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

Your web browser lets you freely change your search engine.

recep-bg/Getty Images

  • You can change your web browser’s search engine through the browser’s settings on your computer or the app or system settings on your phone.
  • Your browser’s search engine is what it uses to find anything you type into the URL bar.
  • Nearly every browser lets you change between at least Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

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

But every user has a search engine they like best. And if your browser isn’t using that one, surfing the web can get frustrating.

Luckily, every web browser lets you change your search engine. They all offer at least Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and most will give a few more options too.

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 you’ll take to change your browser’s search engine depend on which browser you’re using. But in general, you should open your browser’s Settings or Preferences menu, then click Search. You’ll find the options to change your search engine there.

Google Chrome

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

2. Select Settings, then click Search engine in the left sidebar.

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

Google Chrome's Search settings page. The search engine options are highlighted.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 top-right corner, then select Settings.

2. On the page that opens, click Privacy, search, and services in the left sidebar.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Address bar and search.

The "Privacy, search, and services" menu in Microsoft Edge. The "Address bar and search" option is highlighted.“Address bar and search” is the last option on this page.

Microsoft; William Antonelli/Insider

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


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

2. Select Settings, then click Search in the left sidebar.

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

Firefox's Search settings page.Firefox includes eBay and Wikipedia as search engine options.

Mozilla; William Antonelli/Insider


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

2. Select Preferences, and then click Search at the top of the menu that opens.

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

Safari's Search settings menu.Safari gives you five options for search engines.

Apple; William Antonelli/Insider

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

iPhone and iPad

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. Tap Search Engine, then select the search engine you want to use.

The Safari settings page in an iPhone's Settings app.You’ll manage Safari through the Settings app.

Apple; William Antonelli/Insider

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


Different Android devices have different default web browsers. But in general, new phones start with Google Chrome.

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

2. Under Basics, tap Search engine.

The Settings menu in Google Chrome on an Android phone.Chrome’s search engine options are under the “Basics” heading.

Google; William Antonelli/Insider

3. Select your new search engine.

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

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