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This question is not about how to protect the default search engine in Chrome (which is, unfortunately, the only advice I can find when I try to search for the answer to this).

I use and edit the full list of Chrome search engines regularly:

chrome://settings/searchEngines

When I go to the list, there are usually many search engines added for sites that I have visited, but have not added to the list, and I regularly have to clean this list out. I don't know if the site is adding itself to the list or if Chrome is making some executive decision for me for sites that I visit regularly, but I'd like to keep it from happening.

Is there a way to only allow manual additions to the search engines list?

  • Found a similar question here with very good responses: superuser.com/questions/276069/… SqlLite3 method does not work for version 62.0.3202.94 for me. I am using TamperMonkey method. – zionyx Dec 8 '17 at 9:45
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There is an extension that prevents additions to the list:

Don't Add Custom Search

Unfortunately, Chrome doesn't appear to offer a built-in way to disable this.

"You can't disable this feature. Google wanted to make things simple so that users don't have to manually add search engines. Power users might not like this feature, but there's no way to disable it."

Source: Google Chrome Help Forum : How do I disable automatic add of new search engines?

  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – Donald Duck Mar 18 '17 at 9:14
  • At the moment, this extension doesn't work (github.com/gregsadetsky/chrome-dont-add-custom-search-engines/…), the code was last updated Mar 2016. Still looking for another solution. – rocketmonkeys Sep 19 '17 at 14:46
  • "Google wanted to make things simple...." which logically excludes a "simple way to disable this bug/feature" – humanityANDpeace May 18 '18 at 15:33
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The "Don't Add Custom Search" extension is still incomplete. It doesn't cover all heuristics employed by Chrome to determine when to add a custom (other) search. I reviewed this extension in Jan 2018. Revisiting the sites still had them adding their search definition to Chrome. The author came up with some new code. After a couple revisions, I re-reviewed his extension in Aug 2018. It is still flawed. Upon repeated revisits of sites that want to add their search definition, some still succeed - which means this extension fails.

I doubt Google is publishing any documentation on what decision tree that Chrome uses to decide when to add a site's search string to the list of "Other search engines". Outsiders have to guess from observed behavior but that means getting the triggers wrong or not catching all of them. As such, only Google can truly provide an option to enable/disable the automatic addition of search engines along with an option, when enabled, to prompt the user instead of automatically adding. Keep sending Google feedback that they screwed up.

https://github.com/gregsadetsky/chrome-dont-add-custom-search-engines/commit/aa02ac9760de3bf58d03215067075151e6013368

That shows the code for the "Don't Add Custom Search" extensions. Not much there. Looks like we have OpenSearch.org to blame for autodiscovery of search descriptors. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenSearch and https://www.chromium.org/tab-to-search, I wonder if an extension that redefines the application/opensearchdescription+xml MIME type would nullify OpenSearch elements in a web page; however, maybe trying to change this MIME type's definition after the document (page) has already loaded (DOMContentLoaded) would be too late. From the Chromium article, this extension author is using method 2 with an event listener.

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