Managing Search Engines in Google Chrome Browser

Tell Chrome how you want to search

Close up of a search bar in google chrome

pearleye / Getty Images

This tutorial is intended for users running Google Chrome on macOS, Chrome OSLinux, MacOS X, macOS Sierra, or Windows operating systems.

Not surprisingly, the default search engine for Google Chrome is set to Google. Any search terms you enter into the browser's combined address/search bar are passed to Google's own search engine. You can modify this setting, however, to use whatever search engine you prefer. Chrome also provides the ability to add your own engine, assuming that you know the appropriate search string. In addition, you can search via one of Chrome's other installed options simply by entering its designated keyword before your search term. This tutorial shows you how to manage the browser's integrated search engines.

Check Lifewire's roundup of search engines to decide which you prefer or would like to try.

  1. Open Chrome.

  2. Click on the three vertically aligned dots in the upper right corner and select Settings.

    Chrome menu icon and Settings
  3. Chrome's Settings interface should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration.

  4. Scroll toward the bottom of the page to find Search engine. Next to this is a drop-down menu displaying your browser's current search engine.

    Chrome settings > search engine
  5. Click the arrow located to the right of the menu to view the other available choices. Select the one you prefer.

    Chrome search engine options

Managing Search Engines

To see more options, click Manage search engines. You'll see a list of all search engines currently available.

The first section, Default search settings, contains the options that come preinstalled with Chrome, along with any others you'd chosen as your default at some point (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, etc.).

Manage search engines in Chrome

The second section, labeled Other search engines, lists additional options. To change Chrome's default search engine via this interface, click the three dots next to the one you want and select Make default from the drop-down menu that appears. You have now configured a new default search engine.

To remove/uninstall any search engines other than the default option, select Remove from list from that same drop-down menu.

Adding a New Search Engine

Chrome also gives you the ability to add a new search engine, assuming that you know the correct query.

  1. Click Add next to Other search engines.

  2. In the window that appears, fill in the blanks.

    Add search engine in Chrome

For Search engine, type a label for the engine. For Keyword, type a text shortcut you can enter in the search bar to use this search engine quickly. For URL, enter the website address for the search engine's results page. Enter %s in place of an actual query.

See Google's guidance for more on adding new search engines.