How to customize the Google Search widget

Google Search widget on homescreen
(Image credit: Roydon Cerejo / Android Central)

The great thing about Android phones and tablets is the convenient access to the most powerful search engine out there, Google Search. The Google Search widget does a lot more, such as offering one-tap access to Google Lens and voice search. To make accessing this even easier, nearly all phones these days come with the Google Search widget preinstalled on the home screen. On Pixel phones, this widget is baked into the Pixel launcher itself and cannot be removed even if you want to. 

If you've gone ahead and removed the widget from your Android phone because perhaps it wasn't blending in with the theme or style of your phone's interface, we'll show you how you can easily customize the look of the Google Search widget with a few simple steps. 

How to change the appearance of the Google Search widget

Note: In case you don't already have the Search widget on your Android home screen, you can easily add it by pressing a long button on any empty space on the home screen and choosing Widgets from the bottom carousel. Simply scroll till you find the 'Search' widget under Google. You can have more than one search widget too on different homescreens, if you want.

The following steps were carried out on a OnePlus 10 Pro running Android 14, so some options could vary a little depending on your device or the version of Android you may have, but they should generally be the same.

1. Tap the colorful G logo in the left corner of the widget. This should bring up the Google Discover page. 

2. Tap your profile photo in the top-right corner and then Settings at the bottom. 

3. Scroll down till you find the sub-menu Search Widget. Tap it, and then tap Customize widget

4. This will bring up a preview of your current widget against your device's wallpaper. All the options to customize it are at the bottom. 

Screenshots showing Google Search widget settings

(Image credit: Roydon Cerejo/ Android Central)

From here, you can go through any of the four options below to edit your Google Search widget to your liking and give it a whole new look. If at any point you want to revert all the changes, you can simply tap the Reset to Default Style option at the bottom of the Customize menu.

Google search widget customization options

(Image credit: Android Central)
  • The first G menu lets you toggle between having just the letter "G" or "Google" appear in the widget. 
  • The menu with the shapes icon lets you change the shape of the search box from the default pill shape to a rectangle, either with sharp or rounded corners. 
  • The menu with the color palette icon really lets you have some fun. You can make the widget monochrome or darken the search box. The last option is a color picker, where you can choose any RGB shade and adjust the saturation. I like that when you choose a darker color, the color of the symbols in the widget automatically invert, so it's easier to see
  • The fourth menu gives you a slider to adjust the transparency of the widget, letting you go from translucent so you can see the wallpaper through the search box to a completely solid color.

Google search widget customize

(Image credit: Roydon Cerejo/ Android Central)

Start using your Google Search widget if you don't already

The Google Search widget is a powerful tool that is often overlooked by many users. It offers quick and easy access to Google search, rather than having to open Chrome and then do a search. Not only that, you can even plan an entire vacation using just Search or even book a doctor's appointment.

Better yet, you get direct access to one of Google's most powerful tools right at your fingertips. The little camera logo in the widget brings up Google Lens, a visual search tool that lets you search with text and images simultaneously. It also lets you do live translation of any text you point your camera at, and you can choose the language you want it to translate to.

The microphone icon in the Search widget brings up Voice Search, which you can use to search by speaking into your device or identify songs that you hear around you.

Now that you know how to customize the Google Search widget, you can use it more often. The best part is that every single Android phone or tablet can access this widget as it's built into the operating system. 

Roydon Cerejo

Roydon has been writing about consumer tech for over a decade, and has reviewed a wide variety of products, from TVs and headphones, to cameras and PC components. Smartphones and laptops have been his main focus areas for the past couple of years, where he has extensively covered both spaces in terms of reviews, features, interviews, and live events. When not helping someone pick out their next phone, you’ll find him hunting for new TV shows to binge watch, and struggling to complete his backlog of PS4 games.