How to turn Google SafeSearch on or off

  • Google’s SafeSearch feature can block images, writing, or even whole pages that its algorithms deem inappropriate for younger users.
  • However, Google SafeSearch may block access to many perfectly acceptable sites and content that an adult might want to view, so it’s important that you know how to switch it off.
  • SafeSearch can be locked on, and only switched off with a password, so parents can feel safe while their kids browse, and schools or workplaces can limit the search capabilities on shared computers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Internet is a wild, wonderful place, providing access to just about any kind of content a person can imagine. But with that freedom comes plenty of weird, off-putting, and often outright awful material that you never want your children to find.

That’s why Google’s SafeSearch feature is a welcome way to filter search results. When enabled, SafeSearch greatly reduces the amount of content perceived as violent, pornographic, bigoted, or otherwise inappropriate from appearing after a browser search.

Alongside the benefits of a more approachable online experience, however, comes a lack of access to lots of content an adult user may wish to access. Long story short, as great as SafeSearch is, you need to know how to turn it off, too. Here’s how.

How to turn Google SafeSearch off and on

1. Log into your Google account and navigate to the Google homepage.

2. Click the word “Settings” in the bottom right corner.

3. Click the words “Search settings” in the popup window.

Open your settings menu and select

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Open your settings menu and select “Search settings.”
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Steven John/Business Insider

4. Click the box beside the words “Turn on SafeSearch.”

Turn on SafeSearch.

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Turn on SafeSearch.
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Steven John/Business Insider

5. Click “Save” in the blue box at the bottom of the screen.

When the box beside “Turn on SafeSearch” has a checkmark, search results will be filtered. When it doesn’t, you’ll see all search results.

If you want to lock SafeSearch on a computer, click the blue words “Lock SafeSearch” and follow the prompts.

You can lock SafeSearch as well.

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You can lock SafeSearch as well.
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Steven John/Business Insider

And to turn SafeSearch on or off on your mobile device, go to the Google homepage, click the three parallel horizontal lines in the top left, click “Settings,” then tap “Filter explicit results.”

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