How to Quickly Change Safari’s Default Search Engine in OS X

Are you tired of digging into Safari’s settings to change the default search engine? Dig no more, there’s a much easier way! If you like to use different search engines, or just don’t want to use Google, then there’s a much quicker way to change it from the location bar.

Normally, in order to change the default search engine on Safari, you would first need to open the preferences, then click on “Search”, change the search engine, and then exit out of the preferences.

This method is a bit cumbersome if you want to change the default search engine on a regular basis. In fact, it’s easier to just go to the actual website and search from there.

There is a much easier way. All you need to do is open Safari, click on the location bar, and then tap the Spacebar. The available search engine options (Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo) will appear in a dropdown list. You will know which one is default because there is a checkmark next to it. In the following example, Google is the default search engine.

When we select Yahoo however, you see that a checkmark is placed next to it, indicating that it is the new default search engine.

This change is persistent, meaning it will stay that way until you change it again, which you can again do by just pressing Space and doing so. Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to add search engines, though there aren’t really that many great ones aside from the four included with Safari.

From now on however, if you ever want to search easily from Safari’s location bar using something other than Google, now you can with just a few clicks.

Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.