Home Uncategorized Can You Turn Off Google Search’s AI Overviews? We Aren’t Sure

Can You Turn Off Google Search’s AI Overviews? We Aren’t Sure


By now, you’re probably acquainted with Google search’s AI Overviews, those AI-organized summaries that now appear at the top of Google search results after you ask a question. 

Initially, you just saw AI Overviews if you signed up in Search Labs, which lets you participate in Google’s latest AI experiments. Now, starting May 14, the AI-created summaries have been pushed out to everyone in the US. If you don’t see AI Overviews in Google just yet, it’s just a matter of time.

While you may appreciate Google’s taking on even more of the heavy lifting when you’re doing research, you may not want an AI-generated summary to be the first thing you see when you use Google search. Google’s Gemini generative AI model powers these summaries, but Geminilike AI right now — is not always accurate. You might instead prefer a more hands-on search page, with links you can click through, to find exactly what you’re looking for.

So is there a way to turn off AI Overviews? The answer is more complicated than you’d think. For more, here’s what else Google has talked about at its Google I/O conference, including what to expect in the upcoming Android 15

What are Google Search AI Overviews?

AI Overviews are AI-generated answers to the questions you ask on Google search. Google said that starting on May 14, AI Overviews results appear at the top of Google search, when Google’s search systems determine that these types of AI-generative responses can quickly provide useful information.

For example, if you typed “What’s the shortest war in history” in Google search, you may see something about the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896, thanks to AI Overviews. Underneath the AI-generated summary, you’ll see links to all the resources used, which you can click to check out the websites where the information is pulled from.

AI Overviews in Google Search

This is the AI Overview for “What is the shortest war in history?” The answer was pulled from four sources, including Wikipedia.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

If you scroll down, you may see the featured snippet that you’re used to seeing in Google search, as well as those “people also ask” sections, Quora and Reddit “question and answer” boxes, relevant videos and links to websites.

Who has access to AI Overviews?

Google started testing AI Overviews in 2023 with a small group of people who signed up in Search Labs, where Google experiments with possible search capabilities. During this latest Google I/O conference, Google announced that it would be rolling out AI Overviews to hundreds of millions of users in the US, with more countries coming soon. Google expects to bring AI Overviews to over a billion people by the end of this year.

AI Overviews

AI Overviews for everyone announced at Google I/O 2024.


Is there a way to turn off Google Search AI Overviews?

Now, to the important question: Do you have any way to turn off AI Overviews in your search results?

Unfortunately, you cannot go into your Google or Chrome settings and disable the feature. 

For those of us here at CNET who tried, AI Overviews is already turned off in Search Labs, and if anything, all we could do is boost AI Overviews to cover more search topics when we turn it on in Labs

On the Labs page, Google said, “Turning [the AI Overviews and more experiments] off does not disable AI Overviews in Search outside of Labs.”

Enabling this experiment may allow you to ask more complex questions in Google searches and receive fuller AI Overviews. You can ask something like “Create a 5-day meal plan that includes blueberries” and you’ll get an AI-generated response at the top of GooglesSearch. Great for people who love blueberries, but bad for people who just aren’t into AI.

AI Overviews for more searches on Google

You can’t disable AI Overviews, but you can make it extensive.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Earlier this year, there seemed to be a way to turn off AI Overviews in search results, but now it’s hardwired in results. So, is there any other way to get rid of AI Overviews?

You can’t turn off AI Overviews, but you can do this…

Google may not give us an obvious way to turn off AI Overviews in Google search, but there are some workarounds.

The first workaround, whether you’re on mobile or a computer, is to use the Web tab that appears at the top of Google search results. If you don’t see it — it should be in there with the “All,” “News” and “Images” tabs — scroll left or right until you do. You’ll still initially see any AI summary at the top, but this allows you to quickly go to a more traditional search, filled with only links.

A second workaround is to use another web browser other than Chrome. We didn’t receive AI Overviews for queries in Safari and Firefox that we did in Chrome.

The third workaround, which only works on your computer, is to use this Hide Google AI Overviews extension for Chrome. If you’re a Chrome user and don’t want to use any other browser but also don’t want AI Overviews, this extension removes all AI-generated summaries from your Google search results.

For more, here are all 13 of Google’s AI tools, including an interesting AI tool for Gmail.

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