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How to Change the Default Search Engine in Various Browsers


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.

PC

To change the default Chrome search engine on a PC, follow these steps.

  1. With Chrome open, click on the three dots at the top right and go to “Settings.”
Google Chrome Settings M
  1. Click on the “Search engine” option on the left side.
  2. 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.
Chrome Search Engine Change

Pro Tip: click on the “Manage search engines and site search” option to add custom search engines in Google Chrome.

  1. 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.

Mobile

Follow these steps to change the default search engine in Chrome on Android and iPhone:

  1. Tap on the three-dot icon in the app (at the top on Android and the bottom on iPhone). Select “Settings” from the menu.
Chrome Mobile Settings
  1. Go to “Search Engine” and select one from the list to make it the default search engine.
Chrome Mobile 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.

PC

  1. In the Firefox browser, click on the three horizontal lines at the top right and select “Settings” to choose a default search engine.
Firefox Settings Open
  1. On the left side of your display, click on “Search.”
  2. Scroll down to find the “Default Search Engine” option. Click on the drop-down menu next to it and choose a search engine.
Firefox Change Engine
  1. If your desired search engine isn’t listed, scroll down and click on “Find more search engines.”
Default Search Engine Pc Firefox Find More
  1. 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.
Search Remove

Tip: check out Firefox add-ons to protect your online privacy.

Mobile

Follow these steps to change the Firefox default search engine on Android and iOS.

  1. Tap on the three-dot icon (Android) or three-bar icon (iPhone) followed by “Settings” in the app.
Firefox Mobile Settings
  1. Go to “Search” and select the new default search engine. You can add a new one by tapping on “Add search engine.”
Firefox Mobile 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.

PC

  1. With the browser open, click on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner, then choose “Settings” in the menu.
Microsoft Edge Settings Open
  1. Click on “Privacy, Search, and services” in the panel on the left.
Microsoft Edge Pc Settings Privacy
  1. Scroll all the way down and click on the “Address bar and search” option.
Microsoft Edge Pc Address Bar Search
  1. Click on the drop-down menu next to “Search engine used in address bar” and select a new search engine.
Microsoft Edge Pc Default Search Engine

Tip: click on “Manage search engines” to add or remove search engines from the Edge browser.

Mobile

Follow these steps to change the default search engine on Android and iOS.

  1. In the Edge browser, tap on the three-dot icon and select “Settings.”
Microsoft Edge Mobile Settings
  1. Go to “General” followed by “Select search engine.”
Microsoft Edge Mobile Search Engine
  1. Choose the preferred search engine.
Microsoft Edge Mobile Search Engine Select

Change the Default Search Engine on Opera

The default search engine can be changed in Opera on all devices as well.

PC

  1. 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.”
Opera Open Settings
  1. In the left pane, click “Advanced” and scroll down on the right side until you see the Search engine card.
  2. 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.
Opera Default Search Engine

Mobile

  1. 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).
Opera Mobile Settings
  1. Scroll down and tap on “Default search engine.” Choose an option from the list.
Opera Mobile Search Engine

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.

PC

  1. Click on the three-bar icon at the top and select “Settings” from the menu.
Brave Open Settings
  1. Go to “Search Engine” from the left sidebar.
  2. Click on the drop-down menu next to “Search engine used in the address bar” to select the preferred search engine.
Brave Search Engine
  1. Alternatively, click on “Manage search engines and site search” to add or remove search engines.

Mobile

  1. Open the Brave browser and tap on the three-dot icon in the bottom right followed by “Settings.”
Brave Mobile Settings
  1. Go to “Search engines” followed by “Standard Tab.”
Brave Mobile Search Engine
  1. By default, Brave is the default search engine. Select the new search engine from the list.
Brave Mobile Search Engine Change

Change the Default Search Engine in Safari

Safari comes pre-installed on macOS, iPhone, and iPad. You cannot install it on other devices.

macOS

  1. Open the Safari browser and click on “Safari” at the top, then go to “Preferences.”
Safari Mac Settings
  1. Click on the “Search” tab at the top.
  2. Select a new default search engine from the drop-down menu next to “Search engine.”
Safari Mac Search Engine

Mobile

  1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap on “Safari.”
Safari Settings
  1. Tap on the “Search Engine” option and select the new default search engine.
Safari Settings Default Search Engine

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my search engine keep 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?

Image credit created by and all screenshots taken by Mehvish Mushtaq

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