How to Set Safe Search in Bing to filter out adult content

BingDo you use Bing? I don’t think Bing has become a verb the same way that Google has.  I’ve never heard anyone say “let me Bing that”.  Microsoft is trying to compete with Google for a bigger portion of the search market.  They recently launched a site where you can compare a Google search with a Bing search side-by-side.  It’s called  – clever, right?

From a safe search perspective, Bing vs. Google is a tie.  Each has its pros and cons.  Bing blocks out more images and video with moderate filtering, which is a plus.  However, they do not offer a safe search lock, making it easier for your clever offspring to remove the filter.

First I’m going to show you how to set Bing Safe Search on the computer.  Then I’ll explain how to do the same on a mobile device.

Enable Bing Safe Search on your Computer

1. Go to Bing.  Click the gear in the upper right of the screen for Preferences.   Or, just use this link:

2. On the Preferences page, change the SafeSearch filtering from Moderate to Strict.

Note that you don’t have an option to LOCK the strict setting.  This is why Bing recommends and provides a link to Windows Live Family Safety.  This is what I use on our home PC.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save.  This returns you to the Bing home page.

Try it!

Before you enable these settings, you may want to run a test to see how this works.  Before I changed the Bing safe search setting to Strict, I searched for “topless dancers”.  I received the message:

Your current Bing SafeSearch setting filters out results that might return adult content. To view those results as well, change your SafeSearch setting.

This is better than Google, where I did get results even with moderate filtering.  However, the message included a link to Learn more, and from there you can easily change the setting.

With filtering set to OFF, you (or your curious child) will see plenty of dancers strutting their stuff.  When turning filtering off, a prompt comes up stating you must be 18 or older to change the setting.  Will your child comply?  This is why the lack of a LOCK is a problem.

Enable Bing Safe Search on a Mobile Device

As I’ve mentioned, the best way to block adult-oriented content on a mobile web browser is to use a kid-safe browser.  On iPod touch and iPad you can restrict the default Safari browser, and install an alternative browser that already filters out adult content.  Choose from these kid-friendly browsers for iPod touch.

Other mobile devices, phones, and tablets may not have the same choice of kid-safe browsers.  If that’s the case, follow these steps to enable Strict Search in Bing on a mobile device.

These instructions and screenshots are using an iPhone, but should work about the same on an iPod touch or other mobile device.

1. Go to Bing (I like the pretty background).

2. Scroll down and click Settings.

Bing Mobile Settings


3. You’ll most likely see that “safe search” is set to moderate.  Click once to change it to strict.

Click the word moderate to change it to Strict
Click the word "moderate to change it to Strict


4. Scroll down and click Done.

Try It

I ran a search for my usual test-search-term and got the following message.  Again, notice how you are provided a link to disable SafeSearch, along with the 18-and-over warning.  This might stop some kids in their tracks, but not all.  Keep that in mind if Bing is the search engine of choice in your household.

Can't show results because SafeSearch is set to Strict  Warning before turning off Bing safe search in mobile


Give it a go – then leave a comment and let me know how this worked with your before and after searches!


More about SafeSearch in Bing:

Bing Help – Block Explicit websites

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  1. shlomo says

    I have a windows phone and u can switch safe search by settings how do I make a code or a thing saying if ur 18 or older and on windows phone settings are diffrent

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