Note: This is quite an old post. For updated information, you should simply be able to Google the name of the software, Search Deflector. Several other writers have covered this project better than I have, go read their articles!
I have just released a new version of my project, Search Deflector, which I would consider to be functional and ready for public use. You should keep reading for some information about it, or if you can guess what it does from the title, go download it!
Please don't forget to star the repository if this helps you!
A small program that forwards searches from Cortana to your preferred browser and search engine.
Search Deflector is a small system utility that redirects searches made from the start menu or Cortana to whatever browser and search engine you prefer, removing ties with Microsoft Edge and Bing.
This software allows you to perform faster web searches by just tapping the Windows key, and typing your search. Hit enter, or click one of the results in the right panel. This is faster than opening your browser (if it isn't already), opening a new tab, and clicking the search bar.
After a simple setup, you can use any browser (provided it is registered as a protocol handler) and any search engine. If you are having trouble getting either of these to work, send me an email at email@example.com or create an issue, and I will see what I can do to get your custom settings working.
To save time, I'll just quote my description from the GitHub repository.
This is a small program that will redirect searches made with Cortana and the Start Menu to your preferred browser and search engine. While this software is extremely similar to Edge Deflector and Search With My Browser, it allows the user to use any search engine they want and select any installed browser--not just the system default.
Basically, when you press the Windows/Super/Logo key on your keyboard and start typing, the default behavior is to open your search term with Bing in Microsoft Edge. Does anyone really use Edge?
With this, after setting up for the first time, whatever websites you tell Cortana to open (or type if Cortana is disabled, as it should be) from the Windows Search UI will be redirected to whatever browser you want and whatever search engine you want. Yay!
I love this because it's much faster than opening the browser or creating a new tab, clicking the search bar, then typing. Just press the Windows Key, type "Cat pictures", press Enter, and you'll be at a nice page full of cat pictures.
I had been using EdgeDeflector for quite some time, but it had some issues. It was buggy, sometimes it doesn't transform the URIs properly. It also doesn't allow you to change the search engine, and it only uses your system default browser.
SearchWithMyBrowser has the same problems.
I wanted to be able to use a different browser for searches, not the system default. I also wanted to be able to change the search engine, not that it would be anything besides Google of course.
I also just really love reinventing wheels.
Go to the GitHub releases page, and download the installer and run it.
When you get to the part where a command prompt opens up (I was too lazy to create a GUI for it), follow the prompts on screen. It should list all available browsers it can find in your registry and allow you to select one by entering the number beside it.
I've been having issues getting all of the paths to the browsers to display correctly, so if one of yours doesn't look right please create a new issue.
I didn't sign the executable, so you will get all sorts of "untrusted" warnings by Windows. I promise, it isn't a virus. You can look at the code yourself.
If you want to see a detailed setup guide, see the README.md file in the repository's master branch.
Please submit a GitHub issue with as many details as possible. If the program crashed, you should get a message box with a button that will redirect you to the issues page with most of the important information filled out. Just add a title, and maybe include the text that you searched for.
If you don't think a new issue would be very helpful, or if you need help setting it up, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't bite.
I am the sole author of this project, and if you appreciate my work or any of my other projects, you can donate a small amount to help me out.
This software is and always will be free, at no reduced functionality. I make this software in my free time as a hobby, and would greatly appreciate any monetary contributions, of any size, that you could make. If you have a GitHub account, please consider starring this repository!
If you have some change to spare and would like to give back, you can buy the software on the Microsoft Store or donate via PayPal.