Can you change default search engine on Surface Go with Windows 10 S?

Can you change default search engine on Surface Go with Windows 10 S?

Best answer: With the Surface Go in Windows 10 S Mode, you're unable to change the search provider you use in the address bar. You're stuck with Bing unless you opt out of S Mode, which you probably should.Light yet powerful: Surface Go ($387 at Amazon)

Why would you want to change your search engine?

While Bing is perfectly serviceable, it isn't the only search engine out there, and most people have their own favorite. I like to use Google because it ties into all the services I use on a daily basis, but you may prefer Yahoo or even DuckDuckGo. The point is, you should be able to choose what search engine you want to use.

When you first unwrap your shiny new Surface Go though, that option is not available. Because Microsoft wanted to create a walled garden with S Mode, you can only access apps on the Windows Store and subsequently, can't download browsers that aren't on the Microsoft store. You also can't change the search engine on the browser that the Surface Go ships with — Edge.

What is S-mode?

S-Mode is Microsoft's attempt to limit its Surface Go tablets to accept apps from its store. I can understand why it would want to do that. When you look at the success of the iPad, one of the key components is that each of the apps is made specifically for that device. When you can dictate what apps go on a device you can, in theory, make sure they are safe and compatible. You also won't be able to install anything that'll slow down the Surface Go and all its processes.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, that isn't what people who buy Windows generally want. They like the openness of the platform and the ability to choose what programs are available for it.

So what can you do to change it?

There are two ways to change your search engine, though both require a change in the system. The simplest way is to just turn off S-mode on your Surface Go. This may not be for everyone, but if you turn off S-mode through this simple process then the option to change your search in the address bar will become available.

The other way — and the one I have been using and enjoying — is to download the new Edge browser built on Chromium. Now that it's built on Google's platform the browser is fast and powerful, with access to all of Chromes vast library of extensions. It is still in Beta right now but even in these early builds, it feels like the right choice for the Surface Go.

Other cool accessories for the Surface Go

There are plenty of excellent accessories out there for the Surface Go so we thought we would give you a little taste of what you can pick up.

Surface Go Type cover ($130 at Amazon)

While the Surface Go is an excellent tablet, to make it an excellent productivity device you will need the type cover to tie everything together. Plus, it looks smashing in Burgundy.

Surface Go Pen ($68 at Amazon)

If you are interested in making art on your Surface Go, or just like taking handwritten notes, then you may want to invest in a Surface Pen. With over 4,000 points of pressure, it's insanely accurate and easy to use.

James Bricknell

James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.