How to Update the Default Search Engine for Google Workspace Users in Google Chrome

Quick and easy-to-follow guide for Google Workspace administrators

You can update the search engine used in the website address bar for Google Workspace users signed in to Google Chrome or anyone using a managed browser.

Click here to see how to add quick searches to Google Chrome – incredibly useful!

How to manage Chrome’s web address bar search feature step-by-step with images

Step 1

How To Update The Default Search Engine In Google Chrome For Google Workspace Users - Step 1

In Google Admin at https://admin.google.com, click Devices > Chrome > Settings >  Users & browsers in the menu on the left.

Step 2

How To Update The Default Search Engine In Google Chrome For Google Workspace Users - Step 2

Select the OU with the users whose settings you want to update on the left. The same updates will apply to all sub-OUs under the OU you choose.

By default, if you don’t select an OU, you will add your setting to the top OU, named after your domain. This way, you will apply changes to all users in your account.

You can search for an OU to find it faster if you have a large OU structure.

If you’re not familiar with OUs, click here.

Next, click + Search or add a filter and type Omnibox search provider to locate the setting.

Step 3

How To Update The Default Search Engine In Google Chrome For Google Workspace Users - Step 3

You can Allow users to select the Omnibox search provider or select Lock the Omnibox search provider to the values below to set it up yourself.

Step 4

How To Update The Default Search Engine In Google Chrome For Google Workspace Users - Step 4

Click SAVE on the top right after making changes. It may take up to 24 hours for them to go into effect.

Adding quick search shortcuts: Step 1

Now to set up quick access to searches, in Google Chrome’s web address bar on top, type chrome://settings/search, and you will land on this page. 

Now under Search engine, click Manage search engines.

Step 2

Adding quick search shortcuts: Step 2

Choose the Keyboard shortcuts for search keywords – Space or Tab, or only Tab. This means that you need to press one of these keys after typing your quick search keyword to start searching.

Then click the Add button below to add a search engine.

Step 3

Adding quick search shortcuts: Step 3

Search engine – the name of the search engine. You decide how to name it.

Keyword – the keyword you type to start searching.

URL with %s in place of query – enter the web address from the search results page and use %s where the search query would go. To find this web address:

  1. Go to the search engine and search for something.
  2. Copy and paste the web address of your search results.

For example, if you search for “soccer” on YouTube, the search results address in your browser will be https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=soccer

Now replace the search query (in this case soccer) in the URL with “%s” – the search URL for YouTube becomes https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s

If you add this URL and set the keyword to “yt,” anytime you type “yt” in your browser’s web address bar and then press Space or Tab, you will start a YouTube search.

Step 4

Adding quick search shortcuts: Step 4

The search engine appears under Other search engines.

Step 5

Adding quick search shortcuts: Step 5

Now just type “yt” in your browser’s web address bar, press Space or Tab, then type something to look for, and you will start a YouTube search.

In this example, we type “yt”, press Space, then type “cat videos,” and voila, we find cat videos in the fastest way possible!

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