Mac comes with a Safari browser allowing users to search or view websites. The browser has an address bar called Smart Search Field which you can use for directly typing and searching. The results will be shown using the default search engine setup in the browser’s setting which is Google in most cases. The default search engine may vary based on the country from which you have purchased Mac. For example, Safari will use Baidu as a search engine if you purchase Mac in China. However, you can simply change the default search engine in Safari Mac as per your preference or use custom sites for searching.
Changing Default Search Engine in Mac Safari
Follow the below steps in macOS:
- Launch Safari app and open “Settings” from “Safari” menu. Alternatively, press “Command + Comma” shortcut keys to open Settings when you are in Safari app.
- Go to “Search” tab and check your “Search engine”.
- If you want to change the default item, click the dropdown and select from one of the available services. Check “Include search engine suggestions” box if you want to get recommendations when searching.
As you see, I can select from Bing, Baidu, Sogou, 260 Search, Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and Ecosia. You may see different search engines in the list depending upon your country.
How Default Search Engine Works?
After selecting your search engine, go back to Safari type your query in the Smart Search Field. For example, I selected Bing as search engine and type “iphone 14 price” in the address bar. Safari will show “Search Bing” in the address bar along with a recommendation in dropdown from Bing Search. The recommendations are showing because I have selected “Include search engine suggestions” option.
Without suggestions enabled, you will only see the search option like below.
Simply press enter key to get search results from Bing for your query.
Custom Website Search in Safari Mac
Though there are limited search engines in the default list, you can create a custom shortcut for any website that has a search function. This is useful if you want to search directly on sites like Quora, Stack Exchange, etc.
- Open Safari app and go to “Settings…” from “Safari” menu.
- Go to “Search” tab and check “Enable Quick Website Search” options showing under “Smart Search Field:” section.
- This will enable “Manage Websites…” button and click on it.
- Since I did not use any sites with search option, the list will show empty as below. Click “Done” button and close the Settings pop-up.
- For adding custom search engine from any site, back to Safari and open your site. Simply do a search using the site’s search box. For example, let me do a search in this website webnots.com using the search box from top navigation menu.
- After that, go back to “Manage Websites…” section in Safari settings and you will see the site is added. When you search with a custom website, Safari browser will automatically detect and add the site name in the list for using in Smart Search Field.
- Click “Done” button and close the Safari Settings.
Using Custom Search Engine in Safari Mac
Now that custom search engine is added, you can use it directly in the Smart Search Filed.
- Simply type custom search engine’s site name that you have added and the query in address bar. For example, I type webnots.com iPhone. Safari will show “Search webnots.com for “iphone”” and click on that option to directly get the search results from webnots.com.
Remember, pressing enter key will still use the default search engine as per your settings. This means you can use custom site search as an additional option along with you default search engine settings.
Note: The above steps are for the Safari browser in macOS Ventura or later versions. On macOS Monterey or earlier versions, you will see “Preferences…” instead of “Settings…” in Safari menu. All other steps and functions work exactly same.
Since Safari is a smart browser, you need not open Google or Bing every time for searching your queries. You can change the default search engine as per your preference in Safari settings and use the Smart Search Filed without opening search engine website. You can also add any custom search engine and search that site directly from Smart Search Field.