Microsoft now says your PC is in need of ‘repair’ if you’re not using Bing with Edge

Bing with ChatGPT
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has a checkered past when it comes to upselling its own products and services through Windows, and now it's once again been caught pushing Bing on Windows users as a healthier alternative to other search engines.

At least, that's what you have to assume when you hear that the company's PC Manager app, which markets itself as a utility app for maintaining your PC, has a repair tool that recommends you reset your Edge search engine to Bing. 

This tip appears when you click "Repair tips," as discovered by Windows Latest, and effectively just recommends that you reset your default browser to Bing in Edge if you've changed it to anything else. Multiple people on Reddit have also reported seeing this, and I verified it also happens on my own Windows 11 PC.

(Image credit: Future)

While it's possible for your default search engine in Bing to be changed without your knowledge — say, if another person uses your PC or if you download a piece of malware that messes with your default search engine settings — it's hard to see this as anything but a gentle nudge by Microsoft that hey, maybe you should go back to Bing while using our browser.

You can understand why the company is eager to push people in that direction when you consider that the revamped and AI-powered Bing with ChatGPT (recently renamed to Copilot) is the most exciting and competitive Bing has ever been. 

This feels slimy to me

In fact, in some ways this is Microsoft's least obnoxious upsell to Windows users yet because you have to actually seek out and download the PC Manager app from the Microsoft Store; it's not installed by default on your PC. You also need to be using Edge enough that you've changed the default search engine, which further narrows the scope of folks affected by this marketing tactic.

But it still feels slimy to me. Windows 11 has been caught upselling other Microsoft services for years, and despite significant public outcry every time (often followed by the offending ads quietly disappearing) it keeps happening. For example, a recent preview build revealed Windows 11 could be getting more ads in the form of app recommendations being automatically added to the "Recommended" tab of the Start Menu, so they'd be front and center every time you hit the Start button.

While these "tips" and "recommendations" are relatively easy to ignore, it's maddening to see Microsoft keep pushing Windows in this direction because it makes the operating system more annoying and frustrating to use. You want to believe someone at Microsoft is earnestly trying to make people's lives better, but it's hard to square that with the ever-more subtle and potentially insidious ways the company keeps working ads and nudges to use its other products into Windows. 

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Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.