you want to use the streamlined Google instead of the clunky Bing, then follow the steps below to do so.

Step 1: Beginning at the Start Screen, launch Desktop mode then open Internet Explorer. You’ll need to go to the Internet Explorer Add-on Gallery (linked here) to add Google as your default search engine.

Step 2: Once you’ve arrived at the IE Add-on Gallery, search for “Google Search.” Once you’ve found the add-on, select it, and you’ll be taken to a full-screen for the Google Search addition. Look for the orange “Add to Internet Explorer” button and tap it. This action will open up a confirmation window.

Step 3: On the confirmation window, you’ll be asked, “Do you want to add this search provider?” Before you tap “Yes,” check the box next to “Make this my default search provider.” Then click “Yes.”

Step 4: All you have to do now is either reset your tablet or shutdown Internet Explorer, and launch it again. Either action should allow IE to refresh its settings, after which the unified search bar will use Google instead of Bing.


Microsoft makes good hardware and software, but the company’s search engine simply can’t compete with Google—especially if you’ve been using Google for years and can’t imagine changing now. By using the steps above, you can ditch Bing for good and get back to Google with your Surface tablet.