How to Change Default Search Engine for Private Browsing in Safari [iOS 17]

With each major iOS upgrade, Apple introduces new features to its default web browser – Safari. iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, currently in beta, boasts several useful features for Safari including new browsing profiles, enhanced private browsing, faster search results, and more.

The enhanced private browsing feature not only enables users to lock their private browsing sessions but also allows them to change the default search engine while in private browsing mode. In today’s guide, we will take a look at the steps you can follow to change your default search engine during private browsing on Safari.

The new feature gives users access to better privacy controls, you can easily switch the search engine anytime as per your preferences. Whether you’re currently using Google or DuckDuckGo, you have the flexibility to switch between these options or explore others with ease.

Let’s dive right into the steps.

How to Change Default Search Engine When Browsing in Private Mode on Safari

If your iPhone is running on iOS 17 or iPad on iPadOS 17, then you can easily switch the default search engine for private browsing mode in Safari. On the previous version of iOS, Safari uses the same search engine for both regular browsing and private browsing.

Before proceeding with the steps, it’s important to clarify that the new search engine will only be used when you search anything from the address bar. Now let’s take a look at the steps.

When you update to iOS 17 / iPadOS 17, it will use the default search engine you use for normal browsing, so you need to change it manually.

How to Change Default Search Engine for Private Browsing in Safari
  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and Select Safari.
  3. In the Search section, tap Private Search Engine.
  4. Now choose the Search Engine that you want to use in Private Browsing.
  5. You have five options to choose from: Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Ecosia. Just select your preferred one from the list.
  6. That’s it.

The list includes three known search engines as well as two privacy-focused options – DuckDuckGo and Ecosia. You can effortlessly switch the search engine anytime you want by following the above steps.

If you still have any queries, then you can leave a comment in the comment box. Also, share this article with your friends.

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By Haneet Singh

Haneet is a passionate tech writer and a consumer. He loves tinkering with the newest tech - smartphones, wearables, laptops, smart TVs, and other smart home devices. For tips, you can connect Haneet at

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