The combination of a smartphone or tablet and a search engine makes it easy to find just about anything at a moment’s notice. If you have an Android device, you may think that search engine has to be Google, but it doesn’t. Here’s how to change the default search engine on Android.
Google services are integrated very deeply into Android devices, but that doesn’t mean that you have to use them. Google Search is no exception to this. You can easily change the default search engine to a third-party provider.
Change the Default Search Engine in Chrome
To do this, you’ll need to address the places in which you do your searches. For most people, it’s the web browser. Google Chrome is the web browser that comes on all Android devices, so we’ll start there.
Open Google Chrome on your Android device. Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner.
Select “Settings” from the menu.
Tap “Search Engine.”
Choose one of the search engines from the list.
Chrome is just one web browser you can use on an Android device. Practically every browser will have the ability to choose a default search engine. Be sure to explore the settings in whichever browser you use.
Swap out the Google Home Screen Widget
Another common way that people access a search engine on their Android device is through a home screen widget. The Google Search widget is included by default on many phones and tablets.
Unless you’re using Google’s own launcher on Pixel devices, you can simply remove the Google Search widget and replace it with one from the app of your preferred search engine.
First, we’ll remove the Google Search widget. Start by long-pressing on the bar.
This may look different depending on your launcher, but you should see an option to “Remove” the widget.
That’s it for removing. Now we can add a different search widget to the home screen. Long-press on a blank space on the home screen.
You’ll see some sort of menu with “Widgets” as an option. Select it.
Scroll through the list of widgets and find the one from the search app you have installed. We chose DuckDuckGo after installing the web browser from the Play Store. Tap and hold the widget.
Drag it to your home screen and release your finger to drop it.
Now you have quick access to the search engine from your home screen!
Change the Default Smart Assistant
The last thing we can do is change the default Digital Assistant app. On many Android smartphones and tablets, this is set to Google Assistant by default. It can be accessed through a gesture (swiping in from the bottom-left or -right corner), a hot phrase (“Hey/Okay Google”), or a physical button.
Many third-party search apps can be set as the default Digital Assistant, which means that you can quickly launch them with these same gestures.
First, open the Settings menu on your Android phone or tablet by swiping down from the top of the screen (once or twice depending on your device’s manufacturer) to open the notification shade. From there, tap the gear icon.
Select “Apps & Notifications” from the menu.
Now choose “Default Apps.” You may have to expand an “Advanced” section to see this option.
The section we want to use is “Digital Assistant App.” Tap the item.
Select “Default Digital Assistant App” at the top.
Choose the search engine that you want to use.
Tap “OK” on the pop-up message to confirm your selection.
That’s it! Now, when you use the assistant gestures, you’ll go straight to a search with your preferred search engine. Hopefully, with all of these methods, you can use your favorite search engines with ease.
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