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How to Change Bing Safe Search Preferences

How to turn off Bing Safe Search?  Bing is Microsoft’s new search engine, but the strict filters may be blocking valid text content you need to surf. How can you change the Bing safe search preferences from Strict to Moderate in India and many other countries, or turn on Strict filters in countries where the safe filter is set to moderate.

To edit the safe search preferences, you need to look at the top right corner and click Extras > Preferences.

bing preferences

If you do not see a safe search preference option on that page, it means Strict Safe Search is enabled by default in your region. The Strict Filter will remove all sexually explicit text, images, and videos from your search results. Here is what typically will happen when you search for blocked terms

bing banned terms

If you check the Google Safe search settings, they are set to Moderate Filtering by default, which means block explicit images only. But the Bing settings are set to Strict if the option is not available in your country. So your text results are also filtered.

google safe search

Change Bing Safe Search Settings

To change the options, you can change the country. Click on the country in the top right corner and select “United States – English”, or you can directly select US as your country. Now you can again go to Extras > Preferences and you will have the moderate safe search option selected by default, which will filter explicit images and videos, but not text, from your search results.

bing safesearch

On the other hand, if you are in the US or other countries where moderate filters are on, you can go to Extras > Preferences and change your filter to Strict, which will stop all types of offensive content in one go. This is a good idea if children are surfing the web and you do not wish to get surprised by offensive search results slipping through filters. Bing also lets you report websites with adult content, if they are entering your search results with the strict filter on.

Why Different Regional Safe Filters?

So why are different filters set for different countries? ContentSutra has an update from Microsoft Sources.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company analyzed local laws to determine which countries will have restricted search results. We determined the list of countries for which sexually explicit results are restricted based on analysis of where such are restricted by local law, but we did not take these actions in response to specific government demands or regulations. Rather, the intent here was to offer customers a choice of experiencing a great search service with the kinds of features and search results set they are accustomed to locally.”

Microsoft has updated their blog on the safe search issues.

To start with, by default in Bing (and in Live Search before it), we do not return explicit adult content in video or image results. In web results, we also do not include any explicit images or video content by default. This is a bit more of a conservative approach than others in the industry. If you set SafeSearch to strict, you will not see any explicit text, image or video content. If you turn SafeSearch off � which requires you to change the setting and then click again to acknowledge that you are over 18, then explicit content may appear.

Update: Microsoft advises you can add adlt=strict to the end of a query and no matter what the settings are for that session, it will return results as if safe search was set to strict.

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