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How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

What would make you want change your default search engine? I always have to change it because my browser may force me to use the local version of Google (as I am installing the browser from abroad) and thus I need to switch it to google.com. You can also switch off the personalization of search results or change it an alternative search engine.

  1. Change Default Search Engine in Firefox
    1. Change the default search engine of FireFox search bar
    2. Change the default search engine of FireFox address bar
  2. Change Default Search Engine in Google Chrome
  3. Change Default Search Engine in Internet Explorer 8

Change Default Search Engine in Firefox

In FireFox you can search both using the search box and the address (URL) bar.

Change the default search engine of FireFox search bar:

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FireFox search box doesn’t have the default search engine as we understand it. What you need to do is the following: just click the drop down arrow next to the search engine icon and select a search engine (you can see your current default search engine in bold). Firefox will remember your choice and use the selected search engine from now on (until you change it again).

default search engine gogle firefox How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

Create a new search plugin for your search box:

To create a new search engine for the FireFox follow these steps:

  • Copy-paste the Google search query URL string;
  • Use {searchTerms} as placeholder for your search term:
  • Go to mycroft.mozdev.org and use the form (click “Show full instructions option?“) to create a search plugin for your search box;
  • Paste your search URL in the “URL” field and provide all the extra details (name, email, etc):

customize google 1 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

Change the default search engine of FireFox address bar:

With FireFox you can search simply by typing your search terms in the address bar (that’s where you see your current URL). In this case, the default search engine will be used to search.

  1. Open about:config in Firefox (if you doing it for the first time, you may have to promise you are going to be careful)
  2. Search for keyword.url from the filter box.
  3. Double click on this entry. It will open a dialog where you can edit the ‘keyword.url’ string.
  4. Change this string to whatever you want it to be:

default search engine gogle firefox 01 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

Change Default Search Engine in Google Chrome

  1. Navigate: Settings (icon) -> Options and click “Manage” next to your “Default search engine
  2. Select your preferred search engine from the list and click “Make Default” button.

google personalized 05 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

Create your own search provider and make it the default one:

I the same dialog, click “Add” button and there fill in the details:

  • Name: The name for your new (default) search engine
  • Keyword: Allows you to access it direct from the address bar (ala Smart Keywords in FireFox);
  • URL: Add the URL of a search result page here, and use the placeholder %s to show where the query should be.

default search engine gogle chrome 01 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

Change Default Search Engine in Internet Explorer 8

If you are using Internet Explorer 8, your default search engine is likely to be Bing. Here’s how you can change that:

  1. In the search bar, there is a small arrow to the right of the search icon (magnifying glass).
  2. Click the arrow and then select “Manage search engines”;
  3. Select the Search Provider that you like to set as default here.
  4. Click on ‘Set as default’ button.

Alternatively (If you are doing this after a fresh installation):

  1. Click the arrow and then select “Search for other search engines”;
  2. A page will be loaded that lists all available search engines;
  3. Install any of them and, if you want it to be default, check “Make it a default search provider”

default search engine ie8 01 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

Create your own search provider and make it the default one:

You can also create your own search provider which is quite easy:

  1. Copy-paste the Google search query URL string;
  2. Use TEST (capital letters) as placeholder for your search term:

default search engine ie8 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

Happy searching!

 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
 How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

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17 thoughts on “How to Change Your Default Search Engine in FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer

  1. I like this post, it keeps things simple and informative. personally I like to use Firefox and Google as my browser and search engine choice. Sometimes I might use Chrome or IE for development purposes but I always prefer Google over other search engines.

  2. Good information. I tried to find the url for Google US search but could not. It is so aggravating to always have my search default based on IP location when I want to search the US results. I guess I'll have to stick with using a proxy until I can find the needed url.

  3. For experts or SEO professionals, this is given information but for those people who are new to internet this is precious information. Nevertheless, thanks for sharing this for all those people who needs to know this.

  4. Easy way to change google chrome’s default search domain:
    1. Close google chrome
    2. For Windows 7 users go here: C:UsersuserAppDataLocalGoogleChromeUser Data. Pls Note that “user” is whatever profile name you are using.
    3. For Windows XP users go here: c:documents and settingslocal settingsapplication dataGoogleChromeUser Data.
    4. Look for a file called Local State. Open using notepad.
    5. Look for all instances of the domain you dont like e.g. google.co.ru/. Replace with what you want to use e.g google.com/. Save file.
    6. Enjoy!

  5. Thanks so much :)

    I was tired of the results I would receive when I was trying to do a quick search and typed items in the address bar, true the search box is to the right, but I love options!

  6. Hello there, i have trouble in Firefox with Change this string to whatever you want it to be, if i change to google.com anyway many results i have in google.de, why?

  7. Thanks, worked great for Firefox. I changed mine to startpage.com for privacy, I hope people switch over so google can’t spy on us/sell our information anymore

  8. Bing is the only option given. ‘Find More Providers’ comes up with ‘No Results’. Cut & paste – as described above – has proved impossible. Help!!