Thursday, October 31, 2013

How to set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Chrome (and more)

Search DuckDuckGo
With the rising popularity of search engine battles (Bing and Google, specifically), not many stop to think about other options. Admittedly, I use Bing almost all the time, but at some times I rather use DuckDuckGo for some of its features that it offers.

DuckDuckGo is probably known for two reasons:

  1. Always-on SSL search. If you try to access DuckDuckGo over HTTP, your traffic will be redirected. Since DuckDuckGo is HTTPS, I would recommend to NOT send your GET (basically, normal search queries) over HTTP (you'll see what I mean later on).
  2. Anonymity. DuckDuckGo hides the search terms you use in queries (click this and click the first result). In addition, DuckDuckGo does not track you or attempt to create a "search bubble" around you like Google and Bing do (although you can disable personalized results).
DuckDuckGo also has !bangs, which allow you to use something like !tmw test to send a search term directly to a search site set up for that bang. In this case, !tmw takes you directly to, with the site specific info added in. Either way, here's a test search from DuckDuckGo:

How to set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Chrome
Want to try out DuckDuckGo? Cool. I'll show you a step by step tutorial on how to set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Chrome.
  1. Open Chrome and navigate to chrome://settings/searchEngines.
  2. Scroll down to "Other Search Engines" (if you had to scroll down; I have many search engines added)
  3. Type "DuckDuckGo" in the box for Add a new search engine
  4. Type "" in the box for Keyword
  5. Copy and paste into the URL with %s in place of query box
  6. Click off of the entry
  7. Click "Make Default" when you hover over the newly entered custom search engine. Chrome will automatically move DuckDuckGo up into the default search engines list. This list is also synced via Chrome sync.
After that, you should be set. Open a new tab by clicking the new tab button or pressing CTRL + T on your keyboard and make a test search. If your search comes through via DuckDuckGo, then you're all set.