Block adult content with SafeSearch

Block adult content with SafeSearch

Options to filter adult text, images, and videos out of search results.

SafeSearch helps keep adult content out of your search results. There are different ways you can turn on SafeSearch:

  • For individual accounts, choose SafeSearch options on the Settings page.
  • Schools in the United States can register for the Bing in the Classroom program.
  • At a network level, map www.bing.com to strict.bing.com.
  • For an individual PC, map www.bing.com to strict.bing.com.

We’ll go into more details below about how to implement SafeSearch using each of the above methods.

Adjust your SafeSearch filtersexpando image
  1. On the Settings page, click one of the SafeSearch filters:
    • Strict filters adult text, images, and videos out of your search results.
    • Moderate filters adult images and videos, but not text, out of your search results. This is the default setting.
    • Off doesn't filter adult content.
  2. Click Save.
Register for Bing in the Classroom (US schools) expando image

Bing in the Classroom is a free program for schools in the United States. Schools that register with Bing are guaranteed strict SafeSearch results and no advertising.

Map at a network levelexpando image

If you want to guarantee strict SafeSearch results for all users on your network, in your router or proxy server map www.bing.com to strict.bing.com. Strict.bing.com will guarantee that strict SafeSearch results are returned for all queries to this IP and the SafeSearch controls are disabled.

We recommend this method as the best way for schools that don’t participate in the Bing in the Classroom program to guarantee strict SafeSearch results. Home users or businesses who also want to guarantee strict SafeSearch results are also welcome to use this method.

To force SafeSearch for your network, you’ll need to update your DNS configuration. Set the DNS entry for www.bing.com to be a CNAME for strict.bing.com. You’ll want to use a CNAME rather than the strict.bing.com IP as the CNAME will continue to work even if the IP for strict.bing.com changes. By making the DNS change, results will continue to appear to your users as normal results from www.bing.com but strict SafeSearch results are guaranteed.

We do not recommend blocking the www.bing.com IP as this could have the adverse impact of blocking other Microsoft domains.

Map for an individual PCexpando image

If you wish to guarantee strict safe search results for a given PC, you can do so by mapping www.bing.com to strict.bing.com. For example, if you’re a parent and want to guarantee safe search results on your child’s PC, this method will work. Only users who are administrators on the PC can undo this change.

To make this change:

  1. In Windows, click the Windows key and type “Notepad.”
  2. Right click on Notepad and choose Run as Administrator.
  3. Click Yes when Windows asks if you want this program to make changes.
  4. Open your hosts file. In most Windows installations, this is located at: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
  5. Click the Windows key, type “cmd,” and then hit enter.
  6. Type "ping strict.bing.com" and note the resulting IP. This will look something like this: 204.79.197.220
  7. Create an entry at the end of hosts file that looks like this: 204.79.197.220 www.bing.com
  8. Save the file. Windows will now use strict.bing.com to guarantee strict SafeSearch results on this PC.

If Windows is installed in a different location on your PC, you can find the hosts file by typing the following at the command prompt: cd /d %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc.

Note

The hosts file needs the actual IP for strict.bing.com rather than a CNAME. If the CNAME is used, the hosts file will not redirect to the strict.bing.com IP.

Some features and functionality described here may not be available in your country or region.

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