They say in gHacks that “Chromium-based browsers will no longer allow users to remove default search engines from the configuration”, which, said like that, sounds bad, so bad, although it is not a bad decision, that it should be explained before it is extend a story with what it is not.
Let’s start better at the beginning, taking iron away from the decision of yore for which no derivative of Chromium is going to be able remove default search engines from settings. It is worth repeating, I say, because the subject of search engines has generated great controversy over time and may seem like something that it is not. And it is that if it were, it would open the door to new lawsuits throughout the world. It is not the case.
Default search engines are those that are included in the browser by default, about five or six depending on the particular browser. So many are included to make it easy for the user to choose, although the one that is in use by default can only be one. For example, Chrome includes Google’s, in use from the beginning, but also Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo and some others. At the same time, it allows -like any other browser- to add as many additional search engines as you want and use the one you want as default.
That is, there is no loss of functionality with the decision not to allow removing the default search engines from the configuration; It is not even a way to force the use of one or the other in particular, since the management is done from the same configuration section. Why has it been done, then? As they explain, for prevent user from accidentally deleting default engines, since adding them involves greater difficulty.
Thus, it is not about making it difficult to change the search engine or forcing the use of one or the other, but the most picturesque excuse could not be: if you do not know what you are playing, are you going to start eliminating options? Well, it’s likely. Stranger things have happened.
Now, the change is a fact that has already been reflected in all the great derivatives of Chromium, from Chrome itself to Microsoft Edge, Brave, Opera… Vivaldi does not, because it has not yet been updated to Chromium 97, they point out in gHacks, although the truth is that the management of search engines in Vivaldi is different from that of Chromium. Be that as it may, whether or not this change also reaches Vivaldi, we already say that it does not entail any practical harm to the user.
Of course, ideally, a better solution would be implemented, one that allows the user to delete and add what they want without complications, but at least for now, that’s not going to be the case.
How to manage search engines in Chromium
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s see how to manage search engines in Chromium (it’s the same for Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave and Opera). Simply look for the search engine section in the browser settings.
At the top you have the default search engines, which you can still edit to some extent, customizing the names and keywords for use via the navigation bar; but without changing the URLs. The only thing you can do there is choose which one is the default.
At the bottom you have your «other search engines» and in the case of Chrome it is usually many, because it automatically adds the ones you have used even if it is rebound. For example, if you use the search here in MC, it will add it to you, and it will do so with any search you use while browsing, facilitating access to them.
Well, in the “other search engines” you can have the ones you want and from there, choose one that will be the browser’s default and that will be added at the top. There’s no more. Not so bad, right?
Yes indeed, eye if you use Chrome, because the search engine you choose will modify the new tab page of the browser, where the search field may stop appearing (you will still have the navigation bar, so that is not a problem either, but the warning had to be done).