Opening Visual Studio Error List links in Google rather than Bing

In the Error List window Visual Studio links to Bing search results for each error or warning. This is handy, however in my opinion Google provides much better results so it would be ideal if we could configure VS to search on Google instead. I’m using Visual Studio 2019 (16.6) and couldn’t find a way to do this.

Visual Studio Errors Window

Redirecting ALL Bing searches to Google using a browser extension

Until we are able to configure this from within Visual Studio and assuming you are happy to redirect all Bing searches to Google you can just install an extension such as

depending on your default browser (VS will open the Bing search link in the default browser). If your using Opera, there’s an extension which allows you to run Chrome extensions so you can use ChromeTana on Opera too.

The extensions above will redirect all Bing searches to Google.com including those you manually trigger from Bing.com. If you only want to redirect the links from within the Error List window in Visual Studio or you want a little more control over the Google search results you can use a URL redirect extension such as Redirector which is available on Chrome. Other browsers likely have equivalent extensions.

Redirect VS error links from Bing to Google equivalent using Redirector Chrome extension

If your using Chrome as your default browser you can use Redirector to redirect one specific URL or URL pattern to another. Redirector is lightweight and simple to use but does support advanced redirect scenarios such as those including regular expressions and wildcards.

In this scenario the redirect setup is quite simple, we want to redirect URLs which match

https://bingdev.cloudapp.net/BingUrl.svc/Get?selectedText=*
where the star wildcard is the text to be searched for

to

https://google.com/search?q=$1
where $1 corresponds to the text to be searched for.

Thankfully VS links to bingdev.cloudapp.net rather than bing.com so other bing searches are not impacted. After installing the Redirector extension, create a new redirect to match below and click Save. After that all Visual Studio Error List links should open in Google (assuming Chrome is open first).

Redirector setup for bing to google redirect

Customising Google search results by setting additional URL parmeters

Above we just redirect to Google.com with the q parameter set, but it’s possible to refine your search settings by adding additional parameters such as shown in the example below.

  • num (number of results to show)
  • newwindow (opens results in new window)
  • as_sitesearch (limit results to a certain site eg. stackoverflow.com)

Google search with additional parameters set

 

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