Skip to main content

How to make Google your default search engine

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Unless you need to be extra careful about your searches’ privacy, Google is still the most effective service. It’s useful for saving your past search queries for optimized performance and rarely lets you down, whether you’re searching for adorable cat videos or treatments for whatever dire ailment you might be suffering from at the moment. While Google Chrome and Firefox automatically set Google as your search engine by default, we know pesky add-ons or malware have a knack for hijacking those search engines. Then they offer up a few of their own search engine recommendations(we’re looking at you, Babylon Search Toolbar). The good news is that all you need is less than a minute to change your browser search engine default to Google, quickly completing this simple task with a few clicks under browser preferences.

Here is our guide on how to make Google your default search engine so you can stop looking at Bing, Yahoo!, or, worse, Babylon. Even if your search engine might one day randomly revert back to an alternative search engine, you’ll be prepared to change it back to Google all over again.

How to make Google your default search engine in Google Chrome

Step 1: Open Google Chrome. Then, click on the three dots More icon in the top-right corner. In the menu that pops up, select Settings.

Step 2: On the left side of the Chrome Settings menu, choose Search Engine.

Chrome search engine settings screenshot
screenshot

Step 3: Click on the drop-down menu next to the phrase Search Engine Used in the Address Bar. Choose Google from the drop-down menu.

How to make Google your default search engine in Firefox

Step 1: Open Firefox and then click on the three stacked horizontal lines Menu icon in the top-right corner. In the menu that appears, choose Options.

Step 2: On the left side of the Options menu, select Search.

Firefox search engine settings screenshot
screenshot

Step 3: Under Default Search Engine, choose Google from the drop-down menu.

How to make Google your default search engine in Safari

Google should automatically be your default search engine, but here’s a quick way to check and change it if you need to.

Step 1: Open Safari, move your mouse over the Safari tab and select Preferences, or type the keyboard shortcut Command +. 

Step 2: Select the Search tab, and the first option you should see is for the search engine. If Google is not already set, select the drop-down menu, and choose it.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Close the preferences and double-check to make sure it worked.

If you want to change the options on Safari for iOS or iPadOS, that is a different process.

Step 1: Go to the Settings app and search for Safari.

Step 2: The first option is for the search engine. Change it accordingly if Google is not already set.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to make Google your default search engine in Microsoft Edge

Step 1: Run Microsoft Edge and select the More icon (which looks like three dots) in the top-right corner. From there, a menu will appear on the screen— select Settings.

Step 2: In your Settings, along the left side of the screen, choose Privacy, Search, and Services. Then you’ll have to scroll until you find the Address Bar and Search tab. 

Step 3: After clicking that tab, select the drop-down menu next to the phrase Search Engine Used in the Address Bar. From that drop-down list, tap Google.

Microsoft Edge search engine settings screenshot
screenshot

How to make Google your default search engine in Opera

Step 1: Run Opera and select the Gear icon (which is in the lower left-hand corner of the screen). That icon will lead to the Settings menu.

Step 2: Once you’re in Settings, scroll all the way down to the tab Search Engine.

Opera search engine settings screenshot
screenshot

Step 3: In the Search Engine section, find the phrase Set Which Search Engine Is Used When Searching From the Combined Search and Address Bar and select the drop-down menu next to it. Then click Google Search from the subsequent menu.

Brandon Widder
Brandon Widder is a multimedia journalist and a staff writer for Digital Trends where he covers technology news, how-to…
How to delete your Gmail account (and what you need to know)
The top corner of Gmail on a laptop screen.

Is it time to part ways with your Gmail account? Whether you’re moving onto greener email pastures, or you want to start fresh with a new Gmail address, deleting your old Gmail account is something anyone can do. Of course, we’re not just going to bid you farewell without a guide all our own. If you need to delete your Gmail account, we hope these step-by-step instructions will make the process even easier.

Read more
How to change margins in Google Docs
Laptop Working from Home

You may find that Google Docs has a UI that is almost too clean. It can be difficult to find basic things you're used to, such as margin settings. Don't worry, though, you can change margins in Google Docs just like with any other word processor through a couple of different means.

Read more
How to change your Yahoo password on desktop and mobile
A Yahoo mail inbox.

One of the best ways to keep your many email inboxes safe and secure is by frequently changing your password. While this may sound inconsequential, periodic login updates end up being one of the biggest deterrents against hackers and other malcontents. If Yahoo is your email platform of choice, we’ve put together this guide to teach you how to update your account password in just a few simple steps.

Read more