MS Windows Popups Push Bing Search

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is again bugging users to switch their default search engine to Bing. There's a way to get rid of the messages, but strangely it's hidden away in the Edge browser.

The pop-up message seen by some users says that "Microsoft recommends different browser settings. Want to change them?" and then gives the not-entirely-comprehensive choice of "Yes, change settings" and "Maybe later".

It's a sneaky message in a couple of ways. The first is that while it promises "Search that gives back time and money" and "Fast and secure search results with Bing", the message doesn't actually explain that clicking "Yes" will change browser settings so that search results come from Bing rather than the user's existing choice of search engine.

The second problem is that it's all-too-easy for users to just click through, assuming Microsoft is fixing a performance or security problem rather than promoting its own business. (Source:

Edge Setting Is The Key

Users who do click "yes" by mistake will need to revert back to their chosen search engine in their browser settings. Meanwhile clicking on "Maybe later" will dismiss the message but doesn't seem to be a permanent solution.

Making sure the messages disappear in the long-term turns out to involve a change in the Edge browser settings. This is the case regardless of what browser the user actually runs as their default. (Source:

Flag Your Intention

The easiest way to open Edge is to press the Windows key and type Edge into the search box. After opening Edge, users can type "edge://flags" (minus the quote marks) and press Enter.

This will bring up a list headed "Experiments". Users should then scroll down until they find an option listed as "Show feature and workflow recommendations." They can then switch the drop-down menu setting from "Default" to "Disabled" and then click on "Restart" at the bottom of the machine.

At the least, this should stop any future pop-ups until Edge itself is updated. In theory Microsoft should continue to respect this setting permanently, though that may be a little optimistic.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you spotted the pop-up messages? Is the wording clear enough? Should Microsoft so aggressively push people to use Bing?

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buzzallnight's picture

The easiest way to open Edge
is to press the Windows key and type Edge into the search box.