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Why is Ecosia the default search engine in Microsoft Edge?

In September 2018, IT Services changed the default search engine in Microsoft Edge on student PCs to be Ecosia.  This was in response to a student-led campaign, supported by IT Services, and is aligned with the University’s Go Greener campaign.

Ecosia turns your web searches into trees.  Every time you search, a small amount of money is paid towards the planting of tress in locations around the world.  Over time, you can see how many trees your searches have planted.

The version of Ecosia that’s installed on student PCs counts the number of times you search and then adds them together with the searches from other student PCs.  We therefore know the total number of trees planted by University students.

You can install Ecosia on your own device to contribute to this total by installing the Ecosia plugin from

Our priority is to support education, research and work at the University and the feedback we have received is that search results from Ecosia can sometimes be unhelpful or confusing if you are used to searching in Google.  For this reason, Google remains the default search in the other web browsers installed on student PCs (Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox).

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This is question number 2884, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Alexander Butler on 4 October 2018 and last updated by Alexander Butler on 1 November 2018