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Turn SafeSearch on or off

SafeSearch can help you block inappropriate or explicit images from your Google Search results. The SafeSearch filter isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps you avoid most adult content.

Turn SafeSearch on or off

  1. Visit the Search Settings page.
  2. In the "SafeSearch filters" section, check or uncheck the box next to "Turn on SafeSearch."
  3. At the bottom of the page, click Save.

How SafeSearch works

When SafeSearch is on, sexually explicit video and images will be filtered from Google Search result pages, along with results that might link to explicit content.

When SafeSearch is off, we'll provide the most relevant results for your search and may include explicit content when you search for it.

Keep SafeSearch locked

If you're on a computer or tablet, you can lock SafeSearch to prevent others from turning SafeSearch off if you've turned it on. This helps if you have kids around, or you let other people use your computer.

Lock or unlock SafeSearch
  1. Visit the Search Settings page.
  2. To turn on SafeSearch, check the box next to "Filter explicit results."
  3. To lock SafeSearch, click the Lock SafeSearch link next to "Filter explicit results." At this point, you may be prompted to sign in.
  4. Once you're signed in, confirm that you want lock SafeSearch by clicking Lock SafeSearch.
  5. You'll see a confirmation page once the lock is on.

To unlock SafeSearch, follow the same instructions and click Unlock SafeSearch instead of Lock SafeSearch.

Lock SafeSearch on multiple browsers & devices
  • If you have more than one browser on your computer or tablet, you need to set the lock on each browser on your computer or tablet.
  • If your computer or tablet has more than one user profile, you need to set the lock on each profile.
  • The SafeSearch lock only works if your browser allows cookies.
Tips for locking SafeSearch for network administrators

If you deploy a proxy on your web traffic, it may be possible to configure your proxy to append &safe=strict to all search requests sent to Google. This parameter enables strict SafeSearch for all searches, regardless of the setting on the Google Preferences page.

This technique will not work on searches done using SSL Search. Learn more about SSL Search

How to tell if SafeSearch is locked

When the SafeSearch lock is on, you'll see the message 'SafeSearch is locked' and colored balls at the top of all search pages.

lock safesearch screenshot

Troubleshoot issues with SafeSearch

I see inappropriate content when SafeSearch is turned on

We do our best to keep the SafeSearch filter as thorough as possible, but sometimes sexual images, like porn or nudity, make it through. If you have SafeSearch set to filter explicit results, but still see inappropriate sites or images, please let us know.

Report a site

Use this tool to report offensive content.

Report an image


  1. Click the inappropriate image on the search results page.
  2. To the bottom right of the image, click Send feedback.

Phone browser

If you’re using a mobile browser, like Chrome or Safari, follow the instructions below to report inappropriate images:

  1. Touch the image to open a larger version of the image.
  2. Touch the menu icon in the bottom right corner of the page More Menu
  3. Touch Send feedback.


  1. Touch the inappropriate image on the search results page.
  2. To the bottom right of the image, touch Send feedback.
My SafeSearch setting keeps turning off

SafeSearch should stay on if cookies are enabled on your computer. If you delete your cookies, your SafeSearch setting may be reset.

Your internet service provider (ISP) or network administrator can override your SafeSearch setting. If you feel like the SafeSearch setting you picked isn’t being applied to your search results, contact your ISP or network administrator for more information.

Katie is a Search expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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