While I know it sounds ironic that one would use a “Google” Chromebook and not want to search Google, it’s a reality. Aside from incremental steps toward privacy, you may be interested in DuckDuckGo as a default Search provider on your laptop, or you just have a personal preference for Bing, Yahoo! or something else entirely.
Today, I’m going to show you how to swap out the big G with something else so that each time you hit the Search button on your Chromebook’s keyboard, you’ll type a query, hit enter and be brought to your search engine results of choice!
How to ditch Google Search on your Chromebook
Okay, this is fairly simple, but you’re going to open the ‘Settings’ app on your laptop. First, find the clock app at the bottom-right of your device. Clicking that reveals the ‘Quick settings’. There, you should see a cogwheel that takes you directly to the Chromebook’s settings page.
From here, just find the ‘Search engine’ section on the left sidebar. Right there at the top of the body of the page that displays next, you’ll see a ‘Search’ option. Click that and then select “Preferred search engine”
Did you know?
You can also get to your Preferred Search Engine settings directly through the Chrome browser by visiting chrome://settings/search
The last step is easy – you’re just going to choose the drop down for “Search engine used in the address bar” and choose between Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Ecosia. Once you’ve done that, you’re done! Just go ahead and perform a test search and you’ll see that it works instantly.
Here’s why you may want to
There’s no shame in using something other than Google Search for your day-to-day searching, and there are some fantastic alternatives. Sure, they may not exactly be as powerful or accurate as Google, but by switching, you will be supporting a great cause. Here are a few alternatives you may want to consider.
If you’re wondering what Ecosia is, it’s a search engine that supports the planting of trees. Yep, Google supports an eco-friendly organization right through Chromebook usage, and you can add the Ecosia extension right to Chrome to make this work!
If you are privacy-minded, DuckDuckGo is quite good, in my opinion, but I don’t like the logo. Sure, it’s cute, but it’s certainly not very professional. I suppose it’s about not being corporate as that goes with the company’s mission to convince you it will never track you. Seriously, if you’re going with any of these, I do recommend one of these two!
I just want the steps!
- Open your Chromebook’s Settings app
- Navigate to “Search engine” on the left
- Click “Preferred Search Engine”
- Click the dropdown and choose an alternative
- Enjoy and plant some trees!
I can’t say I’m huge on privacy advocacy. I want to be, but the convenience of daily usage and reliance on Google Searvices puts me in direct opposition to this ideology. However, wherever I get an opportunity, I like to recommend you do as I say, not as I do.
Until I make the switch entirely, especially as I tinker more with the Linux container on my Chromebook, I’m going to continue to hold corporations like Google accountable by reporting on their privacy practices, tools, and features so that you can remain informed and make a decision for yourself. In the meantime, go plant some trees!