Set default search in Chrome to google.co.uk without it defaulting to a UK search

Why do you care? Because if you’re a UK internet user, sometimes you will want to click on the “show results from sites in the UK” button. And if you’re a chrome user, sometimes this button won’t be there because it keeps sending you to google.com by default.

Chrome is a bit precious on how it lets you handle the google.com search engine entry – it doesn’t let you edit the URL that it uses.

If you go to Tools -> Options -> Default Search -> Manage, then Edit the google (default) entry, you’ll see that it has a mysterious “{google:baseURL}”, where the domain name would normally be.

Furthermore, if you search your preferences files in your Chrome profile, you’ll notice that the definition of this {google:baseURL}┬áis nowhere to be found.

Now, you might be thinking, “just set it to use the google UK search”, but if you do that then only search results from sites within the UK will be returned in a search, which probably isn’t what you want most of the time. You might also be thinking “create a new search entry and point it to the usual google.co.uk/search?q=%s”, but if you do that you lose google suggest.

So the trick really is to work out how to change what Chrome inserts where it sees “{google:baseURL}”.

The solution:

Turns out Chrome builds this from the google cookies that you have in your browser. All I did to fix this was to delete all cookies from google.com . I left my google.co.uk , gmail.com etc. alone. After restarting chrome, I am now getting all my searches through google.co.uk, and I can refine to just UK results with a single click again.

8 thoughts on “Set default search in Chrome to google.co.uk without it defaulting to a UK search”

  1. I tried this but still getting a load of US results and seeing Google.com. I tried adding a new Google.co.uk search engine but there was no option to set it as default.

    May try reinstalling Chrome. Maybe that will clear it.

  2. Thanks, You’ve helped me sort out that annoying problem with my google chrome, so now i will go from safari to google chrome again

  3. I switched to Bing which doesn’t have the same issue – shame, because I’ve used google for years, but Microsoft obviously care more about non US consumers more than google

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