When I set up my new phone (Fairphone 4) with Android 11 I selected Duckduckgo as search engine. This is now used in the bottom search bar on the home screen. Now I can't find the place in the settings to change this to something else in the settings. And searching the settings for "search" brings up nothing :-/

Where can I change the search engine for the search bar on the home screen.

This is what I need to find again: https://www.android.com/choicescreen/ The EU forces them to provide me with a choicescreen so that I can decide freely which search engine to use by default. But like for cookie banners, the EU guys are not the brightest when trying to control Megacorps, so they seem to allow Google to hide that screen very well.

All descriptions I found refer to changing the search engine in a browser only.

(It is lamented elsewhere already what a pita it is to have the search bar down there, but it seems we cannot get rid of it. In case someone knows better, that would suit me as well.)

  • The "bottom search bar" is part of the launcher and usually fixed linked to Google. Use a different launcher and you can configure the used search engine.
    – Robert
    Mar 11, 2022 at 16:49
  • 1
    No, it is not linked to Google. I have managed, during phone setup, to link it to Duckduckgo. No launcher needed. During setup it said that I can change it again later, so I assumed it is a no-brainer to find it in the settings. Well, I cant' find it.
    – Harald
    Mar 11, 2022 at 18:09
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    Then this is a modification of the Android version for Fairphone.
    – Robert
    Mar 11, 2022 at 18:31

3 Answers 3


One of the answer from this question on the Fairphone forum about the same issue indicates that you must reset either reset the phone. It reflects the response from Fairphone support:

Support answered:

At the moment, the only way to change the search engine used by the search bar is indeed a full factory reset.

However, we understand that this is not the most convenient way. Thus, we will take your feedback into our considerations for our future developments. We appreciate your response as it is very helpful for us and it gives a good insight into the wishes and needs of our community


install another launcher. The OP from that forum installed Lawnchair launcher.

  • 1
    For completeness, the thread mentioned above now has a solution involving the use of adb, see forum.fairphone.com/t/change-default-search-engine/78772. To also get rid of the big fat date/time display at the top of the home screen, I resolved to install the lawnchair launcher as suggested in that thread too. So far a complete no-brainer and easy to switch back and force if somehting turns odd.
    – Harald
    Mar 12, 2022 at 11:23

Here is the adb method, thanks to the FairPhone forum thread.

$ adb shell settings delete secure selected_search_engine
$ adb shell pm enable com.google.android.apps.setupwizard.searchselector
$ adb reboot

It worked for me on Nokia G60 5G. With the usual undocumented quirk: you also have to enable USB file transfer before adb can work. I think there was a short delay before the choice screen appeared.

Unfortunately for me, the "Choice screen" only has a list chosen by Google, and the list does not include Firefox.

I agree the EU seem to have fallen asleep.


Easily "remove" the google search box by simply moving all your icons to the second home screen, which does not have the ugly google search box.

When you unlock your phone, the last used home screen is shown first, so for all practical purposes, you will never have to see the google search box again.

If you still want a search box widget but with another search engine, you could install the duckduckgo search widget. Perhaps Wikipedia has something similar.

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