How to change the private browsing browser in Safari

Today we bring you another iOS 17 trick that can come in handy, and it is related to Safari and private browsing. It is a new option that is available with the most recent version of the operating system, and is not only restricted to being used in the most recent models. So if you have an older phone, such as an iPhone XR, 11 or 12 mini, you will be able to do it without any problem.

Browsing in Safari has greatly improved the user experience. We have a wide range of additions at our disposal, such as profiles or private browsing blocked by FaceID. So if you want to know what this new addition is about, which now allows us to change the search engine, we will tell you about it below.

But couldn’t the search engine be changed now?

By default, the search engine we have in Safari, without us having configured anything before, is Google. But this option can be changed, and we have several search engines on hand that, once we select, everything we write in the search bar will appear with the results of the engine that we have configured.

It is true that before we could change the default search engine. However, when we did this, it applied to Safari’s browsing modes: Standard browsing and private browsing. The novelty now is that we can have two search engines selected, one of them being assigned to conventional browsing, and another for private browsing. So we now go from having one search engine everywhere to having two.

This is how to change Safari’s private browsing search engine

As we indicated at the beginning, this can only be done if we have iOS 17 installed on a compatible iPhone. In order to do this, the first thing we will do is go to Settings > Safari. At the top of this contextual menu we will find several sections. We have to look at two of them:

  • Seeker
  • Search engine for private browsing

Although at first it seems that they are two functions that go independently, the truth is that, by default, the two are linked. When we have a predefined search engine in standard navigation, it also applies to private browsing, unless we want to change it manually. And as we have also said, the default search engine for Safari on the iPhone is Google. So, if we don’t touch anything, in private browsing, Google will also be our assigned search engine. The search engines that we have available to choose from are the following:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • bing
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Ecosia

Safari icon

To these five options we must add the additional option of Use default search engine, if we want to change the search engine in private browsing. That is, in standard browsing we can select Yahoo, while in private browsing we can use Bing. And in the event that, for example, our default search engine is DuckDuckGo, hey, in private browsing we want the same predefined search engine to be used, we will be using DuckDuckGo when we want to perform searches in that mode.