By Delia / Last update January 21, 2022

After Google removed the ability to remove the browser's default search engine in the previous Chrome 97 release, prompting user protests, Google promised to bring back the option in the browser settings UI. After a long wait, we finally saw the return of the feature in Chrome 99 Canary.

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Chrome 97 once removed the delete option

Those of you who have recently updated to Chrome 97 may have noticed that the Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Ecosia search engines that exist in your browser cannot be removed by default. As you can see, when you click on the "three dots" menu icon, you can only see the "Make default" and "Edit" options.

Google employee Justin Donnelly explained that this is just a problem in Chrome 97. The change was made to avoid accidentally removing the built-in search engine, not to prevent it from being hijacked.

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Google decided to support deleting default search engine

In another related Chrome bug report, it was also mentioned that "it's too easy to remove the default search engine". Some users have used the removal as a solution to prevent unwanted changes to the default search engine, so Google has decided to continue supporting it. However, to avoid accidental deletion, Chrome will show a confirmation dialog when trying to delete the default search engine in the future."

If you're already using the latest Chrome 99 Canary, you can try typing chrome://settings/ searchEngines into the address bar and jumping straight to it, and you'll see the "Delete" option is back to the menu. The change also affects Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, Opera and other third-party browsers.

According to the plan, Google will push the official version of Chrome 98/99 in February/early March this year.