How to customize the search in Windows Vista Instant Search Box

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vistaIf you are accustomed to make a lot of searches in the Internet by using famous search engines such as Google and Yahoo or famous online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia, then this little hack is what you have been looking for a long time! Your quest is over. As a matter of fact, now you can personalise the Instant Search Box to search whatever you want in the Web. (To know what I am talking about just press Start and look at the bottom of the screen. You should see the Search box enabling you to search for files and documents in your computer).

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Search Box type gpedit.msc and hit Enter. (the command gpedit.msc is just available in Business, Enterprise and Ultimate…sorry to all Vista Home Premium guys…)
  3. Go to User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Instant Search – Custom Instant Search Internet Search Provider policy setting.
  4. Now click on Properties.
  5. Under the Setting tab enable the setting for Custom Instant Search Internet Search Provider.
  6. Under “The String or DLL resource from which to load the string…” type Google Search Engine.
  7. Under “The URL to use when invoking the custom Internet Search… ” type http://www.google.com/search?q=%w (if instead you want to add other search engines, type:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%w ; http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%w)
  8. Click OK.
  9. Reboot the computer for the change to take effect.

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