Do an internet search right from your Start menu

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Sometimes doing a simple internet search takes longer than it needs to.

Google search

For example, let’s say you want to find out the population of Canada.  That’s a pretty easy bit of information for the internet to provide.  This is the process for a lot of people:

1. Open your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or whatever you use)

2. Wait for the home page to finish loading.  If you’re like me, you have several tabbed pages that open at the same time so that can take a minute.

3. Go to Google and type in your search phrase “population of Canada”.  You might be able to skip going to the page if you have the search bar at the top of your browser.

That process takes too long for me.  I like to do things the quickest way possible, and with the fewest steps.

By setting up your Windows 7 to be able to search from the Start Menu, you can change your search process to: tap one key on your keyboard, type your search phrase and do one mouse click – and the next thing you see on your screen will be your search results.

Here’s how you set this up:

1. Click the MS Logo (formerly the Start button) and in the search field type: gpedit.msc and hit Enter.

2. Find the “User Configuration” category on the left side.

3. Open “Administrative Templates”, then “Start menu and Taskbar”

4. On the right side, find “Add Search Internet link to Start Menu” and double click it:

search internet from start menu

5. In the next window, select “Enabled” and click OK, then close that window with the X in the top right corner.

Now, whenever you want to do an internet search, this is all you have to do:

1. Tap the Windows key on your keyboard (near the lower left corner)

2. Type your search phrase (your cursor will already be in the search field so you don’t have to click there first).

3. Immediately above the search field, click “Search the internet”.  Your default web browser will now open with your search results displayed (wow, Canada has a lot of people).

population of Canada

(Note: for those of you who are like me and prefer to use the keyboard whenever possible, instead of the mouse – for Step 3 you can do a Shift-Tab to highlight the “Search the internet” link, then just hit Enter.)

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