How to use search operators to refine Bing AI search results

To get the best search results, users should take advantage of these 10 built-in search operators to refine search results, save time, and increase productivity.

White text "Better search results using operators" above the Bing logo with search icons floating in the background
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Microsoft has invested a lot of time and resources into developing a new and improved AI-enabled version of Bing. Presumably, the plan is to make Bing more useful and relevant compared to its well-established competitor. Only time will tell if this gambit will be successful.

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In the meantime, Windows 11 users can enjoy quick access to the new AI-enabled Bing right from their standard desktop search box on the taskbar. To get the best search results, users should take advantage of the built-in search operators.

These 10 common search operators help you refine your search inputs, which in turn refine your search results, saving you time and energy and increasing your productivity.

Use search operators to refine Bing AI search results

Bing search operators have a specific syntax that must be followed in order to function properly. A search operator is always followed by a colon followed directly by a parameter. There are no blank spaces before or after the colon, as shown here:

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This convention takes some getting used to, but it must be followed every time. Capitalization is not important.

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Note: There are several search operators available, but these 10 are probably the most useful.


Adding the site: operator to the search query limits the search to a specific site. For example, windows 11 you’ll only find articles related to Windows 11 on TechRepublic. The site: operator only displays results for two levels of the subdomain.


The operator domain: limits the search query to an entire domain, including all indexed subdomains.


The operator includes: restricts the results of search queries to pages containing links to specific file types. For example, to find links to .pdf files, use the operator contains:pdf.

file type:

To search for results with a specific file type, use the filetype: operator. Note the subtle difference between (Find links to PDF) and FileType: (Find PDFs).

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If you only want to define a word or phrase, add the define: operator (Figure A). For example, define:artificial intelligence.

Figure A

search result for define:artificial intelligence in Bing
You can quickly get the definitions of expressions using the define: operator.

image size:

The imagesize: operator searches Bing Images for images related to your search query, limited to the specified size. The size parameter can be small (less than 200 pixels), medium (200-500 pixels), or large (greater than 500 pixels).


The inanchor: operator limits results to only those web pages that contain the search word or phrase in their anchor text, such as titles, captions, and headlines.


You can use the inbody: operator to limit a search query word or phrase to the body text of each indexed site.


The intitle: operator limits the results to the searched word or phrase appearing in the title of the web page.


The location: operator limits the search to a specific location. For example, birds location:us Limits results to sites located in the United States.

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Better searches produce better results

For general web browsing, these Bing search operators may seem like extra work with little profit, but for serious searches as part of your job duties and under time constraints, they can save you a significant amount of time and effort.

Better search results, actually actionable results, require better search queries, and these search operators can be the key to getting the results you want.

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