Find out how to change the default search engine in Safari on iOS

On Apple iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad, the Safari browser searches the Internet using Google by default. You can change the default search engine value at any time by changing the Safari settings on your mobile device.

The search engine options available in iOS 10 and iOS 11 are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Making a switch to one of these search engines requires just a few taps. When you change the default search engine in Safari for iPhone or iPad, all future searches are performed through that particular search engine, until you change the default back.

However, you are not prevented from using other search engines. You can, for example, type in Safari to get to the Bing search screen, or you can download the Bing app and use it to search Bing. Google, Yahoo Search, and DuckDuckGo all have apps you can download to your iOS device for as long as you don’t want to use the default Safari for searches.

How to change the default search engine in Safari

To change the default search engine used by Safari on iOS devices:

  1. Open the Settings app on the home screen of your iOS device.

  2. Scroll down and tap Safari .

  3. The current default search engine appears next to the search engine entry.Tap Search Engine .

  4. Choose a different search engine from four options: Google , Yahoo , Bing , , and DuckDuckGo .

  5. Tap Safari in the top left corner of the Search Engine screen to return to Safari settings. The name of the search engine you have chosen appears next to the Search Engine entry.

Safari search settings

Safari’s Settings screen includes other options you can use with your new default search engine. Each of these options can be turned on or off:

  • Search Engine Suggestions: Presents suggested search terms as you type, pulled from the default engine.
  • Safari Suggestions: Offers suggestions as you type, derived from a combination of sources including iTunes, the App Store, and the Internet at large. This option also sends some of your search data to Apple, including any suggestions you’ve selected.
  • Quick website search: When you search a particular website, Safari stores that data for future use, allowing you to search that site directly from the Smart Search Field in subsequent browser sessions.
  • Preload Top Hit: Safari tries to determine the best search result as you type, preloading that page ahead of time so it will display in an instant if you select it. The determination process uses a combination of your browsing history and saved bookmarks.

The Search Settings screen contains several other options related to Safari on iOS devices, though not all of them are specific to each search. On this screen, you can:

  • Enter or choose autofill information to fill in forms on websites.
  • Activate the most visited sites in Safari.
  • Choose to block pop-up windows.
  • Block cookies.
  • Avoid cross-site tracking.
  • Enable warnings for fraudulent websites.
  • Ask websites not to track you.
  • Allow websites to check if Apple Pay is set up on your device.
  • Clear history and website data.