How To Add Search Engines To Internet Explorer 11

Any web browser you install comes with a few default search engines to choose from. It is, however, possible to add more. Even when the browser does not offer an official search plugin, you can always add custom search engines with a few tricks.

Depending on which web browser you use, it may be either easy or difficult to add search providers. While some browsers come with a few preinstalled search engines to select from, others don’t. Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, available for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, is the second type of browser.

Internet Explorer 11 is featured with Microsoft’s search engine Bing as its default search engine. This is perfectly fine as Google does that too. But the lack of third-party alternatives can disappoint some users who would like to switch to some other search providers.

If you would not like to use Bing or want additional options, you might want to add other search engines to IE11. The browser lets you add other search engines like Google, Yahoo, YouTube, eBay, and Wikipedia. Installing a search engine allows searching by directly entering the terms in the browser’s address bar.

Let us see how we can add search engines to Internet Explorer 11.

Check for Installed Search Engines

Before adding a new search engine to Internet Explorer 11, you can check which providers are already installed. You might find the one you wanted.

  1. To check for the installed search engines in IE11, click on the down arrow present on the right of the address bar.
  2. A list of search engines would appear.
  3. Clicking on the icon for any search engine would activate it or make it the default search engine.

Install a Search Engine in Internet Explorer 11

If your desired search engine was not present in the list, you can add a new one to the browser with the following steps:

  1. Open the list from the navigation bar by clicking the down arrow.
  2. Click on Add at the bottom right.
  3. Select the search engine from the Internet Explorer Gallery that lists multiple search providers. You can find popular search engines including Yahoo!, Google, Yandex, DuckDuckGo and Startpage listed here. Clicking on any one of these would let you install it in IE11.
  4. When you click on any provider in the gallery, it opens the profile of the search engine on the website.
  5. Click on the Add to Internet Explorer button to add it to your browser.

A dialog box offering some configuration options opens up at this time. The following options are available:

  1. Make it my default search provider – If you check this option, the search engine you selected becomes your browser’s default search engine.
  2. If an address I type in the address bar is not found, open the top search result – When you check this option, the search engine automatically opens the top search result in case the website address you type in the IE’s address bar cannot be found.
  3. Use search suggestions from this provider – Enabling this option fetches suggestions from the provider and displays in the browser.

You must close and re-open the Add-Ons Manager before you can see the search engines installed this way. The default one will be shown with a blue square around it. You can enable a new search engine from the drop-down menu by clicking on the Set As Default option.


The method explained here is pretty simple and works for Internet Explorer 11 on all the operating systems. For Windows 8, it works on the Start Screen as well as on the desktop. If you find that the Internet Explorer app does not use the default search engine, you can try restarting the app or computer to apply the changes. We hope this post about adding search engines to Internet Explorer 11 proves helpful to you. Do share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below.



Michael G

Michael is a self-taught writer, editor, and software developer who has a passion for content that is carefully tailored to add value to the lives of any who interact with it through any medium. He is a Nigerian from the oil-rich Delta State.

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