Photographs courtesy of Toby Watt - lawyer, friend and photographer extraordinaire...


Welcome to IE-Vista

Dedicated to providing advice and support to users of IE7 and IE8


The Search Toolbar

The Internet Explorer search button no longer exists in Internet Explorer 7.  Search Assistant and Search Companion are also gone.

Internet Explorer 7 introduces a search toolbar as a replacement.  Positioned to the right of the Address Bar, and sized to take up minimal space, it can be used to conduct Web searches using many different providers.  Search results will appear in the top tab/window on screen.

Click on Get Search Providers to add more providers to your dropdown list (click on the down pointing triangle to open the menu list.

Do you want an easier way to add more search providers to your Search Pane that are not included at the MS Web page?  Your wish is our command.

Eric Law of Microsoft has created a Web page that makes it very easy to add additional search providers to IE7's search pane - check it out:

Also, Next Venture Partners have created a site called  At time of writing there were over 300 different search providers available to add.  The thing I like about this site is that it is not an all or nothing downloadable file - I've never like weighing down the Registry with masses of data.  You can pick and choose the Search providers that you wish to add.  Feel free to contact me with feedback about the site.

Conduct a Web search by entering text in the search toolbar then hit the enter key on your keyboard, or click on the magnifying glass button.

Repeat a search using a different provider by clicking on its entry in the drop down list.

Note how Google is included as a search provider by default... Google doesn't return the favour which is quite ironic considering this behaviour

Warning:  There is a ready made registry file available for download at Sean Alexander's blog which was mentioned in an IE team blog entry back in August 2005.

The registry format used by IE7 has changed, breaking the reg file.  Please do not download and install that file unless you are using the Beta 1 build that was made available via MSDN and Technet.

The quick 'n' dirty fix is to replace all instances of %s with {searchTerms} in the registry file available on Sean's site and then reimporting the list, but I haven't tested this.

If your Search Toolbar is not working (it searches for %s instead of the search text you entered) you will need to replace your Search Providers - you will find instructions about how to do that here: