How to Change the Default Search Engine in Safari for iOS

How to make Google (or Bing, etc.) your Safari search engine

Smart phone
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Apple's Safari browser will, by default, perform internet searches through Google. You can change this at any time by modifying the default search engine setting on your device.

Your search engine options are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, and you can change this at any time with just a few taps. When you change the default search engine on Safari for the iPhone or iPad, you're allowing all future searches to be performed through that particular website.

However, you can always visit your favorite search engine website directly if you happen to not want to use any of the built-in options or if yours is set to Yahoo, for example, but you want to search on Google temporarily.

How to Change Safari's Default Search Engine

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and open the Safari menu.
  3. Locate the SEARCH section and then tap on Search Engine.
  4. Choose either Google, Yahoo, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.
  5. You can now exit the Settings app or tap Safari from the top left of the Search Engine screen to return to Safari's settings.

Other Search Settings in Safari

Also found within the browser's SEARCH settings are the following options, each of which can be disabled or enabled:

  • Search Engine Suggestions: Presents suggested search terms as you type, obtained from the default engine.
  • Safari Suggestions: Offers suggestions as you type, derived from a combination of sources including iTunes, the App Store, and the internet as a whole. This option also sends some of your search data to Apple, including which suggestions you selected.
  • Quick Website Search: When you search within a particular website, Safari will store that data for future use, allowing you to then search that site directly from the Smart Search Field in subsequent browser sessions.
  • Preload Top Hit: Safari will attempt to determine the best search result as you type, preloading that page ahead of time so that it renders in an instant if you do wind up selecting it. The determination process utilizes a combination of your browsing history and saved bookmarks.
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