Firefox comes with a number of available search options built-in, with Google being the default. However, if you want someone other than the Mountain View behemoth to power your searches, you can easily add a custom search engine in Firefox in a few simple clicks. Today, we will tell how to change default search engine in Firefox on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. We will also tell you how to add search engines in Firefox or remove the search providers that Firefox offers.
Note: Using Google Chrome instead of Firefox? Here is how you can change default search engine is Google Chrome.
Change Default Search Engine in Firefox on Computers and Smartphones
You can change the default search engine in Firefox easily on all leading mobile and desktop platforms. Using our tutorial, you can not only set default search engine on Firefox, but also remove the default search engine if you want. So without further ado, let’s check out how we can change the default search engine in Firefox on computers and smartphones.
Change Search Engine in Firefox on Windows, Mac and Linux
The process to change the default search engine in Firefox remains the same on Windows, Mac and Linux. I’m using Windows for this demo, but the menus, options and settings will be almost identical for Mac and Linux as well.
1. Change Default Search Engine
- Open Firefox on your Windows PC or Mac. In the search bar on the top-right, click on the magnifying glass and select ‘Change Search Settings’.
- Now click on the drop-down menu under ‘Default Search Engine’ and take your pick from among the available options.
2. Remove a Search Engine
- From the ‘Settings’ > ‘Search’ menu option described above, you can remove a search provider. To do that, select the target search provider under ‘Search Shortcuts’ and click on the ‘Remove’ button.
Note: You can also access search engine options by clicking on the ‘hamburger’ menu (three horizontal lines) on the top-right and then opting for Options > Search.
3. Add a New Search Engine
- To add a custom search engine in Firefox, first visit a website that offers an OpenSearch search engine (we’ll use Startpage.com as an example). The search bar will immediately show a ‘+’ sign in a green bubble. Now either click on that bubble  or on the three dots  in the address bar.
- In either case, you’ll get the option to add the current website as a search provider. Just click on that option and you’ll have added a new search engine to Firefox.
- Many search engines also offer extensions (add-ons). You can add them from the official Mozilla website by going to Options > Search as described in  above and clicking on ‘Find More Search Engines’.
4. Restore Built-in Search Engine
- To restore a built-in search engine in Firefox, go to Options > Search as described in  above. Under ‘Search Shortcuts’, click on the button that says ‘Restore Default Search Engines’. (Note: The button will be greyed out if you haven’t removed any search engine from Firefox in the first place).
Change Default Search Engine in Firefox on Android
The process of changing the default search engine in Firefox on your smartphone is relatively straightforward. Here’s how you do it on Android:
1. Change Default Search Engine
- Launch the Firefox app. Now tap on the ‘More’ button (three dots) and choose ‘Settings’.
Note: The ‘More’ button will be in the bottom-right corner by default, but you can configure it to be on the top-right, like I did.
- Under ‘General’, tap on ‘Search’. Then in the next page, select the search engine of your choice (Google is the default search provider in Firefox across all platforms).
2. Add Search Engines
- To add a new search engine, first tap on ‘+ Add Search Engine’ from Settings > Search as described above. Then fill in the search string for the search provider of your choice (look it up online). Finally, tap on the ‘Tick’ sign on the top-right to save your entry.
- I added Startpage as a new search provider, and Firefox now offers it to me as the default search option.
3. Remove Search Engines
- To remove a search engine in Firefox, go to Settings > Search as described earlier. Now tap on the ‘More’ button (three dots) next to your target search provider and hit ‘Delete’.
Change Default Search Engine in Firefox on iPhone and iPad
- Tap on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) at the bottom-right corner of the screen (the menu will be at the top right if you’re using an iPad).
- Now go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Search’.
- Your current default search engine will be clearly marked. You can choose another from the list by tapping on the default search provider and then selecting a different one from the list.
- You can even add a custom search engine by electing the ‘Add Search Engine’ option and following instructions.
Search Like a Pro on Computers, Smartphones and Tablets
Now that you know how to change your default search provider in Firefox, go ahead, make the switch from Google. I would ideally suggest you pick a privacy-focused service like DuckDuckGo or Startpage, but the possibilities are endless. And if it’s privacy that you seek, check out how you can use keyboard shortcuts to delete your browsing history on any browser.
If you are looking for something specific, also check out our articles best people search engines and reverse image search engines. Either way, once you add a custom search engine in Firefox, let us know which search engine you chose and why.