How to Make Google Search My Main Search Engine

by Laurel Storm

In the early days of the Internet, the only way to run a search was to visit the homepage of the search engine you wanted to use. Although you can still do that if you feel so inclined, modern browsers are designed with your convenience in mind and make it possible for you to run a search either from their address bar or from a dedicated search box. The default search engine varies from browser to browser, but switching the setting to Google is simple enough.

Internet Explorer 10

Click the "Gear" icon, select "Manage Add-Ons" and click "Search Providers." Click the link that reads "Find More Search Providers," located at the bottom of the window, to open a list of available search provider. Click "Google" and then click "Add to Internet Explorer." When prompted for confirmation, activate the check box labeled "Make This My Default Search Provider" and then click "Add."

Internet Explorer 9

Click the "Tools" icon and select "Internet Options." In the General tab, click the "Settings" button located in the Search section, select "Google" from the list and click "Set as Default." If Google doesn't appear in the list, click the link that reads "Find More Search Providers" to open a list of available search providers. Click "Google," click "Add to Internet Explorer and then, when prompted for confirmation, enable the "Make This My Default Search Provider" option and click "Add."

Internet Explorer 8

Click the down arrow next to the magnifying glass in the search box and select "Find More Providers." Click "Google," activate the check box labeled "Make This My Default Search Provider," select "Manage Search Providers" and then click "Add."

Google Chrome and Opera 15

Because these two browsers are built on the same engine, the way to change your default search engine is very similar. If you are using Chrome, click the "Menu" icon on the toolbar; if you are using Opera, click the "Opera" button. Select "Settings" from the menu that opens. Using the drop-down menu in the Search section, select "Google" from the list of search engines. The setting is automatically saved when you change it, so you can simply close the Settings tab immediately afterwards.

Firefox and Opera 12

Although these two browsers are built on different engines, the way to change your default search engine is identical. Click the down arrow in your browser's search box and select "Google" from the list of search engines that opens. The search box will now use Google for searches until you select a different browser using the same drop-down list, even if you close and restart the browser.

Safari

Click the magnifying glass icon in Safari's search box and select "Google" to permanently switch the search box to using Google for searches. The setting is automatically saved and will persist until you change it again.

About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Adam Berry/Getty Images News/Getty Images