Change Your Browser's Default Search Engine
By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
Search engines are highly personal -- there's just something very comforting about searching the web and seeing the results displayed in a familiar layout. That's why it's so difficult for people to switch from Google to Bing, or from Bing to Yahoo, even though the top results will be roughly the same across all search engines.
Don't worry -- we get it. Here's how to switch your browser's default search engine to the search engine of your choice (whether that's Google, Bing, or even Facebook Search).
Internet Explorer 11
The default search engine in Internet Explorer 11 is Bing. Here's how to change it:
Step 1: Open Internet Explorer 11 and click the search icon (magnifying glass) inside the address bar. This will open a drop-down search menu.
Step 2: At the bottom of this menu, you'll see the current default search engine (Bing) and a button that says Add. Click Add.
Step 3: This will take you to the Internet Explorer Gallery, which is a list of add-ons for Internet Explorer. Find the search add-on you want to install (Google, eBay, GraysOnline, The Arena, Wikipedia, Yahoo, or YouTube) and click Add to download and install it.
Step 4: After your add-on is installed, click the Settings icon (gear) in the upper right corner of the window and choose Manage add-ons from the drop-down menu.
Step 5: Open the Search Providers tab and click the search engine you want to set as your default. Click Set as default and click Close.
The default search engine in Microsoft Edge is Bing. Here's how to change it:
Step 1: Open Microsoft Edge and navigate to the search engine you want to use. For example, if you want to use Google, type www.google.com into Edge's address bar and hit the Enter key.
Step 2: Click the Settings icon (three dots) in the upper right corner of the window. Choose Settings from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the Settings sidebar and click View advanced settings.
Step 4: Find the heading Search in the address bar with and click Change.
Step 5: Select the search engine you have just navigated to (in this case, Google), and click Set as default.
The default search engine in Mozilla Firefox is Yahoo. Here's how to change it:
Step 1: Open Mozilla Firefox and click the Settings icon (three bars) in the upper right corner of the window. Choose Options from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: In the Options menu, click the Search tab. Under Default Search Engine, choose your default search engine from the drop-down menu. You can choose from a variety of options, depending on what add-ons you currently have installed. If you have no add-ons installed, you should still see the basic options: Yahoo, Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
Step 3: To add a new search option, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add more search engines... This will take you to the Firefox Add-Ons page; here, you can download and install search engine add-ons such as Facebook Search, Qwant.com, and Ask.com. Once you install your add-on, go back to the Search tab and you'll be able to choose that search engine as a default.
The default search engine in Google Chrome is Google. Here's how to change it:
Step 1: Open Google Chrome and click the Settings icon (three bars) in the upper right corner. Choose Settings from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Under Search, choose the default search engine you would like to use from the drop-down menu. You can choose from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL, eBay, or Wikipedia.
Step 3: To use a different search engine as your default, click Manage search engines... This will open a pop-up window that displays the current list of default search engines and other search engines that Chrome has identified as you've browsed the web (this will include site-specific search engines). Find the search engine you want to use, mouse-over it, and click the Make default button that appears. Click Done to close the window; your new search engine will automatically be listed as your default search engine.
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is a writer and proud dilettante based in Los Angeles. She specializes in consumer technology, including hardware and software reviews, social media, privacy issues, small and medium business solutions, and digital copyright law. She regularly contributes to PCWorld, Macworld, CNET and Men's Health.