Changing the default search engine only takes a few clicks, regardless of the browser you’re using. Even if you were to change your mind later, you always have the option of using another search engine or switching to the default option. While Google is the most popular search engine, there are other choices as well. Let’s examine how to change the default search engine in popular browsers.
Change the Default Search Engine in Chrome
The popular Chrome browser works on all major platforms. While it’s preinstalled on Chromebook and Android OS, it can be downloaded from the other platforms.
To change the default Chrome search engine on a PC, follow these steps.
- With Chrome open, click on the three dots at the top right and go to “Settings.”
- Click on the “Search engine” option on the left side.
- Click on the drop-down menu next to the option that says “Search engine used in the address bar” on the right side and choose the search engine you want to add. There is a good chance that Google will be the default.
Pro Tip: click on the “Manage search engines and site search” option to add custom search engines in Google Chrome.
- There is no need to restart Chrome to save your changes. You can test it by opening a new tab. The search engine you chose should appear as the default. If you don’t see it, restart Chrome.
- Tap on the three-dot icon in the app (at the top on Android and the bottom on iPhone). Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Go to “Search Engine” and select one from the list to make it the default search engine.
Change the Default Search Engine in Firefox
Firefox works on all platforms and is widely used by privacy-conscious people. Follow the steps below to change the default search engine on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebook.
- In the Firefox browser, click on the three horizontal lines at the top right and select “Settings” to choose a default search engine.
- On the left side of your display, click on “Search.”
- Scroll down to find the “Default Search Engine” option. Click on the drop-down menu next to it and choose a search engine.
- If your desired search engine isn’t listed, scroll down and click on “Find more search engines.”
- Similarly, if you want to do some cleaning and remove unused search engines, click on the search engine under “One-Click Search Engines,” then click on the “Remove” option in the bottom right.
Tip: check out Firefox add-ons to protect your online privacy.
Follow these steps to change the Firefox default search engine on Android and iOS.
- Tap on the three-dot icon (Android) or three-bar icon (iPhone) followed by “Settings” in the app.
- Go to “Search” and select the new default search engine. You can add a new one by tapping on “Add search engine.”
Change the Default Search Engine in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge comes pre-installed on Windows PC, but you can also install it on Linux and macOS. Follow the steps below to change the default Edge search engine on PC.
- With the browser open, click on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner, then choose “Settings” in the menu.
- Click on “Privacy, Search, and services” in the panel on the left.
- Scroll all the way down and click on the “Address bar and search” option.
- Click on the drop-down menu next to “Search engine used in address bar” and select a new search engine.
Tip: click on “Manage search engines” to add or remove search engines from the Edge browser.
Follow these steps to change the default search engine on Android and iOS.
- In the Edge browser, tap on the three-dot icon and select “Settings.”
- Go to “General” followed by “Select search engine.”
- Choose the preferred search engine.
Change the Default Search Engine on Opera
The default search engine can be changed in Opera on all devices as well.
- Click on the three-bar icon at the top-right corner and select “Go to full browser settings” at the bottom. Alternatively, click on the red “O” icon at the top left-hand corner and go to “Settings.”
- In the left pane, click “Advanced” and scroll down on the right side until you see the Search engine card.
- Click on the drop-down menu next to the “Search engine used in address bar” and choose a search engine. If you want to add another search engine, click on “Manage search engines” and add your preferred search engine.
- Tap on the account icon (Android) or three-bar icon (iPhone) at the bottom of the Opera browser and press the “Settings” icon (Android) or Settings option (iPhone).
- Scroll down and tap on “Default search engine.” Choose an option from the list.
Change the Default Search Engine in Brave
The Brave browser is loaded with hidden but useful features while also allowing you to choose your search engine. Follow these instructions to change the default Brave search engine on Windows and macOS.
- Click on the three-bar icon at the top and select “Settings” from the menu.
- Go to “Search Engine” from the left sidebar.
- Click on the drop-down menu next to “Search engine used in the address bar” to select the preferred search engine.
- Alternatively, click on “Manage search engines and site search” to add or remove search engines.
- Open the Brave browser and tap on the three-dot icon in the bottom right followed by “Settings.”
- Go to “Search engines” followed by “Standard Tab.”
- By default, Brave is the default search engine. Select the new search engine from the list.
Change the Default Search Engine in Safari
Safari comes pre-installed on macOS, iPhone, and iPad. You cannot install it on other devices.
- Open the Safari browser and click on “Safari” at the top, then go to “Preferences.”
- Click on the “Search” tab at the top.
- Select a new default search engine from the drop-down menu next to “Search engine.”
- Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap on “Safari.”
- Tap on the “Search Engine” option and select the new default search engine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my search engine keep changing?
Your search engine could keep changing to Bing or Yahoo due to an extension installed in the browser. Learn how to fix issues with the search engine repeatedly changing.
Can I use the default search engine after changing to a different one?
When you switch to a new default search engine, all your searches will be performed using it. You can still access the other search engines by opening their direct website links, such as www.google.com, www.bing.com, etc. Alternatively, you can select the old search engine again in the list of search engines as shown in the above methods.
Is there a better search engine for privacy?
Yes, there are some that are better than others. Check out the best search engines for privacy.
Image credit created by and all screenshots taken by Mehvish Mushtaq
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