How to change the default search engine on your computer or phone

  • You can change your web browser search engine through browser settings on your computer or application or system settings on your phone.
  • Your browser’s search engine is what it uses to find anything you type in the URL bar.
  • Almost all browsers allow you to switch between at least Google, Bingand yahoo.

If you’ve ever found a new website, it’s almost certainly by using a search engine like Google or Bing. Search engine are so prominent that every major web browser has a whole selection of them built into the software – just type something into the URL bar and your search engine will find it.

But every user has a search engine they prefer. And if your browser doesn’t use that one, surfing the web can get frustrating.

Fortunately, every web browser allows you to switch search engines. They all offer at least Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and most offer a few additional options as well.

Here’s how to change the search engine on your Mac, PC, iPhone/iPad or Android device.

How to change the search engine on your Mac or PC

The steps for changing your browser’s search engine depend on the browser you are using. But in general, you have to open your browser window Settings or Preferences menu, then click Research. There you will find the options to change your search engine.

Google Chrome

1. Open Chrome and click the three dots stacked in the upper right corner.

2. To select Settingsthen click Search engine in the left sidebar.

3. Use the Search engine used in the address bar option to select the search engine you want to use.

Chrome, like most browsers, has a dedicated search settings page.Google; William Antonelli/Insider

Microsoft Edge

1. Open Edge and click the three dots in the upper right corner, then select Settings.

2. On the page that opens, click Privacy, Research and Services in the left sidebar.

3. Scroll down the page and click Address bar and search.

How to change the default search engine on your computer or phone
“Address bar and search” is the last option on this page.Microsoft; William Antonelli/Insider

4. Use the Search engine used in address bar option to choose your search engine.

firefox

1. Open Firefox and click the three stacked lines in the upper right corner.

2. To select Settingsthen click Research in the left sidebar.

3. Use the drop-down menu under Default search engine to choose your browser’s search engine.

How to change the default search engine on your computer or phone
Firefox includes eBay and Wikipedia as search engine options.Mozilla; William Antonelli/Insider

Safari

1. Open Safari and click Safari in the upper left corner of your screen.

2. To select Preferencesthen click Research at the top of the menu that opens.

3. Use the Search engine: drop-down menu to choose your browser’s new search engine.

How to change the default search engine on your computer or phone
Safari gives you five options for search engines.Apple; William Antonelli/Insider

How to change the search engine on your iPhone, iPad or Android

iPhones and iPads

The default web browser on Apple devices is Safari. You can customize it with the Settings app.

1. Open the Settings app and scroll down to select Safari.

2. Faucet Search enginethen select the search engine you want to use.

How to change the default search engine on your computer or phone
You will manage Safari through the Settings app.Apple; William Antonelli/Insider

You can also download Edge, Firefox, and Chrome apps. To change the search engine in these apps, open their in-app settings menus.

android

Different Android devices have different defaults web browsers. But usually new phones start with Google Chrome.

1. Open the Google Chrome app and tap the three dots stacked in the upper right corner, then select Settings.

2. Below Basicsfaucet Search engine.

How to change the default search engine on your computer or phone
Chrome’s search engine options are under the “Basics” heading.Google; William Antonelli/Insider

3. Select your new search engine.

If you’re using a different browser app, check that app’s Settings menu.