How to Change the Default Search Engine in Chrome for iOS

Chrome's settings allow you to change the default search engine

All web browsers install on iPadiPhone, or iPod touch devices with a default search engine, and the Chrome app's default search engine is—to no one's surprise—Google. Its omnibox combined URL address bar and search bar provides a one-stop-shop for entering both search terms and specific URLs. However, if you prefer a different search engine for use with the iOS Chrome app, the change is easy to make. 

The information in this article applies to the Chrome app that is compatible with iOS 13, iOS 12, and iOS 11, except as noted.

Change the Default Search Engine of Chrome App on iOS

Chrome lets you change the settings for the search engine on iOS.

  1. Open the Chrome browser on your iOS device.

  2. Tap the Chrome menu button (three horizontally-aligned dots) at the bottom of the screen when in portrait mode or at the top when in landscape mode.

  3. Select Settings in the pop-up menu to display Chrome's Settings.

  4. Tap Search Engine.

    Google app settings
  5. Tap to place a checkmark next to the search engine you prefer. Selections are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo in iOS 12 and iOS 11. IOS 13 includes all these plus Ecosia. The iOS app doesn't support adding other search engines.

  6. Select Settings at the top of the screen to return to the previous screen.

  7. Select Done to exit the Chrome settings.

    Google app search engine settings

If you want to use a search engine not listed in Chrome's Search Engine settings, go to your favorite search engine in Safari on your iPhone and create a shortcut icon for that page for your Home screen. 

Tips for Using the Chrome App on iOS Devices

Little-known features of the iOS Chrome app that enhance your experience include:

  • Incognito Mode: Enter Incognito Mode by tapping New Incognito Tab on the Chrome menu. With this setting, you can surf the internet without leaving any record of the sites you visit on your iOS device. However, it doesn't prevent websites from tracking you.
  • Voice Search: Enable Voice Search by tapping the microphone icon in the Chrome search bar. It's preferable to typing in long URLs. If you are already on a web page, tap and hold the Search icon (the plus sign) at the bottom of the screen (or at the top when in landscape mode) and select Voice Search from the pop-up menu.
  • QR Code scanner: Bring up a QR code scanner by tapping and holding on the Search icon. Select Scan QR Code from the pop-up menu. Position the code in the frame on the screen, and the relevant link launches immediately.
  • Share web pages: Tap the Share icon (the box with an arrow) in the Chrome search field to bring up the iOS Sharing screen. From there, you can send a web page link in an email, message, or Twitter post or add it to Notes, Reminders, or other apps and services.

Changing the Default Search Engine on Chrome on a Computer

Changing the default search engine in the Chrome browser on your computer is just as easy as on the app.

  1. Open any web page in the Chrome browser on your computer.

  2. Select the Chrome menu button (three vertically aligned dots) in the upper right corner of the browser window. 

    Google three-dot menu icon
  3. Select the Settings option from the drop-down menu.

    Chrome drop-down menu
  4. Select Search engine in the sidebar.

  5. Select Manage search engines.

    Chrome app settings
  6. Select the three dots next to the search engine you prefer.

    list of default search engines in Chrome
  7. Select Make default from the pop-up menu.

    default search engine options in Chrome