How to Change Safari’s Default Search Engine on Mac

Safari is a solid browser for most Mac users. It’s fast, energy efficient, works well with iPhone and iPad, and more. If you’re not happy with the default search engine, changing it only takes a few clicks.

RELATED: How to Change the Default Search Engine in Safari on iPhone or iPad

Changing the search engine in Safari preferences

To change Safari’s default search engine, launch the Safari app on your Mac and click “Safari” in the upper left corner of the screen and select “Preferences” from the list that appears:

macOS Safari Preferences

A new window will appear. Click the “Search” button to switch to search engine preferences:

Reveal Safari search engine preferences

Click the drop-down arrow to select a search engine of your choice. You can choose from Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Bing and Ecosia:

Search engines available on Safari

Once you have chosen the desired search engine, you can close the preferences panel. From now on, all searches you perform from the address bar will use the search engine specified in Safari’s preferences.

Use other search engines with Safari

There’s currently no way to add more search engines to Safari, which means if you want to use another default search engine, you’ll have to use another browser like Chrome or Firefox.

Luckily, you can use a clever workaround to search the web with different search engines right from Safari’s URL bar. To do this, you will need to use DuckDuckGo as your default search engine. So follow the steps above to switch to this default search engine in Safari preferences.

DuckDuckGo supports a range of additional operators called “bangs” which are primarily designed to limit your search to a particular website. For example, if you search for “change Safari search engine!” ).

You can do this for a range of services such as YouTube (!yt), Wikipedia (!w) and Twitter (!twitter). You can also use it to search Google (!g), Google Images (!gimg), and Gmail (!gmail) without having to rely on Google as your primary search engine. Remember that you don’t get DuckDuckGo’s enhanced privacy when using these bangs, as the search engine simply forwards your request to a third-party search instead.

Bangs includes other search engines like Bing (!bing) and Ecosia (!eco). Head to the DuckDuckGo Bangs Repository and search for the search engine of your choice, then add the hit to each search.

DuckDuckGo is your best choice

Not only is DuckDuckGo the best default Safari search engine from a privacy perspective, but you can also always switch to Google and get deeper results by adding a “!g” to your search. Searching with DuckDuckGo quickly becomes second nature, especially when you remember which bangs to use for your favorite websites and search engines.

You can also use DuckDuckGo for media, maps, news, and directions.