How to change the default search engine in Chrome for Android

Google may rule the roost on Android, but sometimes it's good to explore what's outside of the nest.

google chrome android
Nick Mediati

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If you have an Android phone, you’re probably all in with Google. There’s good reason to be, with all that nifty Google Now integration and the extra search power from Now on Tap.

But other search engines have their merits. Microsoft’s Bing, for example, offers deep social integration and bribes you with Bing Rewards.

Since there’s a Google search button right there on your home screen, one way to get to know another search service better is to make it the default option in Chrome. Typing in the Omnibox will automatically query one of these other services instead of Google. Here’s how to make the switch.

Shifting away from Google

Naturally Google is the default in Chrome. First go to Settings > Search Engine and then you’ll see five different choices.

change default search

Chrome for Android lets you pick a new default search engine from a list of pre-selected choices.

Under the other search engine choices you’ll see blue lettering that reads, “Location is blocked.” To change this, which is recommended for more accurate search information, touch directly on that phrase. On the next screen, tap Location access and select Allow.

search allow

Enable location access for more accurate search suggestions.

Close this and you can try out the new selection in Chrome. Just search in the Omnibox and your new engine, in this example Bing, will perform the query.

bing search

Once you’ve changed the default engine, just start typing in the Omnibox.


The most disapointing aspect of this selection is that DuckDuckGo, a favorite among those who want greater privacy, isn’t one of the selections. If you want to search regularly with DuckDuckGo you can grab the Android app, go directly to the search engine’s homepage in Chrome, or add that site to your home screen.

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