tech, simplified.

How to Make Google Search Always in the Language You Want

Along with delays and paperwork and jetlag, one tiny tech annoyance pops up almost every time I arrive in a new country: Google changes its language. It’s a helpful feature if you speak the local language, but a widely confusing one when you’re half asleep and want results in English or another language you prefer.

But by default, most of the time you open Google in a new country, the results will show up in that area’s language. You can select to switch to English and your browser will remember your choice—but if you use an Incognito window or a browser like Firefox Focus (which, by the way, is my new favorite way to quickly Google stuff), Google will default to the local language with every new search.

Here’s how to fix that. Open your browser’s search settings, and add a new search engine with the following URL as the search address:

The %s is what your browser will replace with your search query; the us is the region/language you want, here US English. Want results in Spanish? Replace the us with es for Spanish results for Spain. th gets Thai results, cn Chinese, and so on.

You could instead specify a language, using the &lr=lang_ modifier instead, such as &lr=lang_en for English or &lr=lang_fr for French. That changes the language, but not the region, to help you get localized results in your language. Though for whatever reason, the gl options tend to work more reliably for me.

Either way, that should get your Google results in the language you want, no matter where you are.

Find more ways to customize your URLs with Google’s full search URL modifier documentation.

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