HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Turn off Safe Search in Google, Bing and Yahoo!

How to Turn off Safe Search in Google, Bing and Yahoo!

Want to see everything the web has to offer? Follow this guide to turn off safe search on Google, Bing and Yahoo!

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SafeSearch is a feature in , Bing, and that helps you exclude explicit content from your search results. Explicit content includes images or videos that show nudity, sexual activity, violence, graphic medical conditions, or other potentially offensive material. You can turn SafeSearch on or off depending on your preferences.

Reasons to Use SafeSearch

SafeSearch serves as an online safety net, shielding users from inappropriate content that may be harmful or disturbing. It's particularly beneficial for protecting young internet users from adult-oriented content unsuitable for their age. Moreover, SafeSearch aids in reducing exposure to potentially dangerous websites laden with malware or phishing attempts, inadvertently boosting productivity by minimizing distractions.

However, the feature is not infallible; it may inaccurately block relevant content or fail to filter out explicit materials, thus limiting access to valuable information. For those researching sensitive topics for educational purposes, artistic exploration, or historical research, the restrictions imposed by SafeSearch might prove counterproductive.

Why you might want to turn off Safe Search

Google SafeSearch may not be 100% accurate or reliable in detecting and blocking explicit content. Some sites may still slip through the cracks, while some legitimate sites may be mistakenly filtered out. It may also limit your access to useful information that can be relevant to your needs but contain some explicit terms or images. For example, if you are looking for health-related topics, educational resources, artistic expressions, or historical facts that involve nudity, sexuality, violence, etc.
 

Google SafeSearch might interfere with your privacy and autonomy by allowing Google to monitor and control what you see online. Some users may feel uncomfortable with giving Google such power over their browsing experience. Another reason to turn off Google Safe Search may be that it could affect your critical thinking and awareness by creating a false sense of security and filtering out diverse perspectives that may challenge your views or beliefs.

How to Turn Google Safe Search Off

Google offers a straightforward option to disable SafeSearch through its “Search Settings“. Follow these steps to adjust your settings.

  1. Navigate to Google Preferences
     
    Go to google.com/preferences and look for the “SafeSearch filters” section.

  2. Turn Off SafeSearch
     
    Uncheck the box next to “Turn on SafeSearch” to disable the filtering.
     
    Windows 11 - Google Preferences - Turn Off SafeSearch

  3. Optional: Check Region Settings
     
    Ensure your region settings are correct for accurate search results. Save your preferences to apply changes.
     
    Windows 11 - Google Preferences - Turn Off SafeSearch - Save

How to Turn Bing SafeSearch Off

Bing provides a user-friendly interface to adjust SafeSearch settings directly from the search settings menu.

  1. Access Bing Settings
     
    Click on the hamburger menu at the top and select “SafeSearch“.
     
    Windows 11 - Bing - Menu - SafeSearch

  2. Select SafeSearch Preference
     
    Bing SafeSearch offers the option “Moderate” as an alternative. The difference between “Strict” and “Moderate” in Bing SafeSearch is that “Strict” filters out both adult text and images from your search results, while Moderate filters out only adult images. If you choose “Off”, you will see all kinds of web content without any filtering.
     
    Windows 11 - Bing - Menu - SafeSearch - Off - Save

How to Turn Yahoo! SafeSearch Off

Yahoo requires a few additional steps to disable SafeSearch, accessible through the search preferences.

  1. Conduct a search on Yahoo
     
    This is a quick way to to access the options menu button.
     
    Windows 11 - Bing - Search
  2. Click on the Yahoo! options menu button on the top right and choose “Settings”
     
    Windows 11 - Bing - Search Menu - Settings
  3. Turn off Yahoo! SafeSearch in “Search Preferences” and click “Save”
     
    Yahoo! SafeSearch offers the option “Moderate” as an alternative to just turning it off completely. The difference between “Strict” and “Moderate” in Yahoo! SafeSearch is that “Strict” filters out both adult text and images from your search results, while Moderate filters out only adult images. If you choose “Off”, you will see all kinds of web content without any filtering.
     
    Windows 11 - Bing - Search Menu - Settings - Safe Search - Not Filter Results

How to Turn Google SafeSearch Off on Mobile Devices

To disable Google SafeSearch on your phone, you need to turn the feature off in “Search Settings” using the Google App.

  1. Open the Google app
     
    Android - Google App
  2. Tap on your profile picture/account logo on the top right
     
    Android - Google App - Account Icon
  3. Select “Settings”
     
    Android - Google App - Account Icon - Settings
  4. Choose “General”
     
    Android - Google App - Account Icon - Settings - General
  5. Disable the “SafeSearch” option to turn Google SafeSearch off
     
    Android - Google App - Account Icon - Settings - General - Turn Off SafeSearch

How to Turn Bing SafeSearch Off on Mobile Devices

To turn Bing SafeSearch off on your mobile device, you need to use your web browser, just like on your PC.

  1. Navigate to Bing.com and tap on the hamburger menu button
     
    Android - Bing.com - Menu
  2. Select “SafeSearch”
     
    Android - Bing.com - Menu - SafeSearch
  3. Select “Off” to disable Bing SafeSearch completely
     
    Bing SafeSearch offers the option “Moderate” as an alternative. The difference between “Strict” and “Moderate” in Bing SafeSearch is that “Strict” filters out both adult text and images from your search results, while Moderate filters out only adult images. If you choose “Off”, you will see all kinds of web content without any filtering.
     
    Android - Bing.com - Menu - SafeSearch - Off

How to Turn Yahoo! SafeSearch Off on Mobile Devices

To turn Yahoo! SafeSearch off on your mobile device, you need to use your web browser, just like on your PC.

  1. Navigate to search.yahoo.com and tap on “Settings” at the bottom
     
    Android - Yahoo - Settings
  2. Open the SafeSearch options menu
     
    Android - Yahoo - Settings - SafeSearch
  3. Turn Yahoo! SafeSearch off
     
    Yahoo! SafeSearch offers the option “Moderate” as an alternative to just turning it off completely. The difference between “Strict” and “Moderate” in Yahoo! SafeSearch is that “Strict” filters out both adult text and images from your search results, while Moderate filters out only adult images. If you choose “Off”, you will see all kinds of web content without any filtering.

    Android - Yahoo - Settings - SafeSearch - Off

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About SafeSearch

Why can't I turn off Google SafeSearch?

If you're unable to disable Google SafeSearch, it may be due to network restrictions, parental controls set on your device, or regional laws in certain countries where SafeSearch is permanently enabled.

Why is SafeSearch stuck on?

SafeSearch might be persistently active due to synchronized settings across devices, restrictions set by network administrators, or enforced parental controls on your device.

Why did SafeSearch turn on automatically?

SafeSearch could automatically activate due to updates in search engine policies, changes in network or device settings, or if it's been enabled on another device synced with your account.

How do I disable SafeSearch on a network that enforces it?

To disable SafeSearch on a restricted network, you may need administrative access to change network settings or use a virtual private network (VPN) to bypass network-level SafeSearch enforcement.

How do I turn off SafeSearch if it's grayed out or locked?

If the SafeSearch option is grayed out or locked, it could be under parental control settings or administrative restrictions. You may need to adjust those settings or contact the administrator to change it.

Can SafeSearch settings vary by browser or device?

Yes, SafeSearch settings can vary across different browsers and devices. You need to disable it separately in each browser and device you use.

Why does SafeSearch keep turning back on after I disable it?

If SafeSearch reactivates after being disabled, it could be due to account settings syncing across devices, browser updates resetting preferences, or network policies re-enforcing it.

Is it possible to disable SafeSearch for specific searches only?

Generally, SafeSearch settings are applied universally and cannot be disabled for specific searches only. You need to turn it off entirely to remove filtering for all searches.

How do I ensure SafeSearch stays off on shared devices?

On shared devices, ensure each user has their individual profile or account to maintain separate settings, and check if parental controls or device administrative settings are influencing SafeSearch.

Why is SafeSearch not turning off even after changing settings?

If SafeSearch remains active despite changing settings, clear your browser cache and cookies, then try again. Persistent issues might require checking for software updates or browser compatibility.

Can SafeSearch filter out all explicit content?

SafeSearch is designed to filter out most explicit content, but it's not 100% foolproof. Some explicit content may still slip through due to the limitations of filtering algorithms.

Related: How to Clear Browser History on Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera

If you share a computer, there are instances where you may not want another person to see the websites you've been visiting. In our other guide, we show you how to delete your browsing history in Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera so you can hide your previous activity.

Featured - How to delete history on Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 11:51 am CEST

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.
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