Google's Safe Search Feature Gets Unlocked

Feb 24, 2011 • 8:52 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google Image Safe Search LockIn November 2009, Google began allowing you to set your browser to a permanent (cookie specific) SafeSearch lock for your images search results. So if you never want adult related images to show up in Google Images, you would set that computer to be locked on SafeSearch.

But last Friday the feature stopped working. A Google Web Search Help thread has reports of the lock, well, not locking. Users trying to lock the SafeSearch filter found themselves back to not being on SafeSearch when using Google Images.

Google admitted to the issue yesterday and reportedly fixed it. 'TomBee' from Google said:

There have been some problems with this feature in the last couple of days. I have just tried it and seems to be working now. Sorry for any inconvenience!

For more details on locking SafeSearch, see this document.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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02/24/2011 02:05 pm

Makes you wonder what they were tinkering with that was more important than showing offensive pictures to people's kids..... Seems like this could have been really bad for their image.

Allan Gaunt

02/24/2011 02:11 pm

It defaults to moderate anyway. Things break, it happens.

Derek Jansen

02/25/2011 08:02 am

This is an interesting move on Google's part, but I'm glad to see them allowing more user freedom.


05/14/2011 08:59 pm

I am sure that Google quickly resolve this issue. Otherwise, it can not be.


07/04/2011 02:09 pm

The way the lock works has never been very successful in my experience. Emptying your cookies, switching to 'Private Browsing' and a few other things easily disable it. My kids are old enough to know how to get around it easily now. Until they implement something a bit more solid I am going to stick with the SafeSearchLock tool ( which works with Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, Ask Jeeves etc. etc. Until the search engines sort themselves out and make the filters default to being full on, I think it is the only way to go.


10/30/2011 10:32 pm

 Thanks for the post. You could also try Safe Find which locks your Google Search results to strict, as well as locking Google images to strict search,


12/13/2011 04:26 pm

Thank you for the information. Although lately I've been using checked search engine - and I have no problems. And I am most pleased with the lack of advertising on it. 

D Evans

02/10/2013 11:38 am

It can not be locked in place ...again. Many users report this issue and Google's silence is deafening. Feb 2013

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