Changing the Default Search Engine in Safari in Mac OS X
Setting the default search engine in Safari for OS X is possible in all versions, here’s how you can quickly do so:
1. Open Safari if you’re not there yet, and then pull down the “Safari” menu and choose “Preferences”
2. Go to the “Search” tab* and select the search engine you wish to use from the “Search engine” pull down menu:
*Note the above instructions are for modern versions of Safari in OS X, older versions of Safari in Mac OS X will find the ability to change the search engine under the ‘General’ preferences tab
Troubleshooting: Why did the default search engine change itself in Safari?
Safari should not change the search engine used by the application on it’s own. If you discover that your default web search engine changed itself in Safari on the Mac, particularly if the search engine was changed to some junk no-name web search service that is heavy on ads and junk results, you may have inadvertently installed adware onto the Mac which made that modification to the search engine. If you find yourself in that somewhat unusual situation, you can use a free tool like MalwareBytes Anti-Malware to scan the Mac for adware and malware which may have changed your search engine choice without your permission. This is a fairly rare circumstance, but it can happen, and if Safari has suddenly started changing the default web page and default search engine to junky services, those are two prominent indicators of such a situation.