Forcing Google Chrome to Use a Specific Google Engine



Something that I found a bit annoying with Chrome is how it somehow detects your installation location and then installs using that country as the default Google search location. For example, install from Bahrain and it will force the .com.bh engine on queries from the Omnibox (aka the address bar). If you don't care about that and just want English then you just need to click on "English" on the Arabic page. What if you want to use .com in the Omnibox? Visiting http://www.google.com/ncr (no country redirect) doesn't affect the Omnibox and for some reason, adding an engine in Chrome (plus its extra parameters), stops the Omnibox from suggesting keywords.

If you want to force whatever Google localized engine or the regular .com engine try these steps:


  1. Google usually installs in your user's account folder, inside is a file called "Local State". The path to the file is usually: C:\Users\<User Account Name>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Local State (replace <User Account Name> with your Windows account name). I believe there is also a similar file in Linux, but I can't remember its exact path.
  2. Edit the "Local State" file, right at the beginning of that file look for 2 lines: "last_known_google_url" and "last_prompted_google_url".
  3. In my case, the above 2 lines contained "http://www.google.com.bh/". Just change both to whatever other Google URL you want such as "http://www.google.com/" for regular Google or, "http://www.google.co.za/" if you wish to use Zimbabwe's :-P.
  4. Save and restart your browser, it may prompt you the first time you search if you want to keep using the current engine or switch back. You know what to click.

Hopefully this more hard coded way of changing your Google engine in Chrome give you a permanent fix to your Omnibox Google localization issues.


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