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Thinking of switching to DuckDuckGo? Got questions? We got your back


DuckDuckGo is a popular search engine and web browser for the privacy focused. It doesn’t run scripts, there’s no tracking, and none of your personal data is harvested by Big Tech firms to power their ad platforms.

But if you’re used to Chrome or Safari, making the switch to DuckDuckGo might feel a little over whelming. 

You probably have a billion and one questions. Well, we’re here to help you on your way. If you want a more general overview of DuckDuckGo, however, make sure to check out my DuckDuckGo 101 guide – it covers all the basics of getting started. 

This page is where we’ve collected all the most common questions we get asked about DuckDuckGo from our readers, and they’re all answered below…

Switching To DuckDuckGo Checklist – The Most Common FAQs Answered

Getting Started With DuckDuckGo: All Your FAQs AnsweredPin

Can I use DuckDuckGo on Android?

DuckDuckGo offers a dedicated app for Android (and iPhone) devices that allows you to perform private searches and enjoy built-in tracking protection. Simply download the app from the Google Play Store (or App Store on iPhone) and start browsing with peace of mind.

Can I trust DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo’s core value is protecting user privacy, and they have a solid track record of not tracking search queries or collecting personal information. DuckDuckGo is transparent about its privacy practices and continuously works to improve its security measures. There have been controversies over the years – most notably the one involving Microsoft and tracking data – but for the most part DDG is solid when it comes to data privacy.

Can I download DuckDuckGo?

You can download the DuckDuckGo app for both iOS and Android devices. Additionally, you can add the DuckDuckGo extension to your desktop browser for quick access to private searching. Or, if you’d prefer you can download the DuckDuckGo browser for PC, Mac, and Linux.

In 2024, DuckDuckGO released a new product too: DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro – this covers everything from VPNs to helping with identity theft.

Can I use DuckDuckGo with Firefox?

You can easily set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Firefox. Simply go to your browser settings, navigate to the search engine options, and select DuckDuckGo from the list of available search engines.

Can I use DuckDuckGo with Chrome?

You can use DuckDuckGo with Chrome. You can either set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Chrome’s settings or install the DuckDuckGo Chrome extension for easy access to private searching.

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If you’re big on privacy, though, you’ll want to ditch Chrome; it is packed with trackers. My advice? Download Brave browser and use DuckDuckGo (or Brave Search) as your default search engine. This was no big tech firm will be able to harvest your data and sell it on to third party ad companies.

Can I use DuckDuckGo on a Chromebook?

DuckDuckGo will run just fine on a Chromebook; all it is is a Chrome browser, after all. All you have to do is set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Chrome’s settings or install the DuckDuckGo Chrome extension.

Can I use DuckDuckGo on iPhone?

DuckDuckGo offers a dedicated app for iOS devices that you can download from the App Store. The app provides a private browsing experience with built-in tracking protection.

And now, thanks to new EU regulation, you can even set DuckDuckGo or Brave as your default search engine and browser inside iOS.

Can I make DuckDuckGo my homepage?

Yes, you can set DuckDuckGo as your homepage in most browsers. Go to your browser’s settings, find the homepage options, and enter “https://www.duckduckgo.com” as your preferred homepage URL.

How do I install DuckDuckGo?

To install DuckDuckGo, visit the official website (www.duckduckgo.com) and follow the instructions for your preferred platform. You can download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store, or install the browser extension for your desktop browser.

How do I use DuckDuckGo?

Using DuckDuckGo is simple. Just type your search query into the search bar and hit enter. DuckDuckGo will provide you with relevant search results without tracking your personal information or search history.

DuckDuckGo is basically just like Google. It has its own search engine which pulls information from over 400 sources, including Microsoft’s Bing index. This latter point is why some privacy experts do not recommend DDG. Instead, they tend to recommend Brave Search which is a completely custom search index with zero input from Google or Bing.

How do I get DuckDuckGo on my Mac?

To get DuckDuckGo on your Mac, visit the official website and set it as your default search engine in your preferred browser, such as Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. You can also install the DuckDuckGo browser extension for quick access to private searching.

How do I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google?

To use DuckDuckGo instead of Google, set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in your browser settings. This way, whenever you perform a search, your queries will be processed by DuckDuckGo instead of Google.

Again, not to get too complicated but with browsers like Firefox or Brave, you can swap around your default search engine as often as you like. Me? I run Brave and I have Bing as my search engine of choice, and DuckDuckGo for incognito searches.

How do I get DuckDuckGo on my phone?

To get DuckDuckGo on your phone, download the dedicated mobile app from the App Store (for iOS devices) or the Google Play Store (for Android devices). Once installed, you can use the app to perform private searches and browse the web securely just as you would with Edge, Safari or Chrome.

How do I download DuckDuckGo on Windows?

Microsoft would prefer you to use its Edge browser but it is easy to get DuckDuckGo running on Windows. You can either run it through Edge or Chrome or Firefox by downloading the extension from DuckDuckGo. 

Or, you can download the DuckDuckGo browser for Windows and run it natively, search engine and all. 

How do I uninstall DuckDuckGo?

To uninstall DuckDuckGo, remove the mobile app from your device or uninstall the browser extension from your desktop browser. If you have set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, go to your browser settings and change it back to your preferred search engine.


Things To Keep In Mind

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Switching from a Big Tech browser to DuckDuckGo is a great way to improve your data privacy.

By using DuckDuckGo, you’ll be sharing less data with Google and Microsoft, seeing fewer adverts, and you will not be targeted nearly as often by retargeting ad campaigns. 

And if this is all you do, that’s better than 99.9% of people.

But there is other ways to improve your data privacy – from switching away from Gmail to a more secure, privacy focused email, to using a VPN to protect your identity online, to even switching operating systems to something like GrapheneOS which is a totally secure version of Android. 

My advice? Start small, change your browser to something privacy-focussed like DuckDuckGo or, better yet, Brave.

Next, think about email.

Proton Mail is brilliant and 100% secure. Unlike Gmail, all of your emails are completely private with Proton, as they should be.

And get a decent VPN like this one (it’s what I’ve used for the past 2+ years). 

If you do all of these things, the amount of personal data you’ll be sharing with our Big Tech overlords will be reduced by as much as 70% which is pretty good for just a few, small changes, right? 

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