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Disabling Web Search

November 2nd, 2022

For some reason, it's very difficult to disable search functionality in modern Web browsers. Here's how to do it anyway.

Chromium-based browsers

  1. Navigate to chrome://settings/searchEngines.
  2. In the Site search section, click Add.
  3. In the Shortcut box, type nosearch.
  4. In the Search engine box, type No Search.
  5. In the URL with %s in place of query box, type http://%s.
  6. Click Add.
  7. At your new entry, click the three dots to the right and select Make default
  8. For all the other search engines in the Search engines, Site search, and Inactive shortcuts sections, click the three dots on the right and select Delete.

Firefox-based browsers

There is a way to add a search engine manually through a bookmark, but it won't accept http://%s when doing it this way. This method is described in this answer on StackOverflow.

  1. Navigate to this web page, https://mckinley.cc/notes/20221102-no-search.html.
  2. Click the address bar.
  3. You should see an icon there with a small green circle in the top right corner. Click that icon.
  4. Navigate to about:preferences#search.
  5. In the Default Search Engine section, select No Search
  6. Scroll down to the Search Shortcuts section.
  7. For every search engine except for No Search, click that line and click Remove in the bottom right. Bookmarks, Tabs, History, and Actions can't be deleted.

No Search icon

The icon in the attached OpenSearch XML file is based on the following files from Wikimedia Commons. The icon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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