Does a Windows 11 PC need 'repairing' if you don't use Bing search? Microsoft seems to think so

PC Manager app in Windows has 'repair tips' and one of them is to switch your search engine back to Bing, should you have changed this default in Edge.

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Microsoft has made a rather odd move in trying to promote Bing search in Windows 11 with a change to its PC Manager app.

It's advertising gone mad these days in Windows 11, otherwise known as 'madvertising' (Image Credit: Microsoft)

It's advertising gone mad these days in Windows 11, otherwise known as 'madvertising' (Image Credit: Microsoft)

If you're not familiar with PC Manager, well, we wouldn't be surprised, as it's not an app that all that many folks know about - partly because it's only available in certain regions for Windows 11 (and not the US, not officially yet - but that could well change).

At any rate, it's a PC performance boosting utility from Microsoft China, that takes a typical approach with file cleanup features to free up storage, memory, and so forth.

However, as Windows Latest reports, PC Manager was recently updated with a puzzling twist in that it now flags it as an issue if a Windows 11 installation isn't using Bing as its default search engine in Edge.

For those who have switched the search engine in the browser, PC Manager recommends restoring Bing as the default search.

This is offered up as part of the 'Repair tips' functionality, so effectively the suggestion is that by not using Bing in Edge, there's something wrong that requires 'repairing.'

That's quite the spectacular leap in logic, of course, and essentially this is just more Bing promotion, which we see plenty of in Windows 11 already (along with trying to get folks to switch to Edge, of course, that other old favorite - oh, and OneDrive).

Driving us mad with ads

With Microsoft currently on a drive to introduce various suggestions or recommendations in Windows 11, which are essentially ads by other names, this kind of practice in a default app for the OS is, shall we say, less than welcome.

The latest ad-related move from Microsoft, as you may have noticed, is the official rolling out of adverts in the Windows 11 Start menu which promote certain hand-picked apps from the Microsoft Store. These are appearing in the 'Recommended' panel of the Start menu as part of the freshly released May 2024 cumulative update.

As to what's going on here with PC Manager, it's certainly pushing the boundaries further - though it is possible that when the tool is officially deployed in other regions such as the US, Microsoft might remove this particular 'repair tip.'

Or perhaps not - who knows. Maybe Microsoft could argue that Edge users may have been 'tricked' somehow into changing its default search engine away from Bing by a rival. After all, you never quite know what sort of stunt a tech giant might pull to gain adoption for a product or service (ahem).

We'll just have to see this one play out, but so far this year, with every month our faith in Microsoft is being slightly but steadily eroded with these various spins on advertising continuing to infiltrate Windows 11.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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