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Tech Tip: Change Safari’s Search Engine Under the Hood

Q. When I type in web searches in the box at the top of the Safari program on my Mac, the browser always brings me Google results. Is there a way to use Bing without having to first go to the Bing page and then type in keywords?

A. Apple’s Safari has several built-in features intended to make web browsing more efficient, including sending your keywords to a default browser when you type them into the Smart Search field at the top of the window. If you want to change the search engine that is automatically used, you can pick a different one in the Safari settings.

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Click the Search tab in the Safari settings to change the default search engine. Credit The New York Times

Open the Safari program, and in the Safari menu in the top-left corner of the toolbar, select Preferences. As a shortcut, you can also press the Command and comma keys on the keyboard to open the Preferences box without going through menus.

In the Safari Preferences box, click the Search tab. Here, you can change the browser’s default search engine. If you do not want to use Google, you can switch to Yahoo, Bing or the privacy-minded DuckDuckGo (which does not collect personal information when you use it).

The Search tab has a few other settings you can change, like whether to include search-engine suggestions or get Safari Suggestions (which bring results from iTunes, the App Store and places near your location, among other sources). Additionally, Safari allows you to turn off the ability to search within a site from the Smart Search field — just disable the “Enable Quick Website Search” option.

If you would rather Safari not start immediately displaying a page it thinks best matches your request (based on your browsing history), turn off the checkbox next to “Pre-load top hit in the background.” Finally, if you don’t like the big window of icons from your Favorite sites, you can shut it down by turning off the checkbox next to Show Favorites.

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NYT > Technology

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