Pin Any search site to Start menu and Windows Explorer

When you search anything on your computer and don’t find it there, most of the time you search it in your favorite search engine. This is a common activity which I have seen many of my team mates, when they failed to find on local server.

Though Windows 7 comes with Federated search but this policy of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 lets a system admin add an internet site like google bing or even their intranet sites right below two places :

  • Start Menu ( Appears when you search )
  • In Windows Explorer at the end where it says “Search again in “
Internet Search Pinned
Internet Search Pinned

As soon as you click on it, the search will be launched in that specific page in your default browser.

How to configure this ?

  • Go to Group Policy Editor
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Windows Explorer
  • Look for policy starting with “Pin Internet sites….”
  • Enable it and you can add 5 such sites but they should have URL of the search site in OpenSearch format with {searchTerms} for the query string (such as,{searchTerms}).
Policy : Pin Internet Search
Policy : Pin Internet Search

Advantages of this :

  • For regular users they can configure their favorite and trusted site to search.
  • For IT and Corporate, you can include your intranet sites with this.


  1. Thank you very much for this tip. This is exactly what I was looking for for a long time. I would love to use this.
    However, it doesn’t work for me. I am admin on my PC (win7 Pro, clean install). I could set other Group Policy settings without problem like “Add search Internet link to Start Menu”, but even if I set it up e.g. for Google {searchTerms} ), these options do not appear in my Start Menu options.
    Can you tell me what other setting should have an influence on this, please.
    Thank you in advance.

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