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How to make Google your default search engine

Unless you need to be extra careful about the privacy of your searches, 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 said search engine and offering up a few of their own (we’re looking at you, Babylon Search Toolbar). Thankfully, setting Google as your default search engine can be done in less than a minute with minimal effort and a quick trip to your 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. And although your efforts may get derailed again in the future, at least you’ll know what to do when the time comes.

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
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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
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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.

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.

How to make Google your default search engine in Microsoft Edge

Step 1: Open Microsoft Edge and click on the three dots More icon in the top-right corner. In the menu that pops up, choose Settings.

Step 2: On the next screen, on the left side, select Privacy, Search, and Services. Then scroll all the way to the bottom and click on Address Bar and Search.

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

Microsoft Edge search engine settings screenshot
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How to make Google your default search engine in Opera

Step 1: Open Opera and click on the Gear icon on the lower left side of the screen. This will open the Settings menu.

Step 2: In the Settings menu, scroll down until you see the Search Engine section.

Opera search engine settings screenshot
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Step 3: In the Search Engine section, click on the drop-down menu next to the phrase Set Which Search Engine Is Used When Searching From the Combined Search and Address Bar. Then select Google Search from that menu.

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