I would like to use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine in Opera. Opera versions 17+ come with a search engine manager (Menu Settings > Search > Manage search engines...), where you can add custom search engines and change the default search engine (factory setting is Google). Anyway, unlike most other browsers, the default search engine in Opera can be only changed to a different predefined search engine, not to a custom search engine. Without speculating on the reasons behind this arbitrary restriction, I wonder how it's possible to convince Opera to use a non-predefined engine as default. There should be some setting file to edit manually I guess. I've tried grabbing my user data folder ("%APPDATA%\Opera\Opera" on Windows, should be somewhere under ~/Library on OS X) for "google" and "yahoo", but I couln't find the spot.

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    This answer is detailed enough to get you started. You have to edit default_partner_content.json in C:\Program Files\Opera\resources (if installed) – nixda Jan 30 '14 at 17:05
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    @nixda, nope, I checked that question already, it didn't help unfortunately. The answers there are also quite outdated. – GOTO 0 Jan 30 '14 at 17:11
  • What exactly is outdated in that other question? – nixda Jan 30 '14 at 17:30
  • @nixda Well, that question is about adding/removing/editing custom search engines in Opera 15, which didn't have a search engine manager like current versions of Opera do. Otherwise, the answer you linked looks correct (except for the location of the resources folder which has changed). It just doesn't cover my issue I think. – GOTO 0 Jan 30 '14 at 19:16

This functionality doesn't exist yet in Opera Blink (currently on version 19). Remember, Opera went through a major change from Presto (12.x) to Blink (15+), and they're trying to gradually get all that functionality back bit by bit in each new release.

Additionally, there is always the danger that such functionality can be hi-jacked by malware - which is why this functionality was removed in a security fix from Opera 12.14 to 12.15 and wasn't added back in in the latest Presto version, 12.16.

From the Opera 12.15 release notes:

Fixed an issue where the search bar's default engine could be overridden by third-party apps.

So please don't assume it's an "arbitrary restriction" just because you don't like it. ;-) Also, not too long ago, Opera was the only browser allowing you to even have custom search engines. If you're happy to live with that little security hole due to confidence in your firewall/virus scanner, use 12.14 (you can use that alongside Opera Blink and even right-click on a webpage and "open with" Blink or any other browser); otherwise, you'll have to wait until this gets added back to Opera Blink, or until your favourite search engine gets added to the list of "standard" ones. You can always post to the Desktop wish-list forum.

  • Six and a half years later, when Opera is now on version 69, would you say it's reasonable to call it an arbitrary restriction? – user9528 Jun 29 '20 at 11:25
  • @Kyralessa: Haha, it's been a long time since I stopped defending Opera - too many annoying things about it; only reason I keep it around as a secondary browser is for the built-in VPN. It never returned to being a browser for power users. I use Vivaldi for that now - started by Opera's co-founder who didn't like the direction they were going. Everything is customisable, the way Opera once was. Including setting custom search engines as default (you can even have a different default for normal and private tabs). – Amos M. Carpenter Jul 1 '20 at 0:26
  • I use Vivaldi as my main browser, actually, though it has its own strange quirks. Oddly, every other Chromium-based browser (Chrome, new Edge, Vivaldi) lets the user set a custom default search engine. Only Opera forbids this, for some reason. – user9528 Jul 1 '20 at 5:00

The easy way to change the default search engine in opera is very simple'

first add your favorite searchengine to the searchengines in the list I have the Dutch version so I'll give the buttons- in Extra (could be options in english) - use Shift F12 - panel choice= buttons - click; search - now simple drag and drop the new searchengine to the bar next to the original. now rightclick on the unwanted original and click remove from the bar

the new searchengine is now the only searchengine and Google is out.

opera 12.16 Linux Mint

  • doesn't seem to work in Opera 54 on Mint 19 xfce – johny why Aug 5 '18 at 18:56

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