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How Do I Make Google My Search Engine?

written by: Winston Smith•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 3/30/2011

The answer to "How Do I Make Google my search engine?" all depends on the web browser. This article provides instructions for making Google your default search engine in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

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    Introduction

    Some web browsers are automatically set up to use a certain Internet search engine. This default setting may not cover your favorite search engine. Fortunately, it is easy to change these settings. Find out how to make Google your search engine by following the directions provided in the sections below. These steps only need to be followed once and then you can search Google easily without having to type in google.com.

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    Internet Explorer

    Follow these step by step directions to make Google the default search engine in Microsoft Internet Explorer. These instructions on based on Internet Explorer 8; if you are using an earlier version of the browser, the steps may be somewhat different.

    1. Open Internet Explorer.

    2. Click the "Tools" menu (this is generally in the top right hand side of Internet Explorer)

    3. Click "Internet Settings"

    4. In the Internet Settings window, look for the Search section. In the Settings section, click the Settings button.

    Internet Options in Internet Explorer 

    5. The next window will provide a list of search providers. Click on "Google" and then click the "Set As Default." Close this window and Internet Settings window.

    6. Test the settings by entering a search in the search window (generally located in the top right of the browser). If the search results come from Google, then Internet Explorer is set up correctly.

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    Firefox

    The Firefox web browser is a free program that can used on Linux, Windows and Apple computers. The steps outlined in this section apply to Firefox version 3 or later for Windows. The steps should be largely similar if you are using Firefox with a different operating system.

    1. Open Firefox

    2. Look for the search window (this is generally a small white space in the top right hand corner of Firefox)

    3. The small icon in the search window indicates the current default search engine. If it shows a "g," then you do not need to change anything - Google is already is your search engine. Otherwise, click the drop down menu and select Google.

    Firefox Default Search 

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    Safari

    Safari is the most popular web browser on Apple computers (including the iPhone and the iPad) but it can also be used on Windows computers. In fact, these instructions are based on using Safari version 5. The steps are likely to be very similar on an Apple computer.

    1. Open Safari

    2. Look for the search bar in the top right of Safari. It looks similar to the Firefox search bar (see the screenshot in the Firefox section above).

    3. At the left edge of the search box, you will see a magnifying glass with downward pointing arrow. Click on the magnifying glass icon.

    4. You will know be able to select Google as the default search engine. When Google is selected, it will have a checkmark next to it (see screenshot below).

    Safari Search Box 

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    Resources

    Now that you have learned the answer to the question, "How do I make google my search engine?," you can consult the resources profile for more general technical support with the web browsers discussed in this article.

    Apple Support Safari, http://www.apple.com/support/safari/

    Firefox Support, http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/home

    Internet Explorer Help, http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/help

    Screenshots by the author.