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HowTo Change Search Provider in GNOME Web 3.10

I saw this comment in the last post about Web “How do you revert to Google?” and at first place I didn’t realize that this guy was really asking how you change the default Search Engine from Duck Duck Go to Google. I mean, it would be obvious; How about from Epiphany’s Settings ? :)


I don’t know if I am missing someting, but I don’t see any option to change search engine! I didn’t ask any Web developer about it and I didn’t look for it in Bugzilla, so I am totally clueless about this issue. Anyway, if someone knows more, please en-light us :)

However there is an easy solution to change this from GSettings.

Open dconf-editor (1st thing you should install in a Gnome Installation) and Navigate to:



Using Google as default Web Search Engine

Change the default Keyword search Url from

To the one of your preference. In my case

%s is obviously the search string. About other Search Engines (Yahoo, Blink etc)Urls, you have to Google. I am a bit lazy to do that ;)

If you don’t want to install dconf-editor, you can edit Keys from command line

$ gsettings set org.gnome.Epiphany keyword-search-url ""

Revert back to original

$ gsettings set org.gnome.Epiphany keyword-search-url ""

By the way you can use Epiphany to run specific only queries like that :)

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  • Michael Mistretta

    I think “Made of Easy” no longer applies to Gnome.

    • alex285

      I think this is a bug, but I will ask someone from Web Development Team, cause I am quite curious about this.

      • robvelor

        Highly doubt it’s a bug considering gnome devs think removing features is good design. If the option exists in gsettings it is highly likely the gnome devs do not want the average user to change the search provider for epiphany, a.k.a web.

        • alex285

          Even if that was true (for various Gnome Modules), it certainly doesn’t apply for Epiphany developers. It is just that Epiphany team lacks of man power, but the people who work there, they -for sure!- don’t dream of an “I can’t change Search Engine” Web-Browser ;)

          • robvelor

            We’ll see about that :).

          • Michael Catanzaro

            It was frankly not that important for it to be configurable when Google was the default. Now it is important. I’ve filed

            Remember that most GNOME developers use Firefox, so lower expectations are unfortunately appropriate here.

      • Michael Mistretta

        Man I really want to believe you but the gnomes developers are known for crap like this. I’m sure choosing a search engine was too “confusing to users”, “not touch friendly” or “difficult to maintain”.

        • pyluyten

          i don’t remember but epiphany might handle about:config url

        • Mathias Rudolf

          This comment made my day!
          (No trolling, I really love gnome, but these quotes are too nice!)

          • Michael Mistretta

            I am a gnome user myself, but man some of these changes are just odd. It’s not like I was going to use Web/Epiphany either way since it’s leagues behind FireFox/Chrome but still.. they do make some rather face palmish decisions for the same of those three reasons.

    • Michael Catanzaro

      FYI there are patches in so hopefully this will be included in 3.12.

  • Hamvil

    There is not sane reason for (i) hardcoding the search provider in any browser, and (ii) defaulting to something different from google.

    • Michael Catanzaro

      I argue that it would be unethical to continue to unnecessarily expose users to the NSA as a default.

      The search engine isn’t hardcoded – Alex just showed you how to change it with gsettings – but I agree it needs to show up in the preferences dialog. Odds of it happening shoot way up if someone submits a patch, otherwise things like this get prioritized; Epiphany has lots of other problems too. :/

  • Urs

    Hey this doesent work anymore. Just brings up a blank google page!