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After installing Microsoft's Outlook app I noticed that when going to search for something on the Internet by selecting text and searching, I am forced to use Bing instead of my default search engine (Google).

screenshot (Screenshot from Firefox)

I have just found out that this is a known issue mentioned by Android Police in 2020.

I use Firefox 90.1.3 (Build #2015824995) on a Samsung Galaxy S10 and Google is always set as my default. I even removed Bing from the options, yet it is still there when trying the selection search.

default search engine settings in Firefox for Android

I noticed that when using Samsung's Internet Browser, there is the extra option of 'Web search' as well as 'Bing Search' and using 'Web search' goes to my default search engine. That is not on Firefox.

Is there a known way to stop this intrusion into my right to choose which search engine I use when using Firefox?

@Robert indirectly made a good point on settings within Outlook within comments so I had a look.

I am forced not to use my default browser as I cannot set it in Outlook (see below)

screenshot

Tapping on the slider does nothing

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  • Is the first screenshot from Outlook app or from Firefox?
    – Robert
    Aug 1 at 10:28
  • @Robert from Firefox - see edit for Outlook settings Aug 1 at 11:06
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    I have never seen such a menu in Firefox as shown in you 2nd screenshot, may be Outlook has installed a system wide add-on to capture long presses and show this Bing menu? Then I would check options of Outlook if you can disable it there.
    – Robert
    Aug 1 at 11:14
  • @Robert that screen is found by tapping menu (three dots) - settings - search support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/… Aug 1 at 12:27
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    Sorry, wrong screen-shot, I was referring to the menu shown in the 1st screen shot.
    – Robert
    Aug 1 at 12:35
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I think this menu isn't created by Firefox, but either a system-wide function created by the Outlook app. There are many apps that createsuch links in so to say right-click menus on Android. I don't however know how to remove this, sorry.

But I can suggest a different mail app to you, which is more privacy-friendly in comparison to Outlook or Gmail. It's named FairEmail an available at email.faircode.eu. I know this isn't the solution you are searching for, but I just wanted to spread this great app.

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  • I checked fairemail and it does not look spammy. It seems to be really an opensource mail app.
    – peterh
    Aug 9 at 13:45
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The fact that the toggle to enable "Use default browser" is unresponsive is apparently some kind of bug. Depending on your version/email setup, you're meant to either have the "Use default browser" option or not. It shouldn't be greyed out like that -- though it's that way on mine as well, and I've seen MS forum posts from others to that effect so this may be some weird, hopefully temporary, regression.

In many third-party apps, selecting text will trigger an android webview rather than a full-fledged browser. Contextual Text Selection was released in Android 6.0, allowing developers to capture text you select in their app and send it to another process. The developer can decide what options to include on that little pop-up menu, so adding "Bing search" is Microsoft taking advantage of a captive audience. It's strange that you don't have "Web search" in your pop-up menu as well, though -- it shows in mine. That context menu is somewhat dependent on other apps installed, so this might sound obvious or odd, but do you have the Google app installed (the lightweight search that comes pre-installed on a lot of androids)?

It looks like this:

Google app icon

I think this may be the source of the "web search" option. Until they fix the default browser toggle, adding the web search possibility will at least give you something of a workaround.

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