In an effort to simplify searching, Microsoft Windows 8.1’s Bing Smart Search has the ability to search your PC, the web and your OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) at the same time for whatever it is you need to find.
First, let’s make sure your Bing Smart Search is enabled. Move your cursor to the top-right, click “Settings” and then click “Change PC settings.” Next, click “Search and apps.” If “Search” at the top-left isn’t selected, click it now. To the right, click the slider to turn on “Use Bing to Search online.”
After you turn on Bing, you’ll notice below that you have three sections where you’ll make some choices. Under “Your search experience,” if you want the most tailored search results, including those that will use your location to help you find what you need, click “Get personalized results from Bing that use my location.” The other two options may be more to your liking.
The next section, “SafeSearch” is self explanatory. If your children use your computer, select “Strict” to give them the safest search results.
If you are on a metered connection, click the slider to enable “Get search suggestions and web results from Bing over metered connections” and also turn on the “roaming” option if it applies to you.
Click the back arrow at the top-left or just close the window to save your changes.
Let’s do a search together and see if you come up with the same results. Open the Charm bar by moving your cursor to the top-right and then click “Search.”
Under the word “Search,” click the down arrow. Here you can choose to search “Everywhere,” “Settings,” “Files,” “Web images” and “Web videos” for whatever it is you want to find. Go ahead and select “Everywhere” and then type “Disk Cleanup.” Simultaneously, a list will appear with Disk Cleanup at the top. While you have this useful tool icon up, right-click “Disk Cleanup” and click “Pin to Start.” If you haven’t used Disk Cleanup before, read my article published June 13, 2013, in the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin newspaper for usage details.
Now, let’s try a search for something on the Internet. Open the Charm bar and click “Search.” In the drop-down menu select “Web images” and then in the search field, type “Tooele, Utah.” You’ll see plenty of beautiful pictures of our area.
Try using the other options to see how your results vary. Keep in mind, using the Bing Smart Search can give you better customized search results, but it may be more invasive of your privacy, using your location and computer settings to personalize your results.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 13 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.