How to Replace Google Assistant with a Web Search

Replace Google Assistant Web Search

Not everyone is a fan of Google Assistant, but thankfully Android has a way to change this back to a simple web search using your favorite search engine.

I’ve had a number of comments on my YouTube videos that express their disdain for the new Google Assistant feature. With Google rolling this out to a wider set of devices in the near future, I wanted to cover a few ways for people to replace or disable it entire. I’ve talked about how to disable the Google Assistant in the past. Then recently I talked about how to replace Google Assistant with Google Now on Tap. Still, there’s a lot more than we can do to get rid of this feature.

One popular request is a way to revert the long press shortcut of the Home button back to a traditional web search. Sure, you could press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen and then tap on the Google search widget. Or you could go back to the Home Screen and then launch the Google application to do a search as well. These require additional steps though and they’re steps that could be eliminated by the simple long press shortcut of the Home button.

Which is something that most people are so used to from using Android all these years. So today I want to show you a couple of applications that you can use in place of having the Google application set to your default assistant on Android.


Note – The exact process will be different for various devices (I’m using the Pixel XL as an example), but they should all still have way to change the default assistant/apps. So unless your smartphone OEM removed this feature, it should be tucked away in the Settings application somewhere.

Replace Google Assistant with a Web Search

  1. Download and install either Firefox or SearchBar EX
  2. Launch the Settings application
  3. Scroll down tot he Device section
  4. Tap on the Apps option
  5. Tap on the Gear icon in the top right of the screen
  6. Look in the Default section
  7. Tap on the Assist & Voice Input option
  8. Tap on the Assist App option at the top
  9. Choose which application you want set as your default assistant
  10. Tap on the Agree button
  11. Press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen

Explanation

So as you can see, we’re pulling this off by replacing the default assistant application on the Android device. Again, depending on which device you have, the exact step by step process could be different. I tested this on the Pixel XL as well as the OnePlus 3T and both require the same steps. However, OEMs like Samsung, Huawei and LG like to change up their UI quite a lot so Apps could be labeled applications, or be even tucked away somewhere else.

The goal is to navigate to where you can change the default applications you have set on your device. You’ve had the ability to change the default web browser, phone app, SMS app, etc for a while now and Google also has a way for us to set the default assistant application as well. So after you have installed either Firefox or SearchBar EX (I recommend Firefox), then you can navigate to where you can change the default assistant on your device.

Replace Google Assistant Web Search Options

You’ll find all of the supported assistant applications in this Assist App popup menu.

Tapping on the Assist App option will bring up a popup menu that lists all of the assistant applications you can switch to. So for example, if you downloaded Microsoft’s Cortana application, then you could set it as your smartphone or tablet’s personal assistant. We’re just focusing on replacing Google Assistant with a web search though so we’re just going to use Firefox or the SearchBar EX application. So go ahead and choose one of these when you get the popup box.

You’ll see a warning popup when you change the default assistant application so be sure to read through that. It’s important to trust which application you’re setting as an assistant since they’re given a lot of information about your daily usage. Tap on the Agree button if you trust the application you’re setting it to and then you can tap on the Home button to go back to the Home Screen. From here, you can long press on the Home button and test to see if your change is exactly what you wanted.

If this tutorial helped you in any way, please consider donating at Patreon or PayPal. If you can't afford to donate then sharing this on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. will also help a lot.

About the author

Doug

Working to create an organized, easy to follow central repository for everything you need to know about Android. With a focus on device specific tutorials, my goal is to ultimately branch out and do more universal tips and tricks guides as well.