How to change default address bar search engine to custom search engine - IE6.


  • Hello - I am trying to change the default address bar search engine to my organization's internal enterprise search engine but cannot figure out how to add a custom search engine not listed in{SUB_RFC1766}/srchasst/srchcust.htm.  Our goal is for our users to be able to enter a word (example: human resources) into the IE address bar and have the word be sent as a query parameter to our internal google appliance in order to get organizationally relevant results.  We have a url that works fine but can't get IE to use it as the default address bar search URL.  I know it's possible because the spyware hackers are notorious for hijacking the address bar search engine to point to shady advertising search sites.   Our machines are WinXP with IE6.
    Is it possible using the IEAK maybe?
    Any help is appreciated.

    Monday, June 16, 2008 6:16 PM

All replies

  • Monday, June 16, 2008 6:50 PM
  • I actually tried this w/o success.  I believe this solution also requires the user prefix their search with the search engine alias, example: gogle "human resources"

    Monday, June 16, 2008 7:07 PM
  • Hi,



    SearchURLs - create a url for your company's internal search engine and make it the default searchhook url.


    Create a shortcut for your company's search engine. Users then can prefix their Address bar searches with the shortcut (any address bar, IE, Windows Explorer, Tasks bar).

    eg. mycompany invoices for june - your company search

    g bill gates - google search

    msdn bill gates - msdn search


    Covenants - the Yahoo toolbar (and a few others) hijack the IE Search Hook. You will find an option in the above utility under the tools menu to repair the search hook.


    Network distribution - You will find a Save As... option on the file menu to save selected search engines as an Adm file snippet which you can copy and paste to your Adm scripts. Note that the licensing is for private, non-commercial use.




    Monday, June 16, 2008 10:02 PM

    The prefixed search works fine but I'm unable to get the first option (SearchURLs) to work so that the default (no prefix) search page is my company's search url which is what we need.  Do I need to create a search provider?  How is this done?

    Thanks for your help,


    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 4:32 PM
  • Go to this webpage.  You can create your own search provider in the yellow box by following the instructions.

    After you click "Install" check the box that says "make this default".  Then IE7 will search that provider when it can't find something you typed in the address bar.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:01 PM
  • Hi Jeff,


    The OP is using IE6.


    There are 2 types of searches performed from the Address bar.


    As you type into the Address bar(with a default search url set) the dropdown list of typed urls will appear below. At the very bottom of the list your see

    Search for "search terms"  (where search terms is what you have typed )


    You have to scroll down the list and select the Search for from the list. IE will then use the default SearchURL to perform the search otherwise IE will try to form a uri, do a dns lookup and if no uri is found perform a 404 search with the default Search Page url.


    If you just press enter after typing in say "search terms", IE will do a 404 search using the search engine that is defined in the Search Page setting. (or the default SearchScope setting in IE7). There are settings on the Advanced tab of Internet Options that determine the Address bar searching behavior.


    SearchURL's in IE5-8 are made from query strings that substitute a token value in the query string with the search term entered by the user.


    SearchURL's use the %s token

    SearchScopes use the {searchTerms} token

    The Live toolbar use the %d token


    Here are some example SearchURL's



    an equivalent SearchScope for Alexa would be, for example{searchTerms}


    So a SearchURL for your company's intranet may look something like




    (Note: it is a good idea to have a separate folder on your server for the search node so that you can quickly change the default page (say from Default.asp to Default.aspx)) without breaking your SearchURLs installed on client machines.)

    The above example may also be written as http://sydney/mycompanyintranet/search/Default.asp?q=%s


    So which is the best way for you to implement this in your company?


    Unfortunately searchurls are difficult for novice users to grasp. This is perhaps why MS has moved over to SearchScopes.

    The easiest way woud be to have a standard shortcut keyword, say just the letter s.


    Users then could then do an address bar search of your intranet by entering s search terms. (They would not have to scroll down and select the Search for "search terms" from the address bar typed urls list.)

    The disadvantage of this is that your uses will require some training to learn to prefix their address bar searches with "s" or "g" or "msdn". The Address Bar shortcuts manager utility will display a listing of shortcuts by entering Search4 ? in the Address bar. You an also invoke the default SearchURL by entering Search4 search terms in the address bar. (instead of selecting Search for "search terms" from the dropdown list)


    Note that SearchURLs and SearchScopes only take one Parameter. If you want a more advanced search interface that can accept a number of user defined parameters then a Side Search bar, for the IE Search pane or a dedicated Explorer Bar is the way to go.







    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 10:38 PM
  • Thanks for your thorough response.


    We would like to be able to type a word like "schedule", "hr", "policies", etc. in the address bar and have that word passed to our internal google appliance instead of msn live or any of the other default search engines on the ie customize list.


    The reason we are trying to get this to work is we find dns shortcuts (example: "page" is a dns alias that points to an iis server that redirects to the full url http://ourpagingserver/folder/default.htm) very useful and intuitive for our users but obviously we don't have dns shortcuts for all keywords so a useful fall back is to have the word sent to our internal search page where the user at least  gets related links.


    Unfortunately due to the nature of my organization we cannot train our people to prefix their searches with searchurl alias ("search shuttle" or "s shuttle", etc.). 

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 3:03 PM
  • Hi,


    You can do this with the Address Bar shortcuts manager.


    Open the utility.


    Press the New button.


    Enter your keyword. - page (address bar shortcuts are not case sensitive)


    Enter your url - http://ourpagingserver/folder/default.htm

    A message box will display - The Search URL does not contain the search token '%s'. Do you want to continue? Yes


    Press the Apply button.




    Go to Internet Explorer (no need to restart the browser. Changes to SearchURLs are effective immediately).


    Enter page{space} (a trailing space is necessary to force IE to look-up the word in the searchurls list in the registry)


    IE should navigate to your page - http://ourpagingserver/folder/default.htm




    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:23 PM