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

Why would you change your default search engine? I always have to change it because my browser forces me to use the local version of Google (I am installing the browser from abroad) and thus I need to switch it to google.com. Or, you might download a software update and miss that it changes your default search engine. Either way, it is a pretty easy fix! (You can also switch off the personalization of search results or change it to an alternative search engine.)

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 Firefox follow these steps:

  • Copy and 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):

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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:

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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.

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

In the same dialog box, click “Add” button and then fill in the details:

  • Name: The name for your new (default) search engine
  • Keyword: Allows you to access it directly from the address bar (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

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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 you prefer
  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”

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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:

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Happy searching!