Introducing – and Managing – Microsoft Search in Bing through Office 365 ProPlus
Published Jan 22 2020 12:48 PM 29.3K Views


Based on customer feedback, we’re making a few changes to the plan to roll out the extension for Microsoft Search in Bing. Based on these changes, the rollout will not start with Version 2002. For more information about these changes, read this announcement.

Customers tell us they want easier ways to manage their environments while delivering more productivity value to their employees. This includes helping people quickly find the information they need, a potentially frustrating prospect given the sheer and constantly growing volume of content within an organization. To help IT solve this -- and to do so in a way that is easy for you to manage -- we are offering the Microsoft Search in Bing extension to Office 365 ProPlus customers starting at the end of February.1,2 To help you prepare, we want to share guidance on how you can configure Office 365 ProPlus updates to best meet your organization’s search needs.  


Microsoft Search in Bing


Bing is a gateway to Microsoft Search, a unified enterprise search solution that provides contextual work-related information using data sources in Office 365 including SharePoint, Microsoft OneDrive for Business, and Exchange. Microsoft Search delivers personalized results surfaced by the Microsoft Graph to make search in your organization more effective, increase productivity, and save everyone time.


Employees can search for colleagues by typing the title, team name, or even office location into the address bar. They can also search for office location and get answers that show floor plans for directions. They can even get definitions for company acronyms.


As part of Microsoft 365, Microsoft Search is on by default for all Microsoft apps that support it.  This update is designed to enable an accessible and familiar entry point for your users: a search engine.



Deploy Microsoft Search through Office 365 ProPlus

You have told us that you want a single tool to deploy all desktop components of Office 365. To simplify the process of deploying Microsoft Search, we’re making the Microsoft Search in Bing extension available through Office 365 ProPlus with version 2002, alongside Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and Teams. This extension will be installed with new installations of Office 365 ProPlus and when existing installations are updated. If Bing is already the default search engine, the extension will not get installed. 


Honor your users’ search preferences

If you don’t want to deploy the extension to your users, you can exclude it by using the Office Deployment Tool or Group Policy. There are also ways to exclude it if you’re using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (current branch) or Microsoft Intune. For more information about how to manage the extension, read this article. 


Even if you deploy the Microsoft Search in Bing extension with Office 365 ProPlus, users will still have an opportunity to choose their search engine. The first time your users open Google Chrome after the extension for Microsoft Search in Bing is installed, they will have an option to change back their search preferences by taking a few simple steps.


Mockup of the search toggle in Chrome browsers (subject to change).Mockup of the search toggle in Chrome browsers (subject to change).


Learn more about the user benefits of this change by downloading the Microsoft Search in Bing Adoption Kit (zip file) and this user adoption guide. As always, please visit our Tech Community page to learn more about Office 365 ProPlus, and share your feedback and insights



  1. This change is enabled for new and existing Office 365 ProPlus installations in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As we add locations, we will notify admins through the Message Center.

  2. The extension will be released to the Monthly Channel in late February 2020. Release for the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) and Semi-Annual Channel are coming soon.


Iron Contributor

This is ridiculous Microsoft, don't do this! If we wanted this we would have already done it. What IT Pro is asking for this change? 

Brass Contributor

"A browser hijacker is defined as a “form of unwanted software that modifies a web browser’s settings without the user’s permission.” The result is the placement of unwanted advertising into the browser, and possibly the replacement of an existing home page or search page with the hijacker page. The idea is to make users visit certain websites whether they want to or not so the hijacker enjoys higher advertising revenue. Browser hijackers may also contain spyware to obtain banking information and other sensitive data."


This is deplorable, injecting malware into your enterprise customers.

Brass Contributor

This essentially turns Office ProPlus into malware, erasing the good will that has been building up on our campus and even all but destroying the reputation of Bing which has made some amazing advances with the new integrated search that otherwise people may have entertained. 

Acting on third party software, with out explicit user consent gives Microsoft’s detractors the easy win with righteous indignation and moral outrage.

It is incredibly sad to see such a great product as ProPlus and even the new promise of Bing thrown under the biz dev bus.

Copper Contributor

This is so unacceptable.  Absolutely, utterly, totally disgusting.  I can't believe you think this is an acceptable business practice.

Silver Contributor

This has a vibe similar to self-service power apps purchase debacle. How about making it disabled by default in that GPO and let organizations decide if they want to enable it? And to push this service further do more advertisements here in blogs, during conferences, ms mechanics videos, etc.

Copper Contributor

One of the worst decision ever.


Brass Contributor

This has to be one of the most user-hostile ideas ever concocted by Microsoft. Absolutely ridiculous.

Copper Contributor

This is abusive behaviour using the OS/Office monopoly to force users to use other sub-optimal products. Microsoft knows they got corporate users without any option but they don't seem to understand the hostility it creates among the tech savvy community. More and more of them are experimenting with Linux and pushing non-Microsoft and open systems whenever they can so they don't get locked in to this kind of situation. Microsoft seems to be planning to bypass the admins and serve a  full closed ecosystem to end users directly where they can exercise full control and charge for everything. But they must remember that other businesses are not there just to make money for Microsoft. Some have woken up to the reality and many will do soon.

Not applicable


I agree.


In my opinion, this is again a bit of an overreach. It’s changing a setting on a users PC that they typically would not expect an Office product to set, in a different third party’s software. This used to happen a lot in the past with third-party tools changing browser defaults to generate revenue, it was called Browser Hijacking.


Microsoft might be doing this because they think it will give the user a better experience but doing it by default without even asking the user or the organisation is too much. I’m pretty sure Google won’t be too pleased with this either.


It’s not that it’s a terrible feature, it’s about the user and organisational choice. This should be an opt-in, not an opt-out.


My thoughts if anyone is interested:

Just here for the drama :D

Brass Contributor

Throw my hat in the ring of people that thinks this is a poor decision on a number of levels. The maximum I find acceptable is simply adding the extension without changing the default search engine and the method by which it can be changed--though I think that's still shady, it at least doesn't forcedly change the behavior of your users' browsers. No one is remotely interested in having their browser changed in any way. They have had it set that way for a reason and the most you can do is advertise that Bing includes MS search which has the capability to drive value. It is not yours to push people to see that value. I get it, I understand the value in MS Search, but this is much much too far and should be changed. Any focus group or survey could have told you that this was not a good idea. Even MVPs are stating that this is a poor choice.


I've been more positive about the trajectory of Microsoft in recent years, but this seems to reveal some sickly familiar attitudes to encroach in places that are not theirs to touch. It makes me think that the positive things I've seen are only a façade to the same old Microsoft. And it's quite ironic to me that there has been so much talk of adoption of things that have value, like Teams or even Bing Search, but this isn't adoption, this is force-feeding.


I look forward to the backpedal on this.

Copper Contributor
It beggars belief that the powers-that-be at Microsoft signed off on this incredibly stupid idea. This is the kind of behaviour we try to prevent in the workplace — and have to repair when it happens. I already have users complaining. Please, please, please reverse this stupid idea!
Copper Contributor

Please do not force this on us. Most IT admins remove or limit using Bing as a search engine and Edge as the browser. Make this an opt-in feature instead and let IT admins manage their own environments and policies.


If anyone is interested in blocking this through GPO you can download the latest ADMX files from here:

and enable the policy under Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2016 (Machine)\Updates\Don't install extension for Microsoft Search in Bing that makes Bing the default search engine



Copper Contributor

As if my opinion of Microsoft could get any lower, then they do this. Microsoft thinks you're too stupid to choose a search engine, so they'll do it for you. 

Copper Contributor

@michaelderby79 , they're not choosing a browser for you...they're forcing the search engine in Chrome to be Bing instead of Google.  Which is so much worse!

Copper Contributor

@Rickey Roach I edited my comment, meant to say search engine. 

Copper Contributor

@michaelderby79 Roger that! :)

Steel Contributor

@Office_365_Team Does this apply to Office on Mac, or only on the Windows platform?  You don't have any mitigation strategies for mac, so hoping this is only Windows-based deployments.

Copper Contributor

Forcing anything regarding how people browse and search the web is a historically bad idea. You should know better than this. Pushing this will do nothing but sow confusion and ultimately hate.

Copper Contributor

By all means, show some respect for your customers by:

- providing a use case / marketing blurb, and

- offering the option during install, and then

- respecting the informed decision that they then make.

But please, please, please .... stop this kind of unethical application hijacking behaviour that seems to have become the corporate norm.

Copper Contributor

Who signed off on this at Microsoft, as an MSP we'll be flooded by calls from users, users don't like change. period. Please make it a tenant wide opt in through the GUI or power shell, but we're not able to redeploy office for hundreds of customers with hundreds of users, we simply don't have the resources for this on such a short notice. 

Copper Contributor

This is a terrible idea and an ABUSE OF POWER! This decision needs to be REVERSED before it is implemented.

Copper Contributor

This is unacceptable! This change should be cancelled. You guys really want us to cancel our memberships and walk away from 365 services. 

Copper Contributor

What a bunch of crap!  What gives you the right to make changes to non Microsoft software on my systems?


Copper Contributor

Finally a patch to make Chrome work like Edge.  Now all we need is the firefox plugin.

Copper Contributor

This is a disgrace, we are now planning to move 3700 users as an annoyed Microsoft Partner to Gmail.


Seems this was the straw that broke the camels back.


Customers are fed up with this crap, search is a choice and personal, I hope the EU and the U.K. fine them for this stupid change.

Copper Contributor

The ADMX files does not seem to work if you are using Server 2012 R2 or below. I can see the 'Microsoft Office 2016 (Machine) folder and some policies but not the one relevant for this. So does that means companies who haven't upgraded to 2016 and above has no option? This is getting ridiculous. :facepalm:


This is what the installation instructions says:

This download includes the Group Policy Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) for Office 365 ProPlus, Office 2019, and Office 2016 and also includes the OPAX/OPAL files for the Office Customization Tool (OCT) for Office 2016.

Update: Okay so it seems this is because I used the 64 bit download of the GPO. When I copied the files from the 32 bit download, the setting shows up. Server is 64 bit so didn't think much of this. Hope this helps anyone coming across this.

Steel Contributor
@pasan-100 An ADMX is just a collection of registry settings at its core.  You loaded the file in the central store repository on the domain controllers, correct?  If you edit the ADMX in a text editor, you should be able to see all of the settings.
Copper Contributor

@ph_ly Thanks for that. The closest I could find after searching for number of keywords is:


<policy name="L_PreventBingInstall" class="Machine" displayName="$(string.L_PreventBingInstall)" explainText="$(string.L_PreventBingInstallExplain)" key="software\policies\microsoft\office\16.0\common\officeupdate" valueName="preventbinginstall">
<parentCategory ref="L_Updates" />
<supportedOn ref="windows:SUPPORTED_Windows7" />
<decimal value="1" />
<decimal value="0" />


But surely I wouldn't need to push out a registry change when the GP download was supposed to list it plainly. I am just wondering if this is an issue that only I am having.


Edit: To clarify, I am not seeing a setting called 'Prevent Bing install' anywhere. Hopefully this is just me being stupid and someone can point out what I am doing wrong.

Iron Contributor

Microsoft Search for Bing is just plainly bad. I just tried it out again but it's not useful as a company search engine. Whenever I search for a company/business specific term, I still have to click on "Show results from <My company name>". No, thanks. Poor decision to roll this out as a Browser extension.


If you're for some reason not ready to update your ADMX, you could also just use the following registry key:



Silver Contributor

As they explain in the recent blog post it will only expand company results, if there are no confident results in company data. But if there are, it should default to company data view.

Copper Contributor

Just adding weight to what has already been expressed. We are a managed service provider and I can only begin to imagine the amount of service calls we will receive because "Google doesn't come up anymore when I open my browser" and that's without the additional calls to say they are unable to find what they are looking for due to Bing's unhelpful, irrelevant, badly displayed results. Stop it Microsoft!

Copper Contributor

This is going to force us to put in a new gpo to block the update  or block it on sccm so our machine never see the update. This is. It cool at all Microsoft. 

Steel Contributor
We're a university with roughly 50,000 students and employees. Office 365 ProPlus can be installed on thousands upon thousands of our users personal devices that we do not manage. We can block this on managed devices with SCCM, GPOs, Intune, etc... But there's not tenant-wide toggle or O365 cloud-based configuration policy that will let us prevent this on personal devices. So, Microsoft, explain to me why you think it's okay to hijack the search engine behavior of 3rd software and leave admins with zero recourse to prevent said changes on a significant number of devices. I'll be right here waiting, please explain.
Silver Contributor

I wish for once during these fancy conferences Satya would address something like this instead of a usual PR bla bla bullsh*t which is becoming annoying. Same thing over and over. "Responsibilty, consciousness..". How is this responsible?

Silver Contributor

@ajc196good catch. I was wondering if OCPS has received a setting to block this. Apparently not.

Copper Contributor

Is it April 1?  A Joke?  Browser hijacking your customers?  I've spent the last 25 years battling this kind of malware.  Someone at Microsoft who receives an actual paycheck to THINK about direction for the company, thinks this is a good idea?  This is exactly the kind of aberrant corporate behavior that pushes customers to look for alternatives, whenever and wherever they can.


I certainly understand there may be advantages to what you suggest regarding searching with Bing across the organization.  But that should be an OPT-IN choice.   I should not have to suddenly commit resources to prevent your company from taking over whatever software I have installed in my computer.


Stupid is a good place to start to describe this kind of decision on Microsoft's part. 


Yours truly, one of the admins who will be wasting his time because of this.

Copper Contributor

What will the effect be on other Chromium-based browsers, such as Yandex Browser? I've noticed many websites misidentify it as Chrome 78 from the metadata. Forcing an unapproved add-on into a Russian-language browser is likely to cause catastrophic crashes and clearly Bing cannot compete with Yandex on Russian-language searches. It uses a wide variety of bespoke add-ons, I find it hard to believe this scenario has been tested and what language will the browser choice appear in on a US English installation running the Russian version of Yandex? I can think of another Chromium-based browser that locks out add-ons, will it just ignore it, or can I expect error messages?

Silver Contributor

Based on Footnotes they are not going to install it in Russia, at least at first. Also, websites identify browsers by user-agent id, which is used only by websites. Extension shouldn't be installed based on that and so far in this blog post and linked document they only mention Google Chrome as a target browser, which is the most used browser.

Silver Contributor

Funny how this article has so many views and comments and only one like, and no joyful comments. Haven't seen anyone anticipating this in the forums, reddit, etc. 


We have loaded admx yesterday and on 2016 server this option shows up.

Brass Contributor

It would be nice if Microsoft acted even acknowledged the massive negative response this decisions has had on Microsoft official channels like this blog, the deploy-office github, and on uservoice. What the hell is the point of opening these user channels and asking for feedback if you aren't even going to acknowledge us? This make unacceptable decision much worse if they are just going to plug their ears about it while they jam it down our throats. 

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