Chrome and Google Search are both powered by the same company, Google. So, as you’d expect, Google is Chrome’s default search engine.
However, due to the presence of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) on your computer, your Chrome browser may automatically switch to other search engines such as Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and some others. Changing settings every time this happens can be time consuming and annoying.
So, here we are going to look at eight fixes that will help you fix this problem.
1. Change search engine from Chrome settings
Chrome allows users to use different search engines. The list includes Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Secure Search and Yahoo. First, check which search engine your browser uses by default. You can change Chrome’s default search engine to Yahoo and back to Google. Here’s how:
- Go to Chrome settings.
- Navigate to the Search engine from the left sidebar.
- Select Google in the drop-down menu of Search engine used in the address bar.
- Click on Manage search engines.
- Tap the three vertical dots right next to Google.
- Hit Default.
Switching the default search engine to Google should temporarily fix the problem. It may, however, automatically revert to its previous state after a few days. So, to make this change foolproof, you will need to implement other fixes.
2. Remove Yahoo Search Engine from Chrome
In Chrome, you can remove Yahoo from the list of available default search engines to further minimize the risk of your browser reverting to Yahoo by default. Here’s how:
- Open Chrome settings.
- In the left sidebar, navigate to Search engine.
- Click on Manage search engines.
- Tap the three vertical dots right next to Yahoo.
- Hit Remove from the list.
Additionally, you can remove all other search engines except Chrome from the list if they become the default. With this fix, you can expect Yahoo to stay out of your web browser for several days.
3. Configure Google to open on startup in your browser
Although it’s not a perfect solution, it can help you search quickly in Google search engine even if your default search engine is Yahoo. You can do this by setting Google to open automatically on startup. To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to Chrome settings.
- Navigate to the When the engine starts section on the left sidebar.
- Change the Open a New Tab page update Open a specific page or set of pages.
- Now add Google in the field below and press Walk in.
This fix will only work when you start the browser. Each new tab will open in your default search engine. Therefore, this hotfix is also limited. Let’s move on to a more complex but permanent solution.
4. Disable all Yahoo-powered extensions and programs
Outdated extensions, which the developer does not maintain properly, can be infected. Using such extensions may lead to redirect to Yahoo search engine while browsing in Chrome.
While reviews and active users can help us identify shady extensions, filtering them out can be tricky. So, to make things easier, first uninstall all Yahoo powered extensions.
If the problem persists, disable the rest of the extensions for a minute to confirm if it is an extension that is causing the problem. If extensions are not the culprit, uninstall any Yahoo-powered search-related programs on your system.
Go to Control Panel and access Programs and Features to uninstall these programs. Then type yahoo in the search bar and press Enter. Right click on Search the Web (Yahoo) and press Uninstall.
Depending on the type of device you have, this program may be called something else. Search provided by Yahoo is another popular name under which this type of program is available. It is however supported by Yahoo.
5. Run Security Check in Windows and Chrome
If none of the above fixes worked, it’s time to check your computer for browser hijackers or bogus files that need to be removed. Just use Microsoft Windows Scanner to get rid of potentially dangerous hidden files. The process is as follows:
- In the Windows search bar, type Windows Security.
- In the left sidebar, select Protection against viruses and threats.
- Click on Quick scan.
Microsoft will take some time to automatically scan your system for potential threats, depending on the size of data you have on your system. The scanner will detect threats and tell you how serious they are. You can then choose to delete them. Just press Take Action and the threat will be removed.
If the problem persists or if you are not using a Windows device, you can also run Chrome’s internal cleaning tool to identify programs that may be interfering with your browser’s performance. Here’s how to run the cleanup:
- Go to Settings.
- Navigate to the System by tapping Advanced from the left sidebar.
- Press on clean computer and press To find.
6. Delete all temporary files
Another important but often overlooked solution that works most of the time is to delete all temporary files. These files have no other purpose than to take up space on your computer. It is therefore prudent to remove them entirely.
To delete these temporary files, open the Run command by pressing Win + R. Type %temp% and knock OKAY.
This will take you to the temporary files folder. Hurry CTRL+A and delete them all. To prevent them from coming back, you should also empty your Trash once.
7. Reset Chrome and Clear Cache
Google Chrome may be misconfigured causing it to redirect you to the Yahoo search engine. Cached data can also cause the problem. If none of the above fixes worked, you can reset Chrome to its default settings and clear its cache. Here’s how to clear the cache:
- Hurry CTRL+H.
- Press on Clear browsing data in the left sidebar.
- Check the boxes for the Cached images and files and Cookies and other site data.
- Hit Erase data.
To restore Chrome, open Chrome settings. Navigate to the Advanced menu in the left sidebar, then tap Reset and Clean. Tap on the first option, Restore settings to their original defaults and knock Reset options.
8. None of the fixes worked yet? Reinstall Chromium
As a last resort, you can try reinstalling Chrome if none of the above fixes work. However, you must uninstall it and its associated files before doing a clean install.
Windows users can refer to this article on how to uninstall programs on Windows, while macOS users can refer to this guide on how to uninstall programs on a Mac.
After uninstalling Chrome by following these articles, remove any related Chrome files that may have been left behind. Make sure you don’t keep unnecessary data.
Remove Yahoo as default search engine
The above fixes allow Chrome to continue to use Google as the default search engine. You can also consider switching to another browser like Firefox if the problem persists. Although it doesn’t have the edge over Chrome, it uses less memory when processing, is more private, and offers better customization. So give it a try!