How to Change Default Search Engine on Tor Browser

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How to Change Default Search Engine on Tor Browser

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It's free and super easy to set up

How to Change Default Search Engine on Tor Browser

Get SigmaOS Free

It's free and super easy to set up

If you’re a user of the Tor browser, then you are already aware of its unique advantages. The browser is widely known for its ability to effectively encrypt online activities and provide its users with greater privacy. One key feature that most Tor Browser users are likely unaware of is the ability to change the default search engine. Given the importance of search engines in our daily activities, it’s essential to have an ultimate say in which search engine we use.

Understanding Tor Browser and Default Search Engines

Before delving into how to change the default search engine on Tor browser, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of Tor and search engines.

What is Tor Browser?

Tor is a web browser that enables anonymous surfing. It comes with features that make it difficult for anyone to track the user's online activities such as where they're going, what they're doing and who they are. Tor works on the principle of "Onion routing." This means that the browser encrypts user's traffic and routes it through different nodes in the Tor network to further obfuscate the source of the traffic.

Using Tor browser enhances privacy and security. It can be used to access websites that are blocked in certain countries or regions. Tor browser is also useful for journalists, activists, and whistleblowers who need to protect their identity while accessing sensitive information online.

Why Default Search Engines Matter in Tor Browser

Changing the default search engine is essential as most browsers come with preset default search engines. The benefits of changing the default search engine are that it allows one to have greater control over the search results they get. Like ordinary browsers, Tor comes with preset default search engines, which users may not necessarily be comfortable using. For instance, some default search engines may track the user's activities or collect their data, thereby compromising privacy.

It is important to note that the default search engine used in Tor browser can affect the anonymity of the user. Some search engines may collect and store user data, which can be used to track the user's online activities. Therefore, it is advisable to use search engines that do not collect user data, such as DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not track user activities or collect personal information. It offers reliable search results without compromising privacy. Other search engines that can be used on Tor browser include StartPage and Disconnect Search.

Changing the default search engine on Tor browser is a simple process. Users can access the settings menu and select their preferred search engine from the available options. It is important to ensure that the selected search engine does not compromise privacy or anonymity.

Preparing to Change the Default Search Engine

Before you can change the default search engine, you'll need to undertake several essential steps that will ensure that your changes can be implemented successfully. Here are a few things you need to be aware of:

Updating Tor Browser to the Latest Version

The first step in preparing to change the default search engine is to ensure that you're using the latest version of Tor Browser. Updates typically provide fixes for bugs and offer better security. You can download the latest version of Tor browser from the official Tor Project website.

Identifying Your Preferred Search Engine

After updating the Tor browser to its latest version, the next step is to identify the preferred search engine that you wish to use. There are various known search engines available that are privacy-centric and can work well with Tor Browser. For instance, some popular ones include DuckDuckGo, Searx, and Startpage among others.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Default Search Engine

With the preparation steps taken care of, it's time to change the default search engine. Follow these simple steps:

Accessing Tor Browser Settings

The first step is to launch your Tor browser and locate the browser's settings options. To access the settings, click on the three horizontal lines at the top right corner of the browser window and select "Options" from the drop-down menu.

Navigating to the Search Engine Settings

Next, scroll down the menu on the left side of the screen until you find the "Search" section. Click on it, and you'll see a list of search engines available for use.

Selecting and Saving Your New Default Search Engine

The third step is to choose your new preferred search engine. Once you've identified your preferred search engine, click on the three dots and select "Set as default" on your preferred search engine.

To ensure the changes have taken effect, close your Tor browser and reopen it again. The new search engine settings should be in place, and you'll be able to experience a completely new search engine experience.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite the simple process of changing your default search engine, there are a few hiccups that may arise along the way. Some of the common issues include:

Default Search Engine Not Changing

If you've followed the steps, but your new search engine is not in effect, try clearing your cache and refreshing your browser. If this fails, try reinstalling the Tor browser.

Search Engine Options Not Appearing

In some rare cases, users may not have the option to change their search engine preference. If this happens, try updating your Tor browser to the latest version or reinstalling it.

Tor Browser Not Saving Changes

If you've implemented the changes but they fail to save, it's possible your browser's settings are corrupted. Try reinstalling the browser or reverting to an earlier version.

Enhancing Your Privacy and Security on Tor Browser

By changing your search engine on Tor Browser, you've taken a significant step towards preserving privacy. However, there are additional measures that you can take to enhance privacy and security when using Tor Browser:

Using Privacy-Focused Search Engines

Selecting a privacy-centric search engine is one essential measure that you can take to improve privacy and security on the Tor Browser. Private search engines like DuckDuckGo do not track user activities, thereby preserving anonymity on the web.

Adjusting Tor Browser Security Settings

You can further enhance your privacy by adjusting the Tor Browser's security settings. You can increase the level of privacy by enabling the HTTPS everywhere option and setting the "Safest" security level in the Tor Browser settings.

Utilizing Additional Privacy Tools

Finally, you can utilize additional cryptographic tools like GPG or PGP for encrypted email, which prevents unauthorized access to your emails. You can also use a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts internet traffic and masks user identity.


Changing the default search engine on the Tor Browser is an easy and effective way to protect your privacy online. By doing so, you can ensure greater control over your web searching experience and increase privacy online. However, it's not the only step you should take. Utilize additional privacy and security measures like enabling HTTPS encryption and using private search engines.