Using DuckDuckGo As Your Default Search Engine

You can change your default search engine in Safari to Google, Bing, Yahoo! or DuckDuckGo. The latter offers no-track searching and a variety of other features. You can use "bangs" like !apple to quickly search inside popular websites. You can also set it as your default on iOS.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using DuckDuckGo As Your Default Search Engine.

Hi this is Gary with On today's episode let's take a look at using DuckDuckGo as your default search engine.

Now if you've looked in your Safari Preferences and you go to the Search tab here you can see that you can select a search engine. There are four choices now.

Goggle, Yahoo, and Bing you are probably all familiar with. The fourth one you may not have heard of. It's called DuckDuckGo. Let's switch to that and take a look.

You can search using any search engine that you want at any time by simply going to that search engine's homepage. So I can, for instance, if I want to use Bing to search I can go to and use the search box here. However that default search engine allows you to type in a search term here at the top and it will search rather than having to go to the search engine first.

So I can type in the term MacBook Pro. Now it is going to use the default search engine, in this case DuckDuckGo, and it is going to give me search results here. I can see a variety of things like a Wikipedia page at the top, some related topics, it even marks the official site for this search term here, an Apple site. I can scroll down and see search results.

It looks fairly standard. It doesn't look too different from Goggle or Bing or other search engines. So why use DuckDuckGo over Goggle? Well it is a matter of personal preference for most people.

DuckDuckGo, when you go to their page, talks about not tracking you. That is their main selling point that they try to push. Not tracking you. But there is some interesting features.

It is pretty fast. It displays things a little differently. A little cleaner a lot of times than other search engines. It is definitely worth giving a try. It's easy, as you can see, to switch back and forth, by just going to Safari Preferences. So trying DuckDuckGo for a day or an hour is pretty easy.

In looking for things that I like about it, I like that they have these things called Bangs. Bangs are terms that start with an exclamation point, like that. Then you type a term, like say Apple, and then search for something. What will happen is that Bang there will tell it instead of giving me general search results to search a specific website. In this case Apple.

So Bangs basically allows you to skip a main page. For instance, if I wanted to search for something on Amazon I can do !amazon and then search for something. Now it skips me having to go to first and type in something in the search box over here.

There is a huge list of Bangs if you go to and you can see tons of different things here for different subjects in different categories. This page goes on forever so you can really see a lot of interesting things that you can search for very quickly skipping a page. There is a lot here that has a lot to do with coding and technology.

So, for instance, if I wanted to search for a command in Javascript I can simply do !js space and then the name of the term and it takes me to the official mozilla developer pages for it.

There is also a Settings page for DuckDuckGo that you can use to set a ton of different things about how searches are performed. You can even select themes for the search results and do things like use different fonts and things like that. You can select privacy settings.

You can also use DuckDuckGo on your iPad or iPhone. Just go into the Settings app there and then go down to Safari Settings. You can see the first one there is for choosing a default search engine. But just like with on the Mac or anywhere you can always go to the website for searching.

I'd love to hear from you if you have been using DuckDuckGo. I loved to hear what you like or don't like about it. Leave a comment to this video at

Comments: 19 Responses to “Using DuckDuckGo As Your Default Search Engine”

    Mike Mansell
    4 years ago

    Excellent video Gary, I am going to try Duck Duck Go out on all my devices, iMac, iPad & iPhone and see how it goes.
    Thanks for the continuing informative videos.

    Eugene Bouley
    4 years ago

    I have been using DuckDuckGo since it came out. Think it is fabulous and I love the knowledge that they collect nothing about me when I search the Internet. It is fast and they keep adding new features.

    Mike Mansell
    4 years ago

    DuckDuckgo worked for two hours then the server failed I am back with Google pity really as it looked like a good interface. Unreliable?

    4 years ago

    I’ve used Duck exclusively for at least 6 months. No problems at all. I didn’t know about Bangs, tho. Thanks for the info!

    4 years ago

    Thanks Gary. I’d never heard of this browser. I just tried it and liked it because of the high ranking it gave my site.

    From the crime shows I’ve seen I guess for anyone plotting a murder this would be a better browser to go with. Once your a suspect and the law confiscates your hard drive you’re fried! Just joking people.

    Jane Howitt
    4 years ago

    Tried to get my friend to use DuckDuckGo but the poor love is using an old MacBook… Sigh… I think he’s got to use Snow Leopard on his Mac, so can I get his ancient Safari version to use DDG?

      4 years ago

      Your friend can simply go to the DuckDuckGo web site and perform searches there. Make it his home page if that is easier.

    Marsha Avery
    4 years ago

    Duck Duck Go looks interesting so I will give it a try. However, isn’t it true that each search engine produces a different array of searches? i.e If I go to Google, I get a list, and if I go to Yahoo, I will likely get a different list with overlaps?

      4 years ago

      Yes, they are different search engines so use different data and algorithms. You’ll get different results for each, and they all change over time.

    Russ Deible
    4 years ago

    Hi Gary,
    Is their any way to tell if they really don’t track you or if this is just hype to get you to go to their site. I like the way the menu changes at the top depending on what you are searching for like for Avril Lavigne I had the option of filtering products, audio and images but I got other things when I searched for refrigerator. I really like the ! feature. I already forgot what it was called but it is awesome.

      4 years ago

      Well, you can look at what cookies they set and analyze how they change. You can also monitor the data going back an forth. But it would be pretty risky of them to lie about something like that because it would be easy for an IT expert to analyze the network data and call them out.

    John Linkins
    4 years ago

    Duckduckgo I use all the time

    Steven R Green
    4 years ago

    How do you remove the search history on a iPhone 6 plus. If you could tell me how to remove it or direct me to some software I would appreciate it.

      4 years ago

      Go to your History and there is a Clear button at the bottom of the screen. You can also do it in the Settings app, under Safari.

    4 years ago

    I had never heard of it before this video, thanks Gary, will give it a try, but wouldn’t set it as my default search engine, still Google till it is proven that Duck is better…

      Ulrich Maasmeier
      4 years ago

      You COULD use DuckDuckGo and switch to Google once in a while using the term (a.k.a. “bang”) !g in front of the regular search term.

    Ulrich Maasmeier
    4 years ago

    It´s even possible to set things up on a computer, and add a “password” (but no account/username).

    You could then use this password to get the same settings on other computers and mobile devices.

    I´ll have a look at that !bangs, didn’t really know of them.
    Thanks for the hints!

    Not Google
    4 years ago

    I used DuckDuckgo to find this site. When I went to subscribe to the newsletter, it already KNEW what email I was going to use……More privacy? I don’t think so.

      4 years ago

      The two have nothing to do with each other. Your browser was simply filling in your email address into a field that was asking for an email address. That has nothing to do with the search engine you used to find the site.

Comments Closed.