Windows 10: Google SafeSearch - I'm being forced to use it! Solved

  1.    13 Mar 2018 #1

    Google SafeSearch - I'm being forced to use it!


    It seems like every time I reinstall Win10 there's some fresh hell to contend with at the end of the process. This time it's Google via Firefox. Although I change the settings and a popup tells me those changes have been saved, they haven't been - I still end up with SafeSearch 'On'. (There's no problem when using my VPN, however.)

    Changing to OpenDNS doesn't help.

    Using the Cmd command "nslookup www.google.com" I see that I'm being redirected to forcesafesearch.google.com. I can't understand this as I've installed the same OS and programs as I had yesterday when all was well...

    If anyone can tell me what's going on and how to fix it, I'd be really grateful. Thank you
    Last edited by dortmunder; 13 Mar 2018 at 06:40.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    13 Mar 2018 #2

    It may be a locale-based restriction: this wikiHow article explains that "Unfortunately, Google sites in many countries no longer allow you to turn off SafeSearch completely." You might want to read that article over, and see if it helps you find some usable workarounds. From my vantage point, looks like a VPN that takes you to the USA or another locale where SafeSearch can be turned off completely might be your best approach.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    13 Mar 2018 #3

    This surprised me, when I've tested on my system. Basically all browsers, including ToR has the "Safe Search" enabled by default. Since this is Google "Safe Search", stating that Google keeps a browsing history for you/your system may not be unreasonable...

    The way around it...

    1. Login to your Google account and disable "Safe Search"
    2. Use Bing search engine (this is how people find explicit content)
    3. Use Duckduckgo for search engine and disable "Safe Search" anonymously: Click image for larger version. 

Name:	safesearch.jpg 
Views:	2 
Size:	26.8 KB 
ID:	180732

    The chances are that there are other options as well, if you search Google, provided that Google does not deem the link unsafe...

    How did Google become the de-facto Internet nanny?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    13 Mar 2018 #4

    I use Google Chrome and Firefox and I've never seen this "safesearch" option. I've also never been redirected to a site for safesearch. The fact that a redirect is being used concerns me because that usually means a browser has been hijacked or compromised in some fashion.

    I would start looking at your browser for malware or adware intrusions....by using Malwarebytes and AdwCleaner. Then if that's doesn't work....I would uninstall both Chrome and Firefox and then run Ccleaner to remove leftover entries and then re-download fresh copies and re-install them.
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  5. Posts : 616
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       13 Mar 2018 #5

    Plankton said: View Post
    I use Google Chrome and Firefox and I've never seen this "safesearch" option. I've also never been redirected to a site for safesearch. The fact that a redirect is being used concerns me because that usually means a browser has been hijacked or compromised in some fashion.


    I would start looking at your browser for malware or adware intrusions....by using Malwarebytes and AdwCleaner. Then if that's doesn't work....I would uninstall both Chrome and Firefox and then run Ccleaner to remove leftover entries and then re-download fresh copies and re-install them.
    I just looked into my chrome setting and I don't even see a setting for"Google safe search"
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    13 Mar 2018 #6

    The matter is sorted - rather that changing the DNS on my PC, which is what I did to begin with, I've changed the DNS settings on the router (to 9.9.9.9, operated by Quad9). I can now use google without hindrance. I still find it odd, though, that everything was OK with my ISP's DNS up until I reinstalled my OS...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    13 Mar 2018 #7

    Plankton said: View Post
    I use Google Chrome and Firefox and I've never seen this "safesearch" option. I've also never been redirected to a site for safesearch. The fact that a redirect is being used concerns me because that usually means a browser has been hijacked or compromised in some fashion.

    I would start looking at your browser for malware or adware intrusions....by using Malwarebytes and AdwCleaner. Then if that's doesn't work....I would uninstall both Chrome and Firefox and then run Ccleaner to remove leftover entries and then re-download fresh copies and re-install them.
    Not to say that the browser connection cannot be hijacked, but...

    Safe search is a search engine function, that may look like hijacking, but it's not. It's a content filtering that mostly relies on Google's safe search and built-in to the browsers. Uninstall/reinstall does not change that...

    Making Duckduckgo the default search engine, and installing it for the browser in question, does provide and option to disable the safe search:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	safesearch_ddg.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	36.9 KB 
ID:	180766

    And no, that's not a search for explicit content...

    That's how it should be, instead of forcing people to chase their tails to get around it...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 3,366
    3-Win-7Prox64 2-Win10Prox64
       13 Mar 2018 #8

    Hi,
    Safe search take that with a grain of salt that it's used as stated and not to cull the web for it's own message :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    13 Mar 2018 #9

    dortmunder said: View Post
    The matter is sorted - rather that changing the DNS on my PC, which is what I did to begin with, I've changed the DNS settings on the router (to 9.9.9.9, operated by Quad9). I can now use google without hindrance. I still find it odd, though, that everything was OK with my ISP's DNS up until I reinstalled my OS...
    Glad you got it sorted. I came across this a while ago myself. For me it was a setting within my Google account, and whenever I was logged in to Google on the search page, my account settings were always what my account was set to even if I tried to change it via the popup/browser option. Once I change my account settings everything stayed the way I wanted.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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