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Office 365, ProPlus browser extension for Chrome
Beginning with Version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft will install a browser extension that makes Bing the default search engine for Google Chrome, providing the benefits of Microsoft Search in the browser to those end users.
- This browser extension is scheduled to be available in Monthly Channel (Targeted) in February 2020.
- It is expected to be released to Monthly Channel in early March 2020.
- It will be included in the upcoming releases for Semi-Channel (Targeted) and Semi-Annual Channel.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 59917.
Change to Default Search Engine
New installations of Office 365 ProPlus will include this extension. When you update your existing installation of Office 365 ProPlus, the extension is included unless Bing is already the default search engine in your tenant. The extension sets Bing as the default search engine by default; users may turn it off via the extension toggle.
Microsoft states several reasons that using Bing and Microsoft Search are advantageous. As part of Microsoft 365, Microsoft Search is on by default for all Microsoft apps that support it. Microsoft Search provides contextual work-related information using data sources in Office 365, including SharePoint, Microsoft OneDrive for Business, and Exchange. With Bing as the default search vehicle for Google Chrome those users will be able to access Microsoft Search directly from their browser address bar when they are signed in with their work or school account. This browser access to work-related search is known as Microsoft Search in Bing.
The first time you open Google Chrome after the extension for Microsoft Search in Bing is installed, you will see a Welcome screen:
Mockup of a Welcome screen in Chrome browsers (subject to change).
You may disable the extension by
- Clicking its icon to the right of the URL bar;
- Then toggling off Use Bing as your default search engine; and
- Restarting the browser.
Mockup of the search toggle in Chrome browsers (subject to change).
Once this feature has rolled out, you can change your search engine preferences only via the toggle in the extension; you cannot modify the default search engine in browser preferences.
Microsoft Search does not use searches in the University of Illinois organization to improve public web results or to improve Bing, and Microsoft Search does not let advertisers target anyone within the University of Illinois organization.
If you don’t want Bing to be the default search engine for Google Chrome, there are several ways to block the installation.
You must exclude the extension before you install or update to a version of Office 365 ProPlus that installs the extension for Microsoft Search in Bing. Implementing the exclusion after the extension has been installed will not remove the extension.
- For new installations of Office 365 ProPlus, the Office Deployment Tool may be the best method, as outlined in this support document
- For existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus, modifying the Group Policy may be best. Enable the policy setting Don't install extension for Microsoft Search in Bing, which makes Bing the default the search engine.
- If you use Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (current branch), from the Features section, set Microsoft Search as default to the Off position.
- If you use Microsoft Intune to deploy Office 365 ProPlus, clear the check box Microsoft Search as default on the Configure App Suite pane.