Changing the Default Search Engine in Chrome for iOS

Chrome's Settings Allow You to Choose a Default Search Engine Other Than Google

This article is intended for users running the Google Chrome web browser on iPadiPhone or iPod touch devices.

All browsers install with a default search engine, and Chrome's default search engine is Google, of course. Its "omnibox" combined URL address bar/search bar provides a one-stop shop for entering both search terms and specific URLs. If you prefer a different search engine, however, it is easy to change. 

Changing the Default Search Engine on iOS

  1. Open the Chrome browser on your iOS device.
  2. Tap the Chrome menu button (three vertically-aligned dots), located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window.
  3. Select the Settings option from the drop-down menu to display Chrome's Settings page.
  4. Locate the Basics section and select Search Engine.
  5. Check the search engine you prefer.
  6. Click Done, and exit Chrome settings.

Possible selections are Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask and AOL. There is currently no support for adding any alternative search engine on an iOS device. You can, however, add new search engines on laptops and desktops.

Note: If you want to use a search engine not listed in Chrome's Search Engine settings, consider browsing to your favorite search engine, and then creating a shortcut for that page on your home screen. 

Changing the Default Search Engine on Chrome on a Computer

A computer or laptop provides more options than a mobile device when it comes to search engines. If you don't like any of the listed search engines, you can add a new one. Here's how:

  1. Open the Chrome browser on your computer.
  2. Tap the Chrome menu button (three vertically-aligned dots), located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window. 
  3. Select the Settings option from the drop-down menu to display Chrome's Settings page.
  4. Locate the Search section and select Manage Search Engines...
    1. The Search Engines dialog displays. In addition to the default search settings available on an iOS device, several others are displayed under the section Other Search Engines.
  5. Find the engine you prefer. If it does not exist, scroll to the last row where "Add a new search engine" textbox is displayed.

Here are some tips when adding a new search engine:

  • Add a new search engine: This is just a label for the search engine, so make it meaningful for you.
  • Keyword: This is a text-based shortcut for the search engine. Use this to quickly access the search engine via the address bar.
  • URL: Enter the web address for the search engine. Here's where it gets tricky.  To find the web address:
    • 1. Navigate to the search engine you want to add, for instance "https://duckduckgo.com".
    • 2. Perform an actual search for something simple, such as "abc".
    • 3. Record the search URL, i.e. (for the above search) "https://duckduckgo.com/?q=abc&ia=web".
    • 4. Replace the search query part (after the equals (=) sign) of the search URL with "%s". For example, "https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s"
    • This last is important because it allows you to set this as your default search engine.