This Hack Disables Google’s AI Search Results by Default

This Hack Disables Google’s AI Search Results by Default

Do you miss the days when a Google search just gave you a list of links, and not a slowly updating box of questionably reliable AI-generated slop? You can return to that earlier, simpler age by tweaking your Chrome settings.

Last week Google started adding AI suggestions to everyone’s search results. Some people like these summaries, probably, but for me, they take way too long to load. I’d rather immediately see a list of links than wait for a summary of those links to appear a few seconds later., possibly filled with inaccurate information If you agree, the good news is that Google offers a web search now. The bad news: there’s no simple way to make this the default.

At least, there wasn’t, until the journalist Ernie Smith at Tedium found a way to force search engines to show you Google’s web results.

How to see Google’s web results by default

Basically, you need to make a custom search engine in your browser that points to Google’s web experience. You can do this by adding https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&udm=14 as a search engine. Smith explains this well, but if you aren’t interested in all the technical details, just know that URL points your browser specifically at Google’s web results panel.

Smith outlined how to do this in Vivaldi, which is great, but I thought I’d show you how to make Web the default in Google’s own web browser (and the most popular web browser in the world): Chrome.

  1. To get started, open Chrome’s settings and head to Search engine > Manage search engines and site search.
Credit: Justin Pot
  1. Click the Add button, which you will find below the list of search engines.
Credit: Justin Pot
  1. Name the new search engine something like “Google web search”. For the shortcut I recommend using just “web”, because Chrome will stop you from using the word “Google” (a detail I find hilarious). Finally, and here’s the important bit, for the URL us https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&udm=14. This will point your query to Google’s web search.
Credit: Justin Pot
  1. Click Save. You’ll see your new search engine in the list—click the three dots next to it and click Make default.
Credit: Justin Pot

You’ve now made your new search engine the default. Go ahead and try to search for something: You’ll only get links. No Quick Answers of AI-generated summaries.

Credit: Justin Pot

Wait, why is my LinkedIn page outranking my personal website? What have I done to deserve that? Never mind: The point is, I’m now only seeing links from the web in my search results.

This workaround doesn’t fix Google entirely, granted, but it makes using the search engine a lot better, and faster. (Read Lifehacker’s guide to making Google show you the good search results again for more tips.)


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