How to Change Firefox’s Default Search Engine for Private Browsing

Almost every web browser allows you to specify a default search engine, and some even allow you to switch between multiple search engines on the fly. In the upcoming Firefox 71 update, you will now be able to customize your default browser to separate search engines, whether you are using normal or private browsing mode.

At first glance, this may seem like a strange function, but it has a compelling use case. For example, let’s say you’re using good old Google Search as your primary search tool because you like having an easily accessible search history, but prefer to use DuckDuckGo when you don’t want your activity to be tracked . Instead of manually switching between them in Firefox preferences, you can now set Google as your primary search engine and DuckDuckGo as your private browsing search engine. Firefox will automatically switch between the two when you change the view mode.

The engine replacement feature will be available to all users after the public rollout of the stable version of Firefox 71 begins. In the meantime, you can try out the custom search engine option by downloading the latest build of Firefox Canary. Regardless of which version you are using, you can customize your search engines in Firefox:

  1. Click the three dots icon, then go to Options> Search .
  2. Scroll down and uncheck “Use this search engine on Private Windows” under the heading of the default search engine .
  3. You will then be able to select a new search client for private mode from the drop-down menu.
  4. Once you’ve specified your preferred search engines, close the settings tab. The changes will take effect immediately.


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