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Cannot Set Google Search Settings - How To Change The Number of Results

Updated on February 14, 2011

Set Google search preferences

In this rather short Hub I will address two common issues reported by users of Google:

1) cannot set the number of results higher than 10

2) preferences not sticking (Safesearch filter, language etc)


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Setting the number of Google search results above 10

The new Google Instant interface has now been fully rolled out to all users and many people have noticed they cannot change the number of results per page.

Because Google updates the page as you type, it is not possible to increase the number of results per page, if it were then it would slow down your search experience far too much.

You can disable Google Instant in your preferences page and then increase the number of results. It should then work.

If it keeps reverting back to ten results after you have saved your preference then read the next section below:

It keeps reverting back to ten results

If you have disabled Google Instant then you should be able to change the number of search results. If it keeps reverting back to ten then please note the following:

  1. Google place a cookie on your browser when you disable Google Instant.
  2. That cookie stores your preference.
  3. If you or a program (privacy setting perhaps?) deletes that cookie then Google Instant will come back on and you will see only ten results.
  4. Please ensure you are not deleting the Google cookie that stores your settings.

Some browsers can be configured to delete all cookies upon shut down and some antivirus programs also delete them. You should adjust your settings to ensure the Google cookie is on a safe list.

If you are surfing the web in some kind of "privacy mode" then your browser may not accept any cookies and this could cause such an issue.

Safesearch and language settings

Both of these features require a cookie to be placed on the browser that stores the setting, delete the cookie and you revert back to default.

Advanced tip:

1) If you are unable to solve your settings issue, try clearing all cookies and logging back into Google. Sometimes cookies can become corrupted and need to be flushed.

2) Try testing in another browser, your issue may be with the browser itself, malware can interfere with a browsers ability to accept cookies.

3) More info here on how to lock Google Safesearch.

Autocomplete aka Google Suggest

Autocomplete is always on for all users and cannot be switched off.


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