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Start menu search on Windows 10 with Google!

spikespaz profile image Jacob Birkett Updated on ・4 min read

Search Deflector

Note: This is quite an old post. For updated information, you should simply be able to Google the name of the software, Search Deflector. Several other writers have covered this project better than I have, go read their articles!

I have just released a new version of my project, Search Deflector, which I would consider to be functional and ready for public use. You should keep reading for some information about it, or if you can guess what it does from the title, go download it!

Please don't forget to star the repository if this helps you!

GitHub logo spikespaz / search-deflector

A small program that forwards searches from Cortana to your preferred browser and search engine.

Search Deflector

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Search Deflector is a small system utility that redirects searches made from the start menu or Cortana to whatever browser and search engine you prefer, removing ties with Microsoft Edge and Bing.

This software allows you to perform faster web searches by just tapping the Windows key, and typing your search. Hit enter, or click one of the results in the right panel. This is faster than opening your browser (if it isn't already), opening a new tab, and clicking the search bar.

After a simple setup, you can use any browser (provided it is registered as a protocol handler) and any search engine. If you are having trouble getting either of these to work, send me an email at support@birkett.dev or create an issue, and I will see what I can do to get your custom settings working.

Don't forget to check the wiki if you have any…

About

To save time, I'll just quote my description from the GitHub repository.

Search Deflector

This is a small program that will redirect searches made with Cortana and the Start Menu to your preferred browser and search engine. While this software is extremely similar to Edge Deflector and Search With My Browser, it allows the user to use any search engine they want and select any installed browser--not just the system default.

Basically, when you press the Windows/Super/Logo key on your keyboard and start typing, the default behavior is to open your search term with Bing in Microsoft Edge. Does anyone really use Edge?

With this, after setting up for the first time, whatever websites you tell Cortana to open (or type if Cortana is disabled, as it should be) from the Windows Search UI will be redirected to whatever browser you want and whatever search engine you want. Yay!

I love this because it's much faster than opening the browser or creating a new tab, clicking the search bar, then typing. Just press the Windows Key, type "Cat pictures", press Enter, and you'll be at a nice page full of cat pictures.

Why did you make this?

I had been using EdgeDeflector for quite some time, but it had some issues. It was buggy, sometimes it doesn't transform the URIs properly. It also doesn't allow you to change the search engine, and it only uses your system default browser.

SearchWithMyBrowser has the same problems.

I wanted to be able to use a different browser for searches, not the system default. I also wanted to be able to change the search engine, not that it would be anything besides Google of course. I also just really love reinventing wheels.

So how do I use it?

Go to the GitHub releases page, and download the installer and run it.

When you get to the part where a command prompt opens up (I was too lazy to create a GUI for it), follow the prompts on screen. It should list all available browsers it can find in your registry and allow you to select one by entering the number beside it.

I've been having issues getting all of the paths to the browsers to display correctly, so if one of yours doesn't look right please create a new issue.

I didn't sign the executable, so you will get all sorts of "untrusted" warnings by Windows. I promise, it isn't a virus. You can look at the code yourself.

If you want to see a detailed setup guide, see the README.md file in the repository's master branch.

I found a bug / it doesn't work!

Please submit a GitHub issue with as many details as possible. If the program crashed, you should get a message box with a button that will redirect you to the issues page with most of the important information filled out. Just add a title, and maybe include the text that you searched for.

If you don't think a new issue would be very helpful, or if you need help setting it up, you can email me at support@spikespaz.com. I don't bite.

Links

Donations

I am the sole author of this project, and if you appreciate my work or any of my other projects, you can donate a small amount to help me out.

This software is and always will be free, at no reduced functionality. I make this software in my free time as a hobby, and would greatly appreciate any monetary contributions, of any size, that you could make. If you have a GitHub account, please consider starring this repository!

If you have some change to spare and would like to give back, you can buy the software on the Microsoft Store or donate via PayPal.

Get it from Microsoft!

Donate!

Posted on by:

spikespaz profile

Jacob Birkett

@spikespaz

I am a computer science student recently graduated from the CREST specialty school in Arizona. I have been programming for over half my life.

Discussion

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You should post some deposit addresses so you can accept crypto (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin) donations! Come on man, we're living in the future. PayPal is so passé. Thanks for the great tool, looking forward to installing it this evening!

 

I haven't yet because I don't know where to start. It seems like too much hassle if I'm not going to mine it myself. I wouldn't know where to start setting up a donation wallet.

Edit: I just looked into Coinbase, Kraken, and CEX and they all want my personal information to register my account. I am not comfortable with that. Is there an anonymous wallet site that I can use my debit card to transfer USD to and from?

 

You could very easily accept BTC (Bitcoin) and various crypto anonymously, however the on/off ramps (exchanges) are becoming more tightly controlled and you would almost certainly need to validate your identity before being able to exchange your crypto for fiat (USD).

As much as it pains me to do so, Coinbase is where I recommend new users start who aren't comfortable protecting and managing their own private keys (i.e. my parents). For a simple anonymous Bitcoin wallet, I would suggest you take a look at: samouraiwallet.com/

In a perfect world you'd get your own hardware wallet (Ledger Nano S, Trezor) but that's an investment to consider down the road if you find yourself acquiring more cryptocurrency for the long haul.

If you are REALLY serious about your privacy, then using Electrum on TAILS is the way to go: tails.boum.org/doc/anonymous_inter...

I hope you find some of this useful. Please do not hesitate to ask further questions, blockchain technology is worth spending some time familiarizing yourself with, IMO.

EDIT: Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of anonymous options to cash out, beyond potentially meeting someone face to face and selling your crypto that way. If nothing else, it could potentially be money in the bank for a rainy day some months/years down the road. Thank you for the wonderful product, just got it installed and tested on Win 10 Pro (1803) -- OS BUild: 17134.228

I've created a Bitcoin address with Bread Wallet (Saw the recommendations on r/bitcoin). This is for now to see if more people than you tell em I need one.

Does this look correct?

bitcoin:1BdcYG5u97TMxmDDzPA4jQNr5ntUASXGU5?amount=0.00029017

The easiest way to create an anonymous wallet might be to use the code at: bitadress.org

But take care to ensure you protect yourself during the creation process by carefully following these steps:
1.) Save the bitaddress.org site's HTML files to your PC
2.) Close your browser
3.) Disconnect and disable network connection to your computer, taking care to also disable Wi-Fi, if applicable
3.) Open the HTML files you previously saved above in Step 1
4.) Use the JavaScript code to generate an address and SAVE YOUR PRIVATE KEYS! Back it up someplace safe, NOT in the cloud. Keep multiple copies, and protect it with great care. If someone has your private keys, they can take your funds.
5.) Close your browser, reboot PC and proceed about your normal business

Enjoy! Now you can accept BTC donations, at the very least.

Great, @spikespaz that appears to be a legit BTC address:
live.blockcypher.com/btc/address/1...

In a perfect world you'd have a SegWit supporting address (begins with 3, instead of a 1 -- allows you to take advantage of lower transaction fees, among other things), but this is a great start. Be wary of what information you read online, the crypto debate is an impassioned one, to put it gently. It can be difficult to find truly accurate and unbiased information. BRD.com is a great place to start, sir.

Hey @spikespaz did you end up settling on a BTC wallet / process? Were you going to stick with: live.blockcypher.com/btc/address/1...

I think I'm going to stick with BRD, yes.

 

Was just discussing the improved Start Menu search with a colleague the other day, and we were like "too bad it isn't Google". Thanks for this!

 

Thanks! You should share this with your colleague too!

 

Oh, I will! I suggest you add a GIF of the project in action to the readme. Would really help to sell people.

If possible too, a brief overview of how it works (D isn't really a popular language).