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[Windows 7 Spotlight!] Search the Internet with the Windows 7 Start Menu Search

Windows 7 Tweak

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#1 Computerpro2


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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:36 PM

[Windows 7 Spotlight!] Search the Internet with the Windows 7 Start Menu Search

The Start Menu Search is one of the best features included in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Generally the Windows 7 Start Menu Search can only be used to search for programs and files by default. Fortunately, a simple change, you can use the Start Menu Search to trigger Internet searches as well. These searches will be performed using your default browser, so if you happen to use Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, that’s what it will use.

To configure the Start Menu Search to search the internet as well as your programs and files, we will need to use a commonly used administration tool called Group Policy Editor. In corporate environments this management console is used to set policies for computers and users. However, when used on a single PC or “locally,” it can be used in a similar manner to set policies for the local computer and currently logged-in user.

Here’s how to configure Windows 7 to offer Internet searching from the Start Menu Search.

1. Type “Group Policy” (without quotes) into the Start Menu Search box – it will say “Edit group policy” under the Control Panel header – click that to open the Group Policy Editor.

2. Next, expand the “User Configuration,” “Administrative Templates,” “Start Menu and Taskbar” on the left under the “Local Computer Policy” header.

3. Now look for “Add Search Internet link to Start Menu” in the right hand side of the Group Policy Editor – It will most likely be the topmost setting listed.

4. Next, double click “Add Search Internet link to Start Menu” and click the “Enabled” radio button and click “Apply” and then “OK.”

5. Once you’ve done that you can close the Group Policy Editor.

Now when you search with the Start Menu Search, you’ll see a new Search the Internet link appear just above the search box, complete with an icon that matches your default browser. By default, Start Menu searches will still be performed against local files and programs. But if you tap the Search the Internet link, your default browser will open and the search string will be run against your default Internet search engine.

Tip: You can simply tap SHIFT+TAB to select the Search the Internet link without taking your hands off the keyboard. Then just tap ENTER to launch the search.
William Johnson - Winxperts Administrator - Xbox Live Gamertag: Computerpro2 - Twitter:@Computerpro2

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