Safari on your iPhone and iPad (and iPod, for that matter) uses Google as the default search engine. That is not OK for many users, considering Google’s poor reputation when it comes to privacy and harvesting users’ data. If you do not like Google and want to change search engine in Safari on iPhone/iPad, this article will show you how to do that.
Before you begin, we need to mention few nuances you will notice when changing the search engine in Safari.
Default Search Engines in Safari on iPhone/iPad
Unlike Safari on Mac and other desktop browsers, Apple does not allow you to set custom search engines. That means you can pick one option from the list of engines approved by Apple.
As of now, when iOS and iPadOS 15 are the latest releases, you can select one of the following search engines in Safari on iPhone:
- Google. No need to explain.
- Yahoo. For oldies.
- Bing. This one is from Microsoft.
- Yandex. Yandex is a Russian search giant with various services.
- DuckDuckGo. Pick DuckDuckGo if you want more privacy.
- Ecosia. Ecosia is an eco-friendly search engine that plants trees as you search on the Internet.
How to Change Search Engine in Safari with Third-party Extensions?
Although Apple now allows advanced Safari extensions on iPhone and iPad (you need to update to iOS and iPadOS 15 to use those extensions), it appears that developers cannot release extensions that change the search engine in Safari on iPhone and iPad. To be fair, Microsoft and Google do not like such extensions either. When you try to change the search engine in Edge using a third-party extension, the browser automatically disables it to prevent settings hijack.
If Apple does not offer the search engine you want, you can add it to the bookmarks and pin it to the home screen. It might not be as convenient as using the native search engine, but it is the only option you have. Finally, some search engines offer their apps in the App Store to bypass Apple’s limitations.
Change the Search Engine in Safari on iPhone or iPad
- Grab your iPhone or iPad and open the Settings app to change the search engine in Safari.
- Scroll down the list of settings sections and find Safari. Tap it.
- Locate the Search section and tap the first option: Search Engine.
- Pick a new search engine to use in Safari on iPhone and iPad.
That is how you change the search engine in Safari on iPhone and iPad. Note that these settings do not roam across your devices, which means you need to change the search engine in Safari on each iPhone, iPod, and iPad you own. Not the most convenient solution, but you can be sure that Apple will not change your search engine “accidentally” as Microsoft sometimes does.