How to Change the Default Search Engine on Chrome

Use your favorite search engine on a PC, iPhone or Android smartphone

A website address bar placed on a business like background of someone at a laptop

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Google Chrome's default search engine is Google, understandably, but what if you want to change it to your other favorite search engine instead? Here's how to change the default search engine and how to change it back to Google if you've made a mistake.

These instructions apply to most PCs, iPhones, and Android smartphones with slight variances on different devices. They were tested on iOS 12 and Android 9 (Pie), plus a standard PC.

How to Change Default Search Engine in Chrome

Changing search engines is a fairly straightforward thing to do, provided you know where to look. Here's how to find the right setting to achieve that. 

  1. Open Google Chrome.

  2. Select the three dots to the side of your user profile photo.

    Where to find the settings button on Google Chrome

    Alternatively, you can select File > Preferences or Chrome > Preferences.

  3. Select Settings.

    Where to find Settings on Google Chrome
  4. Scroll down to Search Engine.

  5. Select the dropdown menu to choose from some pre-selected search engine options.

    Where to change your choice of search engine on Google Chrome
  6. Select the one you want to change to. Chrome offers Bing, Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo as alternatives.

  7. Congratulations! You've successfully changed your default search engine!

What Search Engine Should I Change Chrome To?

It's entirely up to you. Each search engine has its advantages and disadvantages. Yahoo! is one of the oldest search engines out there and has a friendly interface, while Bing is Microsoft's creation and looks a lot like Google. 

DuckDuckGo is a great choice if you're privacy-conscious as it keeps your search history private at all times and blocks advertising trackers. It's basically Google without the tracking. 

How to Manage Your Choice of Search Engines

Google Chrome also offers a way to add multiple search engines so you can easily switch between them via the method detailed above.

  1. Open Google Chrome.

  2. Select the three dots to the side of your user profile photo.

    Alternatively, you can select File > Preferences or Chrome > Preferences. You can also get there by copying and pasting "chrome://settings/searchEngines" into the address bar

  3. Select Settings.

  4. Scroll down to Search Engine.

  5. Select Manage search engines.

    The Manage Search Engines Dialog on Google Chrome
  6. Here, you can change plenty of advanced settings, including editing the link you search via, as well as adding extra search engines for future reference.

How to Edit a Search Engine Entry

  1. From Manage Search Engines, select the three dots to the side of your chosen search engine.

    Editing the choice of default search engines in Google Chrome
  2. Select Edit.

  3. Type in a nickname for the search engine or change the keyword.

    The keyword is what you enter in the address bar to quickly use the search engine. Make it something familiar and easy to remember. 

  4. Select Save.

    The Edit Search Engine dialog on Google Chrome
  5. You've successfully changed and saved a search engine on Google Chrome.

How to Add Another Search Engine

It's possible to add extra search engines to Google Chrome.

  1. Open Google Chrome.

  2. Select the three dots to the side of your user profile photo.

    Alternatively, you can select File > Preferences or Chrome > Preferences. You can also get there by copying and pasting "chrome://settings/searchEngines" into the address bar.

  3. Select Settings.

  4. Scroll down to Search Engine.

  5. Select Manage Search Engines.

  6. Scroll down to Other Search Engines.

  7. Select Add.

    Adding a new search engine to Google Chrome
  8. Type in a label for the search engine in the Search Engine field

  9. Type in a keyword that's easy to remember when typing it into the address bar.

    The keyword is the word you can type into the address bar to search for it more quickly, so make it memorable.

  10. Enter the URL/website address of the search engine.

  11. Select Save.

    Saving an edited search engine on Google Chrome.
  12. You're done! You can now use that search engine by typing in its keyword in the address bar.