How To Fix Your Search Engine Changing Back to Bing

When deciding on a default search engine, many people prefer Google. Google has more sites indexed, it’s quick, and its occasional games, quirky designs, and animations make it a joy to use.

How To Fix Your Search Engine Changing Back to Bing

Microsoft Bing is also popular but second to Google globally. Many users have complained of Bing overriding their default browser settings to become the default browser without consent.

If you want to stop Bing from changing your default search engine settings, read on for some fixes to try in Chrome. These solutions apply to other browsers too, but the steps will differ slightly.

Why Does Bing Make Itself the Default Search Engine?

Bing taking over as your default search engine is caused by malicious code gaining access to your computer, adware, or a potentially unwanted program (PUP) infection.

Although Bing is an authentic search engine, it is often used by browser hijackers and PUPs as a method to serve unsolicited adverts or direct traffic to specific websites.

This unusual behavior may concern you when it first happens. Fortunately, Bing’s redirects are seldom a phishing effort or a complete malware attack.

Bing redirects are not entirely safe. They could take you to web pages containing infectious malware and content ready to attack your device. Fortunately, these events are rare.

What to Do if Your Browser Is Suddenly Redirected

If your browser redirects you to Bing’s search engine, do not click on anything; the result could be malware or adware infection. Close the browser, then delete the element or code that caused it. We’ll go through the steps of exactly how that’s done a little later. First, try these tips to get your browser control back.

How to Remove Bing as Your Default Search Engine

Uninstall Unwanted Programs

If this problem started after you installed a program or app, consider removing it as soon as possible. Sometimes, browser hijackers or PUPs are bundled into the installation folder of other software. If you choose the recommended installation option, browser hijackers or PUPs will infiltrate your machine together with the software you planned to install.

Follow these steps to uninstall recently installed but unwanted programs on Windows.

  1. Open “Control Panel.”
  2. Select “Programs,” then “Uninstall a program.”
  3. Go through the list of installed programs and uninstall programs you don’t remember installing or never used or that you think may have caused the problem.

And here’s how to uninstall unwanted programs on a Mac.

  1. Open “Launchpad” to see all the programs installed on your Mac. Programs may be displayed across several pages.
  2. Once you spot an app you don’t recognize or use, click and hold on it until all the apps start to jiggle.
  3. Click on the Delete “X” icon on the corner of the app you want to remove, then choose “Delete” to confirm.

For a list of installed applications with detailed information per app, follow these steps.

  1. Click on the Apple icon to access the main menu.
  2. Select “About this Mac,” “System Report,” then “Installations.”
  3. You should see a list of installed apps, including details like whether it’s third-party, and the date it was installed. This information will hopefully help you decide whether it should be deleted or not.

Scan Your Computer for Malware

The code that changed your computer could be deeply embedded in your system, so you should run an in-depth malware and virus scan. Depending on the number of folders and files your antivirus software needs to scan, the process can take anywhere from one to three hours.

Here’s how to run an in-depth scan using Window’s built-in antivirus.

  1. Open “Start,” then search for “Windows Security.”
  2. Open the “Windows Security” app, then choose “Virus & threat protection.”
  3. Beneath the “Current threats” section, select “Scan options.”
  4. Click on “Full scan” to scan all the files and programs on your hard disk for viruses and other types of malware.

On the Mac, XProtect is macOS’s built-in antivirus technology that runs in the background to detect and remove malware before it can cause a problem. Apple’s anti-malware program is constantly checking for threats and stands out as one of the best. It executes when:

  • a downloaded app is opened for the first time
  • an app has been altered in the file system
  • YARA signatures have been updated

So it’s pretty robust for free native antivirus. It is enabled by default and automatically updates. To ensure XProtect is enabled and receives the background updates correctly, follow these steps.

  1. Click on the Apple logo to access the main menu.
  2. Choose “System Preferences,” “Software Update,” then “Advanced.”
  3. Ensure the “Install system data files and security updates” checkbox is checked.

Uninstall Suspicious Extensions and Clear the Cache

If you believe the Bing redirect issues began after you installed a specific browser extension, you can remove the extension. Here are the steps to uninstall a Chrome extension.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the three-dotted “More” menu icon at the top right, then choose “More tools Extensions.”
  3. Go to the suspicious browser extension and click “Remove.”
  4. Click “Remove” again to confirm.

If you’re unsure which browser extension is causing the problem, you can disable all the extensions.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the three-dotted “More” menu icon at the top right, then choose “More tools Extensions.”
  3. You should see a list of all your installed Chrome extensions with toggle switches beside them allowing you to enable or disable each one.
  4. After disabling an app, check whether the redirect problem has stopped.

Once you’ve uninstalled or deleted the problem extension, consider clearing your browser cache and restarting your computer. If you’re using Chrome on Windows or macOS, here are the steps.

  1. Open Chrome, then click on the three-dotted “More” menu in the top-right corner.
  2. Select “More Tools,” then “Clear browsing data…”
  3. Choose the period from which you want to delete the cached information via the “Time range” pull-down menu.
  4. Select “Cached images and files.”
  5. Click on Chrome’s “Clear data” button to clear your cache.

Remove Bing Redirect in Browser

Bing’s redirect settings should be visible in your browser settings. Therefore, you can remove the redirect instructions directly from there. Follow these steps to do just that.

  1. Access your browser settings, then choose “Manage search engines.”
  2. Replace the Bing search engine with the search engine you wish to make default by clicking the three-dotted icon next to it and selecting “Make default.”
  3. You can remove Bing from the list by accessing the three-dotted menu beside it, then selecting “Delete.”
  4. Right-click your browser’s desktop icon, then choose “Properties.”
  5. Select the “Shortcut” tab, then go to the “Start in:” field to ensure the app is using an expected path to launch, “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application,” for example.
  6. If the path looks suspicious, replace it with the folder path where the browser is installed on your computer.

Stop Bing From Hijacking Your Browser for Good

Microsoft Bing offers the best browsing experience for Edge users and is recommended as the default browser. Some users prefer other browsers as their default browser and may become frustrated whenever Bing decides to make itself the default.

This behavior is not usually a cause for concern, especially with antivirus installed. If you prefer to use another browser as a default, one way to ensure that is the case is by selecting the “Make default” option beside it and deleting Bing.

Has Bing stopped taking over your browser? Tell us how you fixed this issue in the comments section below.

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