In Chromium they removed the ability to remove search engines

Recently the news broke that Google has removed the ability to remove default search engines of the Chromium code base, that is, all those search engines that are found by default in the list of the configurator, in the section «Manage search engines«, it is no longer possible to remove items from the list of default search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo).

The change came into effect with the release of Chromium 97 and also affected all browsers based on it, including new releases of Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Brave (Vivaldi remains on the Chromium 96 engine for now).

In addition to hiding the delete button in the browser, it also it is mentioned that the ability to edit search engine parameters is limited, which now allows the user to be able to change only the name and keywords, but blocks changing the URL with the query parameters. At the same time, the function of removing and editing additional search engines added by the user is preserved.

Several people are complaining on the support forums that they can no longer remove Yahoo! and other search engines from the list.
this seems a bit harsh
I've seen more posts about "I can't remove search engines" than posts about "I just unlisted Google search engine" in the last 6 months.

Who decides which search engines we can't remove?

It is mentioned that the main reason for the ban to remove and change the default search engine settings is because it has been observed that it is difficult for a large number of users to be able to restore settings after careless deletion- The default search engine can be removed with a single click, after which the work of contextual tips, a new tab page and other functions related to access to search engines are interrupted.

In addition to this, at the same time, to restore deleted records, it is not enough to use the button to add a custom search engine, but a time-consuming operation for an ordinary user to transfer the initial settings from the installation file, which requires editing profile files, is required.

Some people use deletion as a workaround to block
it changes the default search engine, so we need to continue
support it for now.

This is a partial rollback… This change
makes it so you can remove the prefilled search engines again, but
prevent the switch from the previous change from disabling the delete option
for search engines that don't support removal to hide removal
option. This is consistent with other recent changes to search
engine settings page where we have been hiding unsupported options because
there is a broader set of potential actions on search engines.

Developers considered adding a warning about the possible consequences of removal, but they could also implement a dialog to add a default search engine or restore the original settings, but in the end it was decided to just disable the delete entries button.

The default search engine removal feature could be useful to completely disable access to external sites by typing in the address bar, or to block changes made to search engine settings by malicious plugins, for example by try to redirect key queries in the address bar to your own site.

Finally, it should be mentioned that one of the Chromium developers which implemented the ban on removing default search engines has said that it plans to bring back delete functionality in one of the next Chromium releases (98 or 99), which is scheduled for release in late February. – early March 2022.


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