Google has silently rolled out a change to the its browser and the underlying Chromium project. Both apps do not allow removing the default search engines any longer starting in version 97. The change has already introduced in Chrome 97, and has affected other Chromium-based projects.The latter include Microsoft Edge and Opera, with exception to Vivaldi that remains on Chromium 96.
Why Chrome 97 doesn't allow deleting search engines?
Engineers behind the change say that it is difficult to restore settings after deleting the default presets. According to them, the default search engine can be deleted in one click. But restoring them is much harder.
Also, if an average user will remove all the default engines added by the browser vendor, it will give him ceratin issues. Specially, this will break address bar tips, new tab page and other features related to online services [built by Google in this very case].
Also, they say that it is a time-consuming operation for an ordinary user to get back default settings for search as they were preconfigured. Besides adding the search engine itself, it requires editing profile files and changing other settings.
Initially, they were about to add an extra confirmation dialog, before allowing the use to delete a pre-installed search in Chrome/Chromium. However, they ended with deleting the removal option.
In my opinion, such a change has a negative impact on customization options in any of the Chroium-based browser. I would never use certain search engines they include out of the box, and I always remove them.
Moreover, after updating to Chrome 97, users report that the change breaks the ability to change the default browser. It reverts the user choice back to the default search option.
I would like to see Google to revert the change and allow customizing the list of default search engines. But there's a little to zero chance that Google will restore the Delete option in forthcoming version of the browser.
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