Google Chrome is by far the most popular browser, and it’s fair to say that success is tied to the popularity of the company’s search engine. Google has been the go-to search engine for most people for over a decade, and it makes perfect sense that it’s the default option. But some users might like Google Chrome but don’t want to use Google as their default search engine.
Whether it’s because you want something with a greater emphasis on privacy, like DuckDuckGo, or a newer, eco-friendly alternative like Ecosia, changing the default search engine on Google Chrome is a relatively simple process. painless. We’ll show you how to do it, and just for clarity, we do it on Windows 11, but the procedure should be the same on other platforms where Chrome is available.
How to Change the Default Search Engine in Chrome
Out of the box, Google gives you a few options for search engines that you can use by default. If you want to change your default, follow these steps:
- Launch Google Chrome on your computer.
- Click the menu button (the three dots) near the top right corner of the browser window, then choose Settings.
- On the Settings page, choose the Search engine tab in the left menu.
- You will see a list of search engines to choose from, so you can just choose what you prefer.
- Your chosen search engine will now be used when you search the address bar, and you’ll also see it on the default new tab page.
It should help if the search engine you want to use is in the default list. But what if this is not the case? You can also add a new search engine to Chrome quite easily.
Added a new search engine
Unlike Microsoft Edge, for example, Google doesn’t automatically add every search engine you visit to the list above. Instead, when you visit a website that registers as a search engine, such as YouTube, Chrome will recognize it but put it on an inactive jump list. This means that it takes a little more work to add a new one, but it can also be useful to prevent the list from being flooded with all kinds of pages that register as search engines.
In order to add a search engine, you must first visit its website and perform a search. Once you do, that website will be added to the list of inactive shortcuts we just mentioned. You can find this list by following the steps above to access the Search engine page, then choose Manage search engines and site search. Your “inactive shortcuts” are at the bottom of this page.
You can activate the search engine of your choice to add it to the main list, or click on the three-dot button next to it, then Default it therefore immediately becomes your default search engine.
By using the Enable allows you to use this search engine by typing the keyword listed, pressing Space or Tab, and then typing your search query. This makes it easier to search using a specific search engine for a specific query, without changing your default for each search.
If the search engine you want to use is not automatically recognized by Chrome, you can also add it manually using the To add button under Site search. However, manually added sites cannot be set as the default search engine for all your searches. You can only use them by using the associated keyword before typing your query.
And that’s about all there is to changing the default search engine in Google Chrome. Like we said, it’s not a very complicated process, but if you’ve never done it before, you might not know exactly how to navigate it. If you want to change your default browser to Google Chrome (or something else), you can also check out how to change your default browser in Windows 11. And if you decide to stick with Microsoft’s official browser, we have a guide too. on how to change the default search engine in Edge.