You can no longer remove default search engines on Chromium and it's already causing havoc

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Most web browsers generally come with one or more default search engines and the same is true for Chromium-based browsers like Microsoft's Edge or Google's Chrome, among others. Users earlier had the ability to remove or delete a default search engine from the browser settings if they didn't want it for some reason.

The recent Chromium 97 update however has made a change (via NikoStrelkov on Reddit) in these settings and the option to "Remove" these default search engines is no longer present. Below is a before-after image comparison on Microsoft Edge that shows the Remove option has been eliminated while the "Make default" and "Edit" options are still there on Edge 97.

As spotted by another Reddit user lordcheeto on the same Reddit thread, it looks like the Remove option was deleted by Chromium as its devs believe that getting rid of the Remove feature will be more beneficial to end-users.

Chromium developer, jdonnelly, who started this issue under ID 1263679 writes:

Currently, you can delete a pre-populated search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, Baidu) in 2 clicks. Doing so is irrecoverably destructive because, even if you're knowledgeable enough to use the Add dialog to recreate a pre-populated entry, you can't set the suggest, new tab page, or other specialized URLs.

Deleting these should either be more difficult (confirmation dialog) or impossible (no delete option in the menu). My strong preference is to do the latter.

However, while this change was probably done with a good intention, some users are already complaining about new problems. For example, Filipa Nunes on the Chrome forum says their default search is automatically switching to Yahoo even when they tried to set it to something else. Many others on the thread say they're also facing similar problems.

As a result, it looks like the Remove option in the default search engine settings could be making a comeback in Chromium 98 or 99 as a temporary workaround for the problem.

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