How To Force Chrome To Use (Rather Than For Searches

How To Force Chrome To Use (Rather Than For Searches

Chrome: We’ve discussed the challenge of making Chrome use the general Google domain rather than when searching before, but methods for making that change can often be fiddly and may stop working as Google continues to change its services. Here’s a simple method that appears to work right now.

Using the domain does produce more Australia-relevant results, so why wouldn’t you want to use it? One answer might be that you’re researching trends in the US market. Another could be that you want to test out newly-introduced features that haven’t yet been added to non-US domains by Google.

You can always get Google to search using the main site by visiting, but that on its own doesn’t help if you want to use Chrome’s own address bar for searches. Google Operating System offers up a new approach which supplements an earlier method we discussed involving editing user profiles.

The essence of the trick is to visit the /ncr page, then close Chrome and relaunch it, which will make Google ask if you want to switch domains. (This is a variant on the trick Google uses to change your search engine if it detects a change in your IP address when you travel.) Hit the post for a step-by-step walkthrough.

Change Chrome’s Search Engine to [Google Operating System]


  • Isn’t it easier to just go to the manage search engines

    “Google USA” “gusa” “” then set as default

  • The /ncr flag is of limited use when you go travelling because it only works on the first link you click on. If you follow links from that page then Google will most unhelpfully switch language based on IP address. Even your logged-in Google account UI (with language set to English) will switch to the predominant language of the IP address (trilingual Swiss users may tear their hair out dealing with Google’s assumptions).

  • How can I access Lifehacker, the U.S. version? I am always redirected to the Australian version, no matter what url tricks I try…

    • Going to normally works (did for me when I tried it just now). There are occasional glitches when the US make system changes (redirection is controlled from the main domain).

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