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Java update sneakily changes your default search engine to Yahoo

Java update sneakily changes your default search engine to Yahoo

by AshwinJune 26, 2015

Ever had your browser’s search engine changed to something else?


Well, then you must be aware that it was probably done by an adware.

Not all adwares are dangerous, for e.g: Google Chrome is bundled in the installers of various apps. But its still incredibly annoying to have your default browser changed, without your intention. Still, its quite easy to switch back to your favorite browser.

But what about a slightly more complex scenario? Do you know how to change your browser’s search engine?

Well you may need to learn it. Hint: I have included a small tutorial for Chrome, Firefox and Edge users at the end of this article.

Yahoo has partnered with Oracle, to bundle an option for its search engine in the installer of Java. And yes, the option is enabled by default.  So, the next time you update Java on your PC, keep your eyes peeled for the option which will change your default search engine to Yahoo.

Java is already infamous for bundling the toolbar, which was recently flagged as malware by Microsoft.

But Yahoo says that its search engine changer in Java is a fair one. Their statement to the Wall Street Journal says, “we have definitely made sure that our onboarding process is one that is highly transparent and gives users choice,”

Engadget says this a dubious practice, and we couldn’t agree more. Not everyone pays attention to adware while installing or updating apps, and pre-ticking the option to change the search engine, is just unethical.

How to change the search engine in browsers?

Google Chrome 

Click on the menu button and then on Settings. Or just enter this address in a new tab:




Scroll down and select the option to the left of the “Manage Search Engines”, and pick a search engine.

Mozilla Firefox 

Click on the magnifying glass icon in the search bar of Firefox. Or, just open this address in a new tab:



Now choose a search engine from the list, this will be your default search engine in Firefox. You can also remove the other search engines from the search preferences page.

Microsoft Edge

Click on the menu, scroll down and select settings, and then click on “Search in the address bar with”, to change your search engine.


Note: The option to change the search engine  is currently unavailable in Project Spartan. The button is grayed out, most probably due to Microsoft’s testing purposes.