How to Delete Google as Default Safari Search Engine on iPhone and Mac

By Microsoft 3 Min Read


There’s been a lot of talk lately about Apple’s default search engine, which is Google (and for a time, Bing will power Siri/Spotlight search requests). Recent court documents showed how much Google pays Apple to be the default search engine on iPhones, iPads and Macs. Microsoft has reportedly pitched the sale of Bing to Apple in 2020, but with Google paying Apple billions of dollars a year to remain the default, Apple decided not to.

There have also been reports of Apple building its own search technology, with crawlers indexing the web to provide answers to common questions about Siri and the like. This fueled further speculation (once again) that Apple would launch its own search engine, although that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon. Apple’s new next-generation search technology is supposedly codenamed “Pegasus” and is already in use to index and find content within some Apple apps (like TV or Maps) and may soon extend to other apps or services, such as the App Store.

It seems that, to search the web, Apple users who use Safari (which is most of them) will be stuck with Google as their default search for quite some time.

But you don’t have to Google if you don’t want to! Hidden in the settings, where 99.9% of users will never look, is the ability to change search engines. Here’s how you can change Safari’s default search settings on iPhone/iPad and Mac.

At first sight

Completion time: 2 minutes


Change the default search on iPhone or iPad

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To change the default search engine in Safari on iPhone or iPad.

Open Settings. Faucet Safari. Faucet Search engine.
To select a different search engine to use in private browsing windows, tap Private search engine.

You should have several to choose from, but they may vary by region.


Change the default search on Mac

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To change the default search on Mac, you will need to access Safari preferences.

Launch Safari. In the menu bar, select Safari Then Settings. Select the Research form. Select the Search engine drop-down box to view and switch between available search engines. Select the Search engine with private browsing drop-down menu if you want to use a different search engine when you are in a private browser window.

As with iOS and iPadOS, available search engines may vary by region.

It’s actually possible to switch search engines on the fly in Safari on macOS. When you place your cursor in the search/address box, simply press the spacebar first to display a drop-down list of available search engines.

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