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It allows to add custom "Site Search", but not "Search Engines". It only allows to choose default from the predefined set of engines, but not to add a new one.

So, it's impossible?

enter image description here

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4 Answers 4

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It only allows to choose default from the predefined set of engines, but not to add a new one.

Not so. Use the following procedure:

  1. In Chrome, click the menu button in the upper-right corner
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Search engine in the left pane
  4. Click Manage search engines on the right
  5. Under Keyboard shortcut, select whether you want to use the Space or Tab key or just the Tab key (1) when using the keyword you set up for your custom search engine.
  6. Click Add to the right of Other search engines to start creating your custom search engine.
  7. Open a new tab and go to the site for which you want to create a custom search engine. For example, we’re going to set up groovyPost as a custom search engine.
  8. Click the Search button on the site, type a search term, and press Enter. It doesn’t matter what you search for.
  9. Select the URL in the address bar and copy it. NOTE: By default, Chrome doesn’t display the full URL in the address bar but selecting it and copying it will copy the full URL. You can also choose to always show the full URL in the address bar.
  10. To create the URL needed for the custom search engine, replace the search term with %s. For example, “https://www.groovypost.com/?s=windows+11” becomes “https://www.groovypost.com/?s=%s”.
  11. Now go back to the Settings tab—the Add search engine dialog should be open.
  12. Enter a name for the search engine in the Search engine box. This name displays when you use the keyword to activate the search.
  13. Enter a keyword you want to use for the search engine in the Keyword box. This will be what you type to activate the search.
  14. In the URL box, paste the URL you copied from the site, changing it as described above.
  15. Click Add.

Source: How to Add Custom Search Engines in Google Chrome

Note that the above source link includes screen shots covering the process.

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    My version of Chrome doesn't have a "Add" button and no "Other search engines" as described in step 6.
    – noctufaber
    Jul 28, 2023 at 14:36
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    I take it that "Other search engines" is now the "Site search". You can add a new entry in "Site search" (like Bing or Google) and set it as default search engine.
    – Klesun
    Sep 19, 2023 at 8:01
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    Yes, you need to add it under site settings first, click the three dots ... then add as default ... a bit unintuitive ...
    – mjs
    Nov 16, 2023 at 22:53
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This answer attempts to visually clarify the steps in 2024 for any custom search engine. Additionally, I walkthrough the steps to apply this particularly to a custom Programmable Search Engine.

TL;DR: Site searches marked as default become Search engines.


Click the kebab icon in the top right corner of the browser, then click Settings.

Customize and control Google Chrome

Select the Search engine tab in the menu on the left.

Search Engine tab

Then click Manage search engines and site search.

Search engine menu

Scroll down if needed (you probably have more Search engines than just 'google.com'), and click Add next to the Site search heading.

Manage search engines and site search menu

The following Add search engine prompt will appear:

Add search engine prompt

Under Search engine, enter any nickname you like. For this example, I will use 'Custom'.

Shortcut is a required field, but won't be needed if you intend to set the new search engine as default. This field accepts both the URL format (e.g, 'custom.com', note this will override the true URL) or the @<token> format (e.g, '@custom'). I will use the latter.

The final URL with %s in place of query entry is dependent on the query parameters used by your intended site. See steps 7-10 in @DavidPostill's answer/the link there for how to find where to put the '%s' in the URL. Short example would be duckduckgo.com/?q=%s. Again, this is search engine specific and thus not generalizable (must determine in each case), although there are common formats.

Once added, under the Site search heading, click the kebab icon next to the new entry and select Make default.

Make default

All searches in the Chrome browser will now passed through the custom search engine.

NOTE: if back on the Search engine page of the Chrome settings, you reselect Google as the Search engine used in the address bar instead of your custom search engine, you must go back into the Manage search engines and site search settings and Make default again since your entry will disappear as an option in the Search engine used in the address bar prompt.

potential problem


To build out the example, I will use a custom Programmable Search Engine (need a Google account). These steps assume you have not yet clicked Add in the Add search engine box from the steps above. From the page I just linked, click Add.

PSE menu

For consistency, I will name this engine 'Custom'. In this example, I only want to filter out certain domains, so I will select Search the entire web, turn on Image search, then click Create.

Create a new search engine

You should see a success page like follows. Click Customize from this prompt.

Success page

To filter out a website from search results, click the Search Features subheader under the Overview header in the menu bar on the left. Make sure not to confuse this button with the Search Features header just below it.

PSE menu bar

From here, any sites can be blocked from search results by clicking Add next to the Sites to exclude header.

Search Features

For example, if I want to block the entire site techtarget.com from being included in my search results, I would enter as follows:

Add sites to exclude

Now click on the Basic subheader under Overview in the menu bar on the left. The Public URL will be modified for query parameters. Copy the Public URL into the URL with %s in place of query box and append the following characters: '&q=%s'. Click Add (and follow Make default step described above). My final result looks this (I greyed out my specific token):

custom search engine

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Solved by scrolling down on "Inactive shortcuts" and found search engine i wanted there, not sure how to get it there though, clicked activate, that made it move to "Site search" and when pressing the three dots now i could press "Make default"

This after i tried "Add" next to "Site search" but when clicking 3 dots next to it after adding it the "Make default" was greyed out, Also the other answer provided here does not work since as can be seen from the screenshot of original question there is no "Other search engines" for point 6.

Only scrolled fast though this article so haven't read it in full but got pointers from it: https://www.xda-developers.com/how-to-change-default-search-engine-google-chrome/

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Use the "Add" button you see below in the "Site search" section. It works, alas a bit confused UX.

Ok in my case, my default Google address bar search is faulty and always take me to the "GSC" version (less powerful) than the normal one. So I need to edit or fix the existing Google query URL.

enter image description here

And yes, you won't be able to directly edit query URL in the "Search engines" section above (grayed out) nor has the Add button. Just use the Add button below in the "Site search section"

enter image description here

And here is a catch, if you want to re-add the "Google", you cannot name it the same, so use some alternate name instead.

The newly added search engine will stay below in the "Site search" section. Now click the three dots and "make default", it will pop to above section.

enter image description here DONE

(Note to answer reviewer: although my answer is similar to David's, I want to directly explain OP's problem of having no Add button and being not able to edit the search engine entries, and my use-case is different that I want to edit/fix the faulty Google search URL which is grayed out and cannot edit like in OP's screenshot. So I think it deserves to be a new answer.)

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