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How to make DuckDuckGo your default Chrome search engine

Good news for the privacy-conscious. Chrome 73, released Tuesday, now includes the DuckDuckGo search engine as an option.

Privacy-conscious web users now have a new way to search in Chrome’s address bar. Version 73 of the browser, released Tuesday, now includes the DuckDuckGo search engine as an option.

Included without fanfare, the feature enables users to search DuckDuckGo by default from the address bar, but they must set this option in the preferences.

DuckDuckGo bases its business model on the idea that advertising needn’t invade users’ privacy. The company still gets its revenues from displaying ads, but it bases them on immediate searches rather than building data profiles of people.

Earlier this month, DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on GDPR and California’s equivalent privacy legislation, CCPA. He told the Committee:

We simply do not collect or share any personal information at all.

Kudos to Google for taking the plunge, but it is five years late to the party. Safari has supported DuckDuckGo since OSX Yosemite, released in fall 2013, and Mozilla added support in Firefox around the same time.

Google has been getting friendlier with its search rival over the last couple of months. In December 2018 it gave the domain to DuckDuckGo. Google had originally purchased that domain as part of another company acquisition and had been redirecting visitors to its own site. Handing it over resolved a lot of confusion for users, said DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg at the time.

DuckDuckGo seemed pleased by this latest news, too:

Why is Google playing so nicely?

One reason could be because the company has been subject to scrutiny by regulators and lawmakers in the US.

On 11 December 2018, its CEO Sundar Picha was forced to defend the advertising and search giant’s privacy practices before the House Judiciary Committee. It is being investigated for its privacy practices in Arizona, and was fined $57m by French privacy regulators in January.

Google is also being investigated for antitrust practices in India, and there have been calls to break up the company by Australia’s News Corp and by US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. So anything it can do to show that it supports other search options – and privacy-focused ones at that – helps to stoke an image of openness and privacy awareness that it dearly needs at the moment.

Google needn’t worry too much about people fleeing its search engine. It already supports other search engine options such as Bing and Yahoo search in Chrome, but like those DuckDuckGo is very much an underdog.

DuckDuckGo’s share of the worldwide search engine market jumped from 0.2% in February 2018 to a heady 0.38% last month, putting it a distant sixth behind Google (92.92%), Bing (2.38%), Yahoo! (1.79%), Baidu (1.03%), and Russian search site Yandex (0.55%).

It fares slightly better in the US, coming in fourth with 0.98% of the market as of last month.

How to set your search engine in Chrome

To switch to DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, in the Chrome menu select Preferences, then scroll down to the search engine section. Select DuckDuckGo in the Search engine used in the address bar section.

If you don’t see it, click Manage search engines and select it from the longer list.


“Privacy-conscious web users now have a new way to search in Chrome’s address bar.”

Privacy-concious users shouldn’t be using chrome at all if they don’t want google to have all of their data…


Attempting to set DuckDuckGo in Chrome, had to type it as a URL. Message states: It can read and change all your data on the website you visit.
Then I see about a hundred extensions I can add. It just isn’t as easy as go to Chrome and change browser preference. Duck is not available in my preferences nor is it available in Manage Search Engines.
I’m so tired of “just do this” and everything in your world will be wonderful.


Available for some time with Vivaldi browser in Private Mode and very easy to set up in regular window.
Settings > Search
Select and Save.
All the usual suspects are there to chose from and if you want something different you can easily add it.


Rhonda Caywood –

Make sure you have the latest verison of Chrome 73 and are in one of the regions affected by the change like the U.S. Not sure where you are located, but not all regions offer it as an option.


Followed directions to make duckduckgo my browser. When I rebooted my computer, the speed dropped by half and then my internet totally dropped. Called the provider, and they couldn’t find anything wrong at their end. Provider has been VERY dependable for 6 years. When I turned on my computer this morning duckduckgo was gone and computer reverted to goggle. SO, what happened?


What is chrome? This does not tell me how to make DDG my default! Where is “prefrences”. I can’t find that. My computer is relatively new, so don’ say I need to buy buy buy.. I am leaving the E world as much as possible!!!!!!
The E system will fail totally as it gets worse and worse. JUMP SHIP time to abandon


Lol, ” What is Chrome? That sounded like me a few months ago. This computer stuff is very new to me as well.


I have been using for 1 year now, its got alot better, the results are spot on. I use it because I believe privacy is a fundamental human right. Something which google doesn’t recognize.


All privacy issues can be controlled by YOU.. Don’t “like” anything, don’t give away cookies or permission (Every website ask when log on) don’t answer surveys, don’t play random popup games and go to settings privacy to customize, and if all else fails Google it.


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