How to Change the Default Search Engine on Your Android Phone

How Change Default Search Engine Android Featured

While most web browsers available today use Google as the default search engine, many users are seeking to switch to alternatives. There are plenty of worthy options to choose from, and on Android you can easily change the default search engine in your browser of choice. This article describes all the steps to make the switch yourself.

Change the Default Search Engine in Firefox for Android

If you use Firefox on your Android device, there’s a really easy way to ditch Google and perform your searches using another search engine.

Here’s how:

1. Launch Firefox on your mobile device.

2. Tap on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner of the display.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Firefox Three Dot Menu

3. Select Settings.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Firefox Settings

4. At the top of the display, you’ll notice the Search option. Tap on it.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Firefox Search

5. On the next screen, you should be able to see a list of search engines you can set as default on your device. For example, you can easily enable DuckDuckGo with a tap.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Firefox Default Options

6. If your search engine is not listed, you can add it by tapping the “Add search engine” button.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Firefox Add Search Engine

7. Select Other and input the address of the search engine you want to use. Make sure you add /search?q=%s at the end. Once you’re done, the new option will be added to the list.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Firefox Input Address Ecosia Added

8. Return to your browser and perform a query by using the search bar at the top. Your new search engine will be showing you the results.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Ecosia Default Search Engine

Change the Default Search Engine in Chrome for Android

Google is obviously the default search engine in Chrome, but even so, you still have the ability to change it, if you wish to.

1. Fire up the Chrome app on your Android device.

2. Tap on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner of the display.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Chrome Three Dot Menu

3. Select Settings.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Chrome Settings

4. Go to Search Engine (at the very top).

How Change Default Search Engine Android Chrome Search Engine

5. Choose from the available list of search engines.

6. By default, there are only five options, including Google, Yahoo!, Bing, DuckDuckGo and Ecosia. Unfortunately, you can’t add other search engines to this predefined list like in Firefox. The solution could be to install the respective search engine’s independent app on your phone. But if you’re trying to save space, you may not be able to do so.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Chrome Enable Ecosia

7. As soon as you tap on a search engine, it will become your default.

8. You can head back to Chrome’s main screen and see how your newly-set search engine is working. You are all set.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Chrome New Search Engine

How to Get Rid of the Google Home Screen Widget

Google’s home screen widget is a given on the majority of Android devices these days. But unless you’re using Google’s own launcher on a Pixel device, you can get rid of this widget altogether or replace it with an alternative.

Before we begin, though, you should do one thing: decide which search engine you want to access directly from the home screen and install its own dedicated app for Android. For example, Bing, DuckDuckGo or Ecosia.

1. Let’s start by removing the Google search widget. Long-press on the bar and tap Remove.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Remove Google Search Home Screen Widget

2. To add a new widget, long-press on a blank space on the home screen.

3. You’ll see a menu appear at the bottom. From there, select Widgets.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Bring Up Widgets Menu

4. Search for the widget pertaining to the app you previously installed. In our case, we’ve selected Bing.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Select New Search Widget Home Screen

4. Tap and hold the widget and drag it on the screen to position it. You can also resize it if you want.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Position New Search Widget

5. Now you have quick access to your search engine of choice from your home screen.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Resize New Search Widget

How to Replace the Default Virtual Assistant on Your Android

Google Assistant rules supreme on most active Android devices, but if you’re craving some variety and want to switch to a different virtual assistant, you can set another default as the default. The alternate virtual assistant app needs to be installed on your device before you go any further.

1. Bring up Settings on your Android device.

2. Select “Apps & notifications.”

How Change Default Search Engine Android Settings Apps Notifications

3. Tap on “Default apps.”

How Change Default Search Engine Android Settings Default Apps

4. Click on “Assist & voice input” at the top of the screen.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Settings Assist Voice Input

5. Tap on the “Assist app” option.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Settings Assist App

6. Select your preferred virtual assistant from the list.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Select Different Virtual Assistant

7. Confirm your preference by tapping the OK button on the pop-up message that appears.

How Change Default Search Engine Android Confirm Selection

Depending on phone model, bringing up the default assistant on your device usually involves long-pressing on the home button on the navigation bar, swiping from the bottom left/right corner or using a hot phrase. Once you’ve switched to a different default virtual assistant, the routine you usually use to call on the assistant will summon your new choice.

If you wish to continue optimizing your browsing experience on Android, make sure you check out our list detailing the top UC browser alternatives for Android or learn how to enable cookies in your mobile browser.

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Alexandra Arici Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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