Windows Search Guide in IE7

Hi, my name is Jane Maliouta and I am a Program Manager on the IE Team working on the Windows Search Guide.

Throughout the development cycle, we've blogged about Search in IE7. The Windows Search Guide is part of Instant Search, a new feature in IE7. The search guide page displays search providers that users can select to customize the list in the Instant Search drop down. The providers displayed in the Windows Search Guide are the most popular for each region based on 3rd party website traffic data. Over time these providers will be updated to reflect the most up-to-date popularity. 

Accessing the Windows Search Guide is easy. Simply go to the drop down menu of the IE7 Instant Search and select Find More Providers:

Find More Search Providers

In the latest version of the Search Guide, we’ve added a really cool feature called Create Your Own. You can use this feature to add custom search providers to Instant Search. Just follow 5 easy steps to install your favourite search provider, if it’s not already listed on the Search Guide. Any search providers that display the search terms in the URL are supported by the feature. There is also a way for you to tweak the character encoding if you find that some of the characters do not appear correctly after the search provider has been installed. (By default, the feature uses UTF-8, so unless you know the exact character encoding of the provider, I recommend you stick with the default as its most common)

Create Your Own is present in all English guides and will be soon available in the localized versions of the Windows Search Guide as they are released.

Windows Search Guide

So far, we've released the Windows Search Guide in the following localized versions: Japanese, German, Spanish, French, English–North America, English–International, and English-United Kingdom. For those of you who are waiting for the final localized versions of IE7 to be released, the available search guides also work with RC1.

The English guides have the new look and feel along with the new Create Your Own feature, as displayed above. As we continue to release localized versions of IE7, look for the new updates to the Localized Search guides to match the English ones.

If you have not yet tried Windows Search Guide, go check it out and let me know what you think.


Jane Maliouta
Program Manager

Comments (38)

  1. clll says:

    The true and evil monster second kill free exchange evil monster world to order card, need of come in quickly!!!  <a href="">game</a&gt;

  2. game kid says:

    Interesting, you guys re-formatted the list and even got the Google logo (curiously absent the last time I checked, among one or two others).

    I can also confirm that "Create Your Own" works, after trying it with a big video site recently bought by a big search/ad-banner company…

  3. Mark Sowul says:

    That’s great that you added the "create your own" feature.  I was using Tweak UI to do it.  

    One I like to use is for articles in the knowledge base.;en-us;TEST

  4. vvas says:

    why didn’t u implement self-blankness of the search bar after the quiry was executed? it’s annoying having strings like "hot-lolitos" hanging at my eyes level when i found what i’d been looking for. and yet why there is no option like "open query results in a new tab" or something? hope u listen to community, men

  5. Tom Classick says:

    Jane, you seem like a nice person and I don’t know where else to go, so here’s my question.  When I try to access Google through IE7 I am unable and the curser reads ‘Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.’  The same happens with ESPN although all other sites (20-30) no problem.  Am I doomed?

  6. Tom Classick says:

    Forgot to tell you, I am on a wireless connection.

  7. @vvas: The search term isn’t cleared so you can easily search for the same term using a different provider via the dropdown.

    To open search results in a new tab, press Alt+Enter after entering your search term.  Alt+Enter also works in the address bar to open the typed address in a new tab.

    This and many other shortcuts are listed on the about:tabs page (expand the "Show more tab shortcuts" item)and blogged here:

  8. Phylyp says:

    Question: when I visit some sites (e.g. Wikipedia), the dropdown next to the search button gets an orange glow. I see that there is a temporary new addition to the search providers dropdown.

    Can we have a little more detail on this please? What does it take for a site to expose such a search functionality to IE7? How can I implement it on my webapp/intranet pages?

  9. Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis says:

    @Tom Classick:

    Have you tried clearing your IE cache? Also, make sure you try the Google homepage: .

  10. Dave Sussman says:

    Here’s something that needs looking at; if you start IE7 with the -nohome command line parameter the search doesn’t work. Create any page/tab, even about:blank, and it works. Very annoying.

  11. Bas says:


    Aaron posted about that a while ago. It’s a matter of adding a <link> element that points to your search description file. Look for ‘search discovery’ here:

  12. dazzle says:

    You can also create and manage your own search plugins at

  13. Bas says:

    By the way, for a future release/update, I’d like to see the ‘open in new tab’ arrow that you get when hovering over a favorites item implemented in more places, like in RSS feeds, History, and in the search dropdown menu.

    I can’t seem to find a way now to open your search results in a new tab if you want to use a different search provider than the currently selected one. ALT+ENTER opens it in a new tab but uses the currently selected search provider, but when selecting a different search provider from the dropdown it automatically starts the search, in the current tab.

  14. It is interesting this blog about Windows Search Guide in IE7 and how to add own search provider (…search for TEST..).

    If it is possible to ask IE7 Team member for Add a button to customize Toolbars for translate text and Web Page from English to Italian (or other language).

    Best Regard

  15. Bas says:

    A babelfish add-on, eh? That’s not a bad idea for the contest.


  16. Arieta says:

    Is there a way to add search providers without having to go to the Microsoft site? It would be appriciated.

  17. I did for some months (feb. 11th 2006) ago wrote a danish localized guide with the topic "How to create your own danish search engine plugin for IE 7.0 beta " (only in danish)

    I made some plugins for danish Libraries, Wikipedia (danish), danish dictionaries, MSN Search (danish) etc.

    It’s was simple to use the OpenSearch formats  to creating a plugin

  18. krishna says:

    This feature is really great and useful. Was thinking why this wasnt there in the previous versions! Thanks a lot guys

  19. William Tan says:

    Speaking of search… http://IDNSearch.Net provides a collaborative directory of IDN examples which is great for demonstrating IE7’s IDN capabilities.

    I need to create a search provider just like I did for Firefox too..

  20. Dominic Self says:

    The ‘Create Your Own’ feature is fantastic and I’ve already used it to add sites such as Urban Dictionary which are not *quite* mainstream enough to feature on default lists. Thanks!

  21. Tony,

    Thanks man.  Have you heard the podcast interview that Martin and I did of the IE7 product team? last week?

    Check it out here:

  22. Ralph says:

    Are there limitations to the



    I’m trying to get this to work, but not having luck.

    1.) I’m calling it on an input button’s click.

    2.) The domain is the same as the page calling it.

    3.) ?anything else I need?

  23. Andy H says:

    When you run I.E.7 for the first time it asks you whether you want to keep your existing search provider. If you say yes, you’re given the MS offering, regardless of which search engine was being used previously. Someone who, for example, uses the Google toolbar is going to expect that this means Google will be the search provider.

    How on earth did this get past basic testing? The wording needs changing.

  24. Jane [MSFT] says:

    @ Ralph

    What’s the problem you are seeing?

    Here is an example of how I use window.external.AddSearchProvider:

    <INPUT TYPE="button" VALUE="Live Search"


    LiveSearch.xml needs to be located in the same folder, or you can specify the path to the xml file: http://jane/files/LiveSearch.xml

    Hope this helps.

  25. Lucho G says:

    I have a funny one for you. Using Firefox as default browser, launch IE7, click the "find more providers" from the search box. Now watch the page being loaded in Firefox.

  26. Ed says:

    Is there a way to remove the search box? I’m already using a toolbar so it’s kinda redundant.

    Also, it would be nice if the Find box could move out of the way if it is over text you are seaching for, as this inevitably happens to me everytime I search text.

    OR even better, allow you to use the Search box as a Find box.  That would actually be nifty.

  27. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Ed: At, you can find a tweak to remove the search box.  You can also find a great inline Find Addon.

  28. katarina katz says:

    ie7 won’t start at my home page – it always starts with the ie7 welcome page.  i only installed ie7 tonight & i am already just about ready to uninstall it.  i want it to start on the page i choose, not some piece of crap you guys might want to force me to see

  29. Jane [MSFT] says:

    @ Katarina

    Try going through the steps on the IE7 Welcome page (selecting the search provider, continuing a tour or not).

    After you complete all the steps, the home page should load every time you open a new instance of IE.

  30. For many many years I’ve been one to first edit the registry to get my "prefix" search working in IE.  For example, "g Xbox 360" would immediately redirect to google and search for Xbox 360.

    Then TweakUI for Xp came out, and made it even easier (a nice GUI to do it).

    The cool thing about IE7 is that it will search without having the prefix.  You don’t have to enter anything in the SearchBox.  Instead, enter at least two words in the URL area and hit Enter.  IE7 will use your default provider and search for those terms.

  31. Chris Hester says:

    I could not add a new default search engine when I installed IE7 at home. I got a JavaScript error, and the form stopped me from entering any text. I have documented this, along with other niggles you guys might want to look at, in my post called <a href="">Installing IE7 Final</a>.

  32. Natalie says:

    I have the same problem with always starting at IE7 start page. I have been through all the steps you told Katrina, over and over again. I selected my search engine,etc. but still get the same start page. I do not want to go through this every time I use ie7. How can I stop it?

  33. Grisu says:

    What I miss in this feature is to configure the Search.

    E.g. at the Google Search, I am led to instead of as I leave in Austria.

    I would like to have the ability to customize my searches:

    URL, number of results a.s.o. would be nice to have.

    Best regards

  34. zi says:

    can ie7 be used with (w2k) windows 2000?

  35. david says:

    I want an option that removes the live search box. I do not want it to come up at all. Also, can you let me move the address bar down to the “file edit view” row. It is easy to do this in ie6.



  36. Rob says:

    I have followed the following document to create a custom adm with four perviders

    There is one typo [string] should be [strings]

    But all i get when I add this is the last one of the four being added to IE

    POLICY !!PopulateSearchProviderList

    #if version >= 4



    EXPLAIN !!IE_Explain_PopulateSearchProviderList

    KEYNAME "SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSearchScopes"

    VALUENAME Version



    KEYNAME "SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSearchScopes{3A2F4E12-4D69-498D-AF31-E41FF7A0EC42}"

    VALUENAME DisplayName  VALUE "BBC"

    VALUENAME URL          VALUE "{searchTerms}&go=Search"




    KEYNAME "SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSearchScopes{64375051-D089-423A-BE58-3FF1F5E52935}"

    VALUENAME DisplayName  VALUE "Open Directory"

    VALUENAME URL          VALUE "{searchTerms}"




    KEYNAME "SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSearchScopes{45A2CEC9-BF83-40A4-869F-D4E69D6FE1E6}"

    VALUENAME DisplayName  VALUE "Wikipedia (English)"

    VALUENAME URL          VALUE "{searchTerms}"




    KEYNAME "SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSearchScopes{6A24DD49-0903-40A7-837B-3A84AAB0FFFA}"

    VALUENAME DisplayName  VALUE "Google UK"

    VALUENAME URL          VALUE "{searchTerms}&btnG=Search&meta="



    Could you explane what im not quite understanding from the documentation to get this to work



  37. Jon says:

    Ok, I am obviously the only one having this problem.  When i do a search and try to click on the particular link, IE7 redirects me, every time to some where els.  Can someone help me out?

  38. Jane [MSFT] says:

    @zi IE7 is compatible with Windows XP and Server 2003.

    For more information, please go to

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