Setting Your Default Search Engine

You can use the address bar in Safari to search with your default search engine. In Safari Preferences you can set this to Google, Yahoo, Bing or DuckDuckGo. But you can browser to any search engine you want and use it outside of the address bar. You can also set your default search engine to almost any other site using Safari extensions.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Setting Your Default Search Engine.

Safari has this very handy address bar at the top where you can type a URL, like, or you can actually search for something. So you can type in a search word and get results. It will even show you Search Goggle right there and you get the Goggle search results.

Now you can customize this by going to Safari Preferences and in there under Search you can choose a search engine. There are four different search engines currently listed there. You can choose Goggle, Yahoo, Bing, or DuckDuckGo. You probably know Yahoo and Bing is, of course, the Microsoft search engine. DuckDuckGo is another search engine that specializes in privacy. They don't do the tracking things that the other three do.

So you can switch to one of these. Like let's switch to DuckDuckGo and now when I type up here I can do it just as before except the results that I'm going to get are from that search engine and not from Goggle.

Now just because you can only choose from four search engines that work in the address bar up here doesn't mean that you can't use other search engines. You can use any search engine you want by simply browsing to it. So, for instance, I've got DuckDuckGo now set as my default. But say I wanted to try Goggle for something. I could just go to and search there. I can use any search engine I want, even if it's not one of those four. Just go to it's website and search as normal. That change in the Preferences only effects the little quick function here where you can just search for something by typing words in the address bar.

You still have complete flexibility to use any search engine you want. As a matter of fact Apple even puts some search engines like Bing and Yahoo up here so you can just click to jump right to them and start searching.

But since Safari can be extended with third party extensions you can actually change this behavior if you really wanted to put another search engine up here. So you can go to Safari, Extensions and it takes you to an Apple site here that lists Safari extensions by developers. You can search here for Search and it gives you a bunch of different search engine related extensions here. There are probably several but the first one I notice is one called AnySearch here. If I click and go to it I see it will let me change the address bar so it uses any search engines. So I'll hit the Install Now button. If I go to Safari Preferences and then Extensions I can see it's installed and I have it enabled. I can uninstall it easily.

I can change the search engine to a wide variety of things. Even some specialty things. Like, for instance, I can switch to Internet Movie Database as the search engine. So now when I search for a movie it's actually going to jump right to Internet Movie Database. Which is interesting if maybe your job requires you to search Internet Movie Database all the time. Otherwise you're not going to find normal search results by doing this.

But there were a variety of different options here. Several of which can be used as regular search engines and also lets you enter a custom URL like this so if you have some other search engine in mind that's not listed and they'll work with search?q= and then the search term you can actually paste it in here.

So using extensions you can easily customize the address bar to search any search engine you want.