How To Security Technology

4 Steps to Lock SafeSearch on Google search results

4 simple steps to Lock the Google SafeSearch settings to Strict using your Google Account, so explicit material never shows up in your results.

Changing my SafeSearch settings on the different computers I use is annoying and the setting doesn’t carry over from one computer to another. While messing around with configuring Google SSL as my default search engine, I tried messing with my SafeSearch results, and found a setting to Lock them. The resulting configuration was not what I was looking for (it locks to “Strict”, I wanted it “Off”), but it’s still a handy tool for parents and people sensitive to such material. So here’s how you configure it:

1.) Go to

For my images, I did a search on something pretty safe: baseball gloves. It’s clean, work-related, and simple. Note the SafeSearch settings (if you’re logged in to Google) in the image below. If you’re not logged in, you should do so, because you’re going to need to edit the Search Settings for your account.

2.) Edit your Search Settings

Click the Gear icon in the top-right of your Google Search Results, and then click on Search Settings. You’ll be taken to a page with all the search settings available to you.  Scroll towards the bottom until you find the section labeled SafeSearch Filtering, like in the image below.

3.) Start the Locking process

Click on the Lock SafeSearch link at the bottom of this section. This will lock  your SafeSearch setting to the “strict filtering” to remove explicit text and images. (“Moderate” just removes images, and “Off” does not remove anything.)

You’ll be taken to a Login screen to verify your account. Do it. Also note the text on the left side of the page: Google will place an image of colored balls (like the one at the top of this post) in the upper-right-hand corner of the search results to show that the Lock is in effect.

After you’ve signed in, click the Lock SafeSearch button in the Image below…

This will give you a %-Complete progress text as it runs through all the Google Domains…

When it has completed, you’ll see a status message. Unfortunately, in preparing this blog post, I got an “incomplete” message like the one below…

If this happens to you, click the Back to Search settings link at the top/bottom of the message, and find the SafeSearch Filtering settings like the image in Step 2 (it will look different from the one in Step 2). Then click the Verify link in that section…

You’ll be taken to a page similar to the original Lock SafeSearch page. Click on the Verify SafeSearch button…

4.) Test it out

Once you have completed the Verification process (mine never said it was fully locked, and I don’t know which domains were not successful, but Search was fine), test it out.

I was using Chrome, and just re-typed “baseball gloves” in the OmniBox, and the result was as I expected…


That’s it. If you want to undo this setting, just follow the instructions again from the Verification part of Step 3, but choose Unlock instead of Verify.

By [[Neo]]

I am a web programmer, system integrator, and photographer. I have been writing code since high school, when I had only a TI-83 calculator. I enjoy getting different systems to talk to each other, coming up with ways to mimic human processes using technology, and explaining how complicated things work.

Of my many blogs, this one is purely about the technology projects, ideas, and solutions that I have come across in my internet travels. It's also the place for technical updates related to my other sites that are part of The-Spot.Network.

2 replies on “4 Steps to Lock SafeSearch on Google search results”

My kids are clever enough to work out how to log me out of Google by deleting its cookie or something. I have been looking for something to lock the safe mode ON that was easy and fool proof (I am not very technical). Anyway, I came across this software which does it:
I have been running the free trial version and it works. Not just Google but it locks on the family filters for Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and lots of others it seems. The kids haven’t worked out a way round it and they have definitely tried, so I thought others might be interested too.

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