Most browsers come with a default search engine. A search engine is a program that can search for things on the web. For Chrome, it’s unsurprisingly Google. For Microsoft Edge, it’s Bing. Companies have an interest in getting you to use their search engines. Did you know that you can change the default search engine on almost any browser?

In this series of articles, I’ll show you how to do it on many popular browsers. I thought I’d lead off with the most popular one, Google Chrome.

Open the Chrome browser. Click the 3-dot menu icon at the top right and choose Settings from the drop-down menu.

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The Settings window will open.

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Scroll down to Search engine.

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Your first option is to select the search engine used in the address bar. If you type a web address or some words there, that search engine will do the looking. You’ll be able to choose from any of the search engines that you’ve added to Chrome.  You’ll probably want to click on Manage search engines first. Just click the arrow to the right of Manage search engines.

This window will open.

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Try typing the name of the search engine you wish to use in the search box at the top.

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If the search engine you want to use turns up as a result, you can click the 3-dot icon beside it…

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…and choose Make default from the menu that pops up.

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That search engine will now be the default search engine when you use Chrome. If you don’t see the search engine you want listed, you’ll need to click on Add.

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Enter the name of the search engine and a text shortcut you’d like to use for it. Then there’s the tricky part.

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Under URL, you need to enter the web address of the search engine. But not just its regular web address. You need the address that shows when you do a web query and then you have to replace some information in that address. Sounds hard, but it really isn’t. To get the address we need for DuckDuckGo, here’s what we would do. Go to their website and make a search.

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In the address bar at the top of the page, you’ll see an address for that particular query.

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We want only part of this address. We need to leave off what we were searching for.

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We’ll highlight everything up to that address and then copy it.

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Now, paste that information in the URL box.

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Add a % sign and a lower-case s at the end. The click Add.chrome-default-add.jpg

Once you add the search engine, you can click that 3-dot icon next to it and choose default from the pop-up menu.

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You’ll now be using that search engine by default.