October 3, 2023
Learn how to turn off safe search to access sensitive material on the internet or to remove filters while browsing. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to turn off safe search on popular search engines and learn about the pros and cons of doing so. Additionally, find tips for parents, alternative online safety tools and programs, and advice on how to keep kids safe while using the internet.

How to Turn Safe Search Off: A Step-by-Step Guide

The internet is a vast and often unpredictable place, and search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo do their best to keep users safe by filtering out adult content and other potentially harmful material. While this feature, known as “safe search,” can be helpful for children and those who don’t want to stumble upon adult content while browsing the internet, it can also be limiting for adults who want to access this material safely or research sensitive topics. Whether you’re an adult looking to remove safe search restrictions or a parent looking to shield your children from adult content, here’s a guide on how to turn off safe search on the most popular search engines.


Google is the most popular search engine in the world and also the easiest to customize. Here is how to turn off safe search on Google:

  1. Go to Google.com and click on “Settings” at the bottom right corner of the homepage.
  2. Select “Search settings” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click the “Turn off SafeSearch” button
  4. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

To restore safe search, simply follow the same steps and turn the SafeSearch feature back on.


Bing is another popular search engine that labels its safe search feature as “Strict.” Here’s how to turn it off:

  1. Go to Bing.com and click on “Settings” at the top right corner of the homepage.
  2. Select “More” from the drop-down menu and then click on “Settings” again.
  3. Under “SafeSearch,” click on “Off” to turn off safe search.
  4. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page to save your settings.

To turn safe search back on, simply repeat the same steps and select “Moderate” or “Strict” depending on your preference.


Yahoo’s safe search feature is called “SafeSearch.” Here’s how to adjust this option:

  1. Go to Yahoo.com and click on “Settings” at the top right corner of the homepage.
  2. Select “More Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Under the “Search” tab, turn the “SafeSearch” option off.
  4. Click “Save” to save your changes.

To re-enable safe search, simply repeat these steps and turn the feature back on.

Other Search Engines

Most other search engines have a similar setup to turn off safe search. Usually, you must go to the settings or preferences section on the homepage and find the safe search feature, which can vary from strict to moderate, to turn it off.

Video Tutorial: How to Turn Off Safe Search

Whether you’re using the internet for work, research, or leisure, turning off safe search can be a useful option to explore. Safe search can sometimes limit the information available to you, especially when researching sensitive issues, while also restricting access to certain kinds of content. However, before you decide to turn safe search off, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of doing so.

Pros and Cons of Turning Off Safe Search

Turning safe search off can offer more freedom in search results, but it can also be risky. Here are some pros and cons of turning off safe search:


  • Increased access to adult content
  • Fewer restrictions on search results
  • More freedom for research, investigation and learning purposes


  • Exposure to potentially harmful or adult content
  • Higher risk of accidentally viewing unwanted materials
  • Difficulty managing inappropriate content that may come up in searches

Before turning off safe search, it’s important to consider your personal circumstances and what kind of content you may encounter while browsing the internet.

For Parents

If you’re a parent wanting to turn off safe search on your child’s device, it’s important to discuss safe internet use with your children and explain some of the dangers that exist online. Turning off safe search can expose children not only to adult content, but also to the danger of encountering inappropriate material that may mean they become exposed to adult content. Here are some steps to follow:

Adjust Safe Search Settings

The safest way to expose your children to the internet is to adjust the settings on their devices. Doing this will make sure that they are still safe while browsing without being exposed to harmful content. Each device, whether phone or computer, may have a different procedure to do this. However, most settings have the “SafeSearch” option that can be turned on and off.

Talk to Your Kids

Another essential part of keeping children safe online is to pass on knowledge. Before you hand over a mobile phone to your child, sit them down and discuss the “Do’s and Don’ts” of internet use. Tell them about safe search settings and ensure they know what they should do in case they come across inappropriate content accidentally.

For more information, you can visit websites such as the National Online Safety website.

Alternatives to Safe Search

If you don’t want to turn off safe search but still want to keep your kids safe while browsing the web, there are other alternative options to consider:

Filtering Software

You can use online filtering software to keep your kids safe while browsing the web. These programs block potentially harmful websites that would not provide a good experience for your children.

Browser Extensions

Browser Extensions can be extremely helpful in blocking inappropriate content. Many of them offer a filter function that will block inappropriate websites and adverts from showing up.


Safe search can help protect users from harmful content, but there are times when removing these restrictions is necessary and appropriate. Whether you’re an adult or a careful parent, being aware of how to turn off safe search can provide greater flexibility and a more suitable browsing experience. However, before doing so, it is essential to consider the potential risks involved, weigh up the pros and cons and have a discussion with your children about online safety.

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