Searching the web (and performing other tasks) from your browser's address bar is handy, but what if your browser is closed or minimised? Here's how to quickly search the web from the search bar in Windows 7's Start menu.
To turn on web search from the start menu, you just need to change a setting in Windows' Local Group Policy Editor. Note that this tool is not available in the Home versions of Windows 7. To open it up, just hit the Start button and type gpedit.msc into the search box and hit Enter.
Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar. Double click the "Add Search Internet link to Start Menu" entry, and hit Enabled in the window that pops up and hit OK. Now, you should be able to search Google right from the Start menu's search box. Type in your search terms, hit Enter, and Google will open up in your default browser. It's a pretty handy trick if your browser's closed; just hit the Windows key and you've got one-keystroke access to Google.