Your default search engine refers to the search engine used when performing a search using the Address bar (also referred to as "Address bar", "Location Bar", "Omnibox") located at the top of your browser:
You can tell at a glance which search engine you currently have set at default by the symbol displayed on the left side of the Address bar. In the above example, I have Qwant set as my default search. When a new default search is selected, you can see the change will be reflected in the icon.
As you can see below, I've changed my default search engine from Qwant to DuckDuckGo and the left hand side of the Address bar now displays the icon for DuckDuckGo:
There are several ways to switch what engine is used when performing a search in the Address bar.
Set Default Search in Settings
Using the following method, you can adjust the Address bar's default search behavior. This setting will remain configured until it is modified so that any time you perform a search it will be run through the engine selected:
- Open the Menu
- Navigate to: Settings —> Search Engine
Search engine used in the Address Bar
When you click the drop-down box here, you'll be presented with all search engine options available to be set as your default. If your preferred engine is located in this list, select it and your new search is good to go.
Manage Search Engines
Selecting this option will display a larger menu with all of your available search engines. The Default Search Engines section lists all engines you can set as your default right now. This list may be pre-populated with several common domains. The Other Search Engines section lists search engines that you may have used while browsing, but have not yet set to be a default.
- Adding Search Engines
If your preferred search is not on your list, you can add it manually. Navigate to Manage Search Engines as you did above and click the "Add" button. You'll see the following text boxes:
- Search Engine
What you would like to name the search
The keyword associated with the search [see Using Keyword Searches]
- URL with %s in place of query
This is asking for the desired search engine's web address but replacing the search query texts with "%s". For example, if I wanted to Add the Reddit search to my list, I can navigate to Reddit and perform a search. Note the highlighted text in the URL:
The highlighted text is the search query itself. That is, for Reddit, every search term entered will appear after the "q=" text. This is the text that you want to replace with %s. The resulting URL would look like this:
After clicking save, your new search will appear in the Other Search Engines list for you to use.
Note: In addition, search engines can also be added to your list simply by navigating to the desired search address and performing a search. You will see the new search reflected in the Other Search Engines list.
Using Keyword Searches
You can also switch the search engine being used with Keyword Searches. A Keyword is simply a shortcut typed in to the Address bar that tells Brave that you'd like to perform a search using a specific site associated with that keyword. Once the search is performed, Brave will revert all searches performed in the Address bar back to the default search engine configured in settings.
For example, if my default search engine is set to DuckDuckGo, but I'd like to search for a particular item on Amazon, I could input:
:a [space or tab] [my search query]
Doing this changes the search to Amazon.com as shown above. You can enter your own preferred keyword when manually adding a search engine to your list [Adding Search Engines]. Common practice is to prepend the search keyword with a colon " : " followed by a letter(s).
Alternatively, you can also enter the the domain that holds the search you'd like to use and hit [Tab] to achieve the same effect:
Still have questions?
If you would like to request further assistance, get more information or this article didn't address your issue, please reach out to us on our Brave Community website.