Need help?

Chat with a Tech Pro about services & pricing.

Special Offer: All students, parents, & educators get 50% off tech support for the entire school year. Select the Support - Annual plan and enter code “EdTech50” during checkout.

How to Fix Search Not Working on Microsoft Edge

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

Searching the web is something we do every day. Whether you are searching from Edge's address bar, or have its homepage set to take you to your favorite search engine's website instead, you've likely gotten accustomed to the way you search on a daily basis. If that search experience has suddenly changed seemingly without warning, that's a clear sign that something is messing with Microsoft Edge's settings without your knowledge or consent.

This guide will help you make sure Edge is configured properly so that your search experience returns to normal once again.
Close-up image of a browser's address bar.

1 Clear History and Saved Data

The first order of business is making sure that your browser is not holding onto some outdated or bad data in the form of an old cookie, cached version of the website it may be trying to load, etc. Clearing this data allows your browser to load the websites you're asking it to load freshly as if it had never been there before.

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, select the menu in the top right, and select Settings.
    Microsoft Edge.
    Edge browser with menu open and settings highlighted.
  2. Select Privacy & security on the left, then select Choose what to clear on the right.
    Edge Settings with Privacy and security and Choose what to clear highlighted.
  3. Select the item categories you wish to clear, then select Clear.
    Clear browsing data with options and Clear highlightd.

    Setting Checkbox
    Browsing History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Cookies and saved website data Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    Cached data and files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Tabs I've set aside or recently closed Checked
    This clears tabs that you have set aside, as well as tabs that you've recently closed.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Autofill data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Media Licenses Unchecked
    Clears any saved media licenses. These are typically used for streaming sites that you may have purchased content from.
    Website Permissions Unchecked
    Clears any permission granted to web sites. These permissions include permissions to access your audio devices such as your mic, and location services.

2 Remove Problematic Extensions

Some browser extensions can cause your browser to behave abnormally. Removing any unwanted, unnecessary, or unused browser extensions can get your web browser running properly again.
  1. Open Microsoft Edge, then select the menu in the top right.
    Microsoft Edge.
    Microsoft Edge with 3 dots highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on Extensions.
    Edge menu with extensions highlighted. Screenshot
  3. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions:
    1. Mouse over the extension you want to remove and click on the Gear icon in the upper right hand corner. You want to remove any extension that mentions advertising, or ones that you just do not know how they got there.
      extension list with gear icon highlighted. Screenshot
    2. You will see the information for the extension show up. At the bottom, click on Uninstall.
      Extension information with uninstall highlighted. Screenshot
    3. There will be a confirmation window, click OK to finish uninstalling.
      Confirmation window with OK highlighted. Screenshot
    4. Sometimes you might get a tab open up in your browser asking why you are leaving, you can safely close the tab, by clicking on the X for the tab. 
      Browser tabs with X highlighted. Screenshot

It is a good idea to restart your browser to complete the removal of extensions. If you removed a malicious extension, there's a chance it may have changed your homepage settings.

3 Remove Potentially Unwanted Programs

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

PUPs, or "Potentially unwanted programs," often arrive bundled with your computer, or tag along with another software program you meant to install, but were part of a EULA or "Recommended Offer" you probably clicked right through. These are programs that don't really do anything good for you. Some of these programs can add unwanted browser toolbars that clutter your browser, track your web browsing, show additional advertisements, or change your search page and other related settings.
Example of a PUP installing a search bar

4 Verify All Microsoft Edge Settings

If your search experience hasn't returned to normal, the next step is to verify that all of Edge's settings are where they should be in order to provide you with the search experience you're familiar with. If any settings were previously 'hijacked' by a malicious extension and were not reverted back to what they were originally set to, your search experience may still not be right.

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, select the menu in the top right, and select Settings.
    Microsoft Edge.
    Edge browser with menu open and settings highlighted.
  2. Under the Open Microsoft Edge with heading, verify that your homepage settings are what you'd like for them to be.
    Edge homepage settings
  3. Scroll down and click View Advanced Settings.
    Edge advanced settings
  4. If Edge is set to "Show the home button" and "A specific page" is selected for use with that home button, verify the URL of the page it will load it isn't malicious.
    Edge advanced settings showing the start page

5 Try Your Search Page Again

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
    Microsoft Edge.
  2. Test things out to see if your search experience has returned to normal.
  3. If your search experience is still abnormal, we recommend that your machine be professionally diagnosed to determine the root cause of the issue.

We're here to help!

chat
Connect to a Tech Pro

Call or chat with a Tech Pro 24/7.

Searching the web is something we do every day. Whether you are searching from Edge's address bar, or have its homepage set to take you to your favorite search engine's website instead, you've likely gotten accustomed to the way you search on a daily basis. If that search experience has suddenly changed seemingly without warning, that's a clear sign that something is messing with Microsoft Edge's settings without your knowledge or consent.

This guide will help you make sure Edge is configured properly so that your search experience returns to normal once again.
Close-up image of a browser's address bar.

The first order of business is making sure that your browser is not holding onto some outdated or bad data in the form of an old cookie, cached version of the website it may be trying to load, etc. Clearing this data allows your browser to load the websites you're asking it to load freshly as if it had never been there before.

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, select the menu in the top right, and select Settings.
    Microsoft Edge.
    Edge browser with menu open and settings highlighted.
  2. Select Privacy & security on the left, then select Choose what to clear on the right.
    Edge Settings with Privacy and security and Choose what to clear highlighted.
  3. Select the item categories you wish to clear, then select Clear.
    Clear browsing data with options and Clear highlightd.

    Setting Checkbox
    Browsing History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Cookies and saved website data Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    Cached data and files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Tabs I've set aside or recently closed Checked
    This clears tabs that you have set aside, as well as tabs that you've recently closed.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Autofill data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Media Licenses Unchecked
    Clears any saved media licenses. These are typically used for streaming sites that you may have purchased content from.
    Website Permissions Unchecked
    Clears any permission granted to web sites. These permissions include permissions to access your audio devices such as your mic, and location services.
Some browser extensions can cause your browser to behave abnormally. Removing any unwanted, unnecessary, or unused browser extensions can get your web browser running properly again.
  1. Open Microsoft Edge, then select the menu in the top right.
    Microsoft Edge.
    Microsoft Edge with 3 dots highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on Extensions.
    Edge menu with extensions highlighted. Screenshot
  3. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions:
    1. Mouse over the extension you want to remove and click on the Gear icon in the upper right hand corner. You want to remove any extension that mentions advertising, or ones that you just do not know how they got there.
      extension list with gear icon highlighted. Screenshot
    2. You will see the information for the extension show up. At the bottom, click on Uninstall.
      Extension information with uninstall highlighted. Screenshot
    3. There will be a confirmation window, click OK to finish uninstalling.
      Confirmation window with OK highlighted. Screenshot
    4. Sometimes you might get a tab open up in your browser asking why you are leaving, you can safely close the tab, by clicking on the X for the tab. 
      Browser tabs with X highlighted. Screenshot

It is a good idea to restart your browser to complete the removal of extensions. If you removed a malicious extension, there's a chance it may have changed your homepage settings.

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

PUPs, or "Potentially unwanted programs," often arrive bundled with your computer, or tag along with another software program you meant to install, but were part of a EULA or "Recommended Offer" you probably clicked right through. These are programs that don't really do anything good for you. Some of these programs can add unwanted browser toolbars that clutter your browser, track your web browsing, show additional advertisements, or change your search page and other related settings.
Example of a PUP installing a search bar

If your search experience hasn't returned to normal, the next step is to verify that all of Edge's settings are where they should be in order to provide you with the search experience you're familiar with. If any settings were previously 'hijacked' by a malicious extension and were not reverted back to what they were originally set to, your search experience may still not be right.

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, select the menu in the top right, and select Settings.
    Microsoft Edge.
    Edge browser with menu open and settings highlighted.
  2. Under the Open Microsoft Edge with heading, verify that your homepage settings are what you'd like for them to be.
    Edge homepage settings
  3. Scroll down and click View Advanced Settings.
    Edge advanced settings
  4. If Edge is set to "Show the home button" and "A specific page" is selected for use with that home button, verify the URL of the page it will load it isn't malicious.
    Edge advanced settings showing the start page
  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
    Microsoft Edge.
  2. Test things out to see if your search experience has returned to normal.
  3. If your search experience is still abnormal, we recommend that your machine be professionally diagnosed to determine the root cause of the issue.