How to Manage Search Engines in the Opera Web Browser

Change the default, use a custom search engine, or add a new one

Opera is a popular, free web browser that's available for Windows, macOS, and Linux computers as well as mobile devices. Like many other web browsers, Opera supports web searches from the address bar, so any search term you type into the address bar feeds into the search engine of your choice.

Opera relies on Google by default, but it's easy to opt for another search provider or add a new one. Opera's unique keyword system even lets you use a custom search engine for a query without changing the default search engine.

To take advantage of all Opera's features and capabilities, make sure you're using the latest version of Opera.

Browser logos with Opera browser selected
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How to Change Opera's Default Search Engine

If you'd rather default to another of Opera's available search engines, it's easy to make the switch.

  1. Open the Opera web browser.

  2. Select Opera > Preferences on a Mac, or Opera > Options on a Windows PC.

    Select Opera > Preferences on a Mac or Opera > Options on a PC

    For quicker access, try the Settings shortcut by typing opera://settings into the search bar.

  3. Under Search engine, select the dropdown menu and choose Google Search, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, Amazon, Bing, or Wikipedia.

    Under Search engine, select an alternative search engine for Opera
  4. You've set your new default search engine in Opera. Now, when you enter a search term in the address bar, Opera will default to using this search engine. (In this example, it's DuckDuckGo.)

    You've set your new default search engine in Opera.

Use Custom Search Engines in Opera With Keywords

A keyword is a letter or short word that serves as a search engine's nickname. If you'd like to use another search engine just for a specific search, here's how to access it with its keyword.

  1. Open the Opera web browser and Select Opera > Preferences on a Mac, or Opera > Options on a Windows PC.

    Select Opera > Preferences on a Mac or Opera > Options on a PC
  2. Select Manage Search Engines.

    Select Manage Search Engines
  3. Note the keywords for the various installed browsers, including any you've added yourself.

    Note the keywords for Opera's browsers
  4. Exit settings and open an Opera tab.

  5. In this example, we'll do a search on Amazon using its z keyword. Type z shoes in the search bar and hit Enter or Return.

    Type: z shoes in the search bar and hit Enter or Return.
  6. Your custom search will go directly to shoe listings in Amazon.

    You'll arrive at an Amazon shoe search

How to Add a New Search Engine to Opera in Settings

If you want to use a search engine that Opera doesn't already offer, it's easy to add it to your options. In this example, we'll add the Spanish-language version of Wikipedia.

After you add a new search engine, use its keyword for custom searches.

  1. Open the Opera web browser.

  2. Select Opera > Preferences on a Mac, or Opera > Options on a Windows PC.

    Select Opera > Preferences on a Mac or Opera > Options on a PC

    For quicker access, try the Settings shortcut by typing opera://settings into the search bar.

  3. Select Manage Search Engines.

    Select Manage Search Engines
  4. Select Add.

    Select Add.
  5. Enter a name for your search engine, a keyword, and the URL, and then select Add.

    Add the search engine name, keyword, and URl

    When you enter the URL, enter only the static part of the address. At the end, add a /%s to represent your search query. In this example, we entered the URL as es.wikipedia.org/wiki/%s.

  6. You've added the new search engine to Opera's list, and you can now use it in custom search queries.

    You've added a new search engine to Opera

How to Use the New Search Engine

To use the newly added search engine via its keyword:

  1. Open the Opera web browser.

  2. In the address bar, enter your search engine's keyword, followed by a search term. In this example, we'll use the keyword s to open a query in the Spanish version of Wikipedia. Type s Mexico.

    Type the keyword and your search query in Opera to use your added search engine
  3. Your search term will open in the designated search engine. In this example, it's the Spanish-language version of Wikipedia.

    Your search term will open in the designated search engine