DuckDuckGo Settings

DuckDuckGo has a number of different settings that you can tinker with to make the private search engine work just the way you want it to.  To access them, click the menu icon (the three horizontal bars) in the top-right corner of the page, and click (Advanced) Settings.

Getting to the DuckDuckGo settings page

Categories of DuckDuckGo settings

DuckDuckGo general settings

These settings deal with what kinds of search results you get on DuckDuckGo, and how they appear.

DuckDuckGo general settings

  • Region — Click this drop-down menu to select a country and/or language, and DuckDuckGo will prioritize results that are from websites close to this area.

  • Language — Clicking this drop-down menu allows you to select what language the entire DuckDuckGo website displays in.

  • Safe Search — Filters out excessively violent or sexual content from your search results.  Click the button to turn it On or Off.

  • Instant Answers — Causes relevant background information regarding your search terms to appear at the top of the results page.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

  • Auto-Load — Causes more search results to appear automatically as you scroll down the results page.  Click the button to turn it On or Off.  If you turn it to Off, you can click Load More at the bottom of the results screen to show more results.

  • Auto-Suggest — Causes DuckDuckGo to suggest popular search terms as you type in your own.  Click the button to turn this On or Off.

  • New Window — Causes DuckDuckGo to display search results that you click on in a new browser window or tab.  Click the button to turn this On or Off.

  • Advertisements — Shows you advertisements from DuckDuckGo's affiliate partners on your results screen; they are related to your search terms.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts — Allows you to use certain keys on your keyboard to quickly do certain things on DuckDuckGo.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

  • Units of Measure — Click this drop-down menu to decide whether to display units of measurement in your results and "Instant Answers" as metric or US-based.

  • Page Break Numbers — Displays a number whenever you scroll to a new page's worth of results on the results screen.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

  • Page Break Lines — Displays a horizontal line whenever you scroll to a new page's worth of results on the results screen.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

  • Browser Instructions — Shows links for instructions on how to make DuckDuckGo a default search engine for your web browser.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

  • Homepage Animations — Automatically scrolls through help suggestions on the home page for DuckDuckGo.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

DuckDuckGo theme settings

These settings change the overall visual appearance of DuckDuckGo.  You can choose between Default, Basic, Contrast, Dark, Retro, and Terminal looks.

DuckDuckGo theme settings
 

DuckDuckGo appearance settings

These settings let you fine-tune how DuckDuckGo displays in your web browser.

DuckDuckGo appearance settings

  • Font — This drop-down menu lets you select how the overall text appears on DuckDuckGo.

  • Font Size — Click this drop-down menu to select how big the text appears on DuckDuckGo.

  • Page Width — This drop-down menu controls how much space in your browser window DuckDuckGo's search box and results page takes up.

  • Center Align — This moves the results for your DuckDuckGo search to the center of the page, instead of to the left.  Click the button to turn this On or Off.

  • Background Color — Choose the background colour that is used across the DuckDuckGo website.

  • Header Behavior — This drop-down menu allows you to select whether the top search box moves as you scroll on the results page.  If Off, it won't scroll.  If On & Floating, the entire box will follow you as you scroll.  If On & Scrolling, only an arrow icon will follow you as you scroll, which you can click to return to the top of the results page.

  • Header Color — Click here to change the background colour for the top search box across all of DuckDuckGo.

  • Result Title Font — This drop-down menu lets you choose the way the text representing the title of a result appears on DuckDuckGo.

  • Result Title Color — Choose the colour that the title of a search result appears on DuckDuckGo appears if you have not visited that page yet.

  • Result Visited Title Color — Choose the colour that the title of a search result appears on DuckDuckGo if you have already visited that page at least once.

  • Result Title Underline — Underlines the titles of search results on DuckDuckGo.  Click the button to turn this On or Off.

  • Result Description Color — Changes the colour of the text that gives more information about your search results on DuckDuckGo.

  • Result URL Color — Changes the colour of the Internet links to your results on DuckDuckGo.

  • Result Highlight Color — Changes the colour of the background around a search result when you move your mouse cursor over it.

  • Result Full URLs — Click to turn this On if you wish to see the full Internet address for each of your results, or click to turn it Off if you want to just see short-form versions.

  • Result URLs Above Snippet — Click to turn this On if you want to see the Internet address for a result above the description text, or click to turn it Off if you want to see the Internet address for a result below the description text.

  • Site Icons — Shows website logos (if available) beside the Internet addresses of each result.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

  • WOT Icons — Shows "Web of Trust" icons beside results from websites that have been certified as non-malicious.  Click the button to turn them On or Off.

DuckDuckGo privacy settings

These settings govern how DuckDuckGo works to keep your Internet-related personal information private.

DuckDuckGo privacy settings

  • Redirect — This makes DuckDuckGo submit your search request in such a way that your search terms aren't sent to the website of a result that you click on, so that website won't know what you searched for to find it.  Click the button to turn this On or Off.

  • HTTPS — This allows you to use the secure hypertext transfer protocol version of DuckDuckGo.  Basically, this makes your search terms and other Internet-related personal information harder to intercept and decode for troublemakers (at least while you're using DuckDuckGo).  Click the button to turn this On or Off.

  • GET Requests — When this is On, your search terms will show up in the Internet address of your  results page.  Turning this Off is another way besides using the "Redirect" option to prevent websites that you click on in your search results from seeing the search terms that you used to find them.  Click the button to turn these On or Off.

  • Video Playback — This drop-down menu allows you to select what happens when you click the preview for a video result on DuckDuckGo.  Select "Always Play on DuckDuckGo" to play the video without leaving DuckDuckGo.  Select "Open on Third-Party Site" to go to the website that the video is on, and then start playing the video.  Select "Prompt Me" to have DuckDuckGo make you choose between these two options each time.

 

When you're done making changes to your settings, click Save and Exit at the bottom of the screen.

Saving changes to your DuckDuckGo settings

 

That's a rundown of all of the different settings that you can change on DuckDuckGo!


DuckDuckGo Video Search

If a web page or even a picture won't do your search terms justice, then it's time to look for videos on DuckDuckGo.  Like searching for images on DuckDuckGo, the video search function sacrifices the ability to fine-tune your results (which some of the more common search engines have) for simplicity and ease-of-use.  Hopefully, though, you'll still find something worth watching!

How to search for videos on DuckDuckGo

  1. Go to www.duckduckgo.com in your web browser.

  2. Click in the search box and begin typing in your search terms.  As you do so, DuckDuckGo will suggest some words or phrases that are commonly searched for.  You can click a suggestion to search for those terms, or click the magnifying glass (or press the "Enter" key on your keyboard) to search for exactly what you typed in.  Or, click the "X" to clear your search terms and start over.

    The DuckDuckGo search box

  3. Once you get to the results screen, click Videos in the menu across the top.

    Selecting to search for videos on DuckDuckGo

  4. To view video results in the same manner as image results, click the 9-dot cube in the top-right corner.

    Switching the search results view for DuckDuckGo videos

  5. Now, click on a video to select it.

    Selecting a DuckDuckGo video search result

  6. Like when you select an image while doing an image search, new options will open up when you select a video.

    DuckDuckGo video search result options

    Click on the result's title to go to the web page that the video is on, or click More from [Website] to conduct a search on that website using your current search terms. 

    On the video's preview, you can click Watch on DuckDuckGo to play the video while still on DuckDuckGo's results page, or click Watch on [Website] to go to the website that the video is on, and play it from there. 

    You can also click the check box here to mark it or unmark it; if it's marked, DuckDuckGo will always do the action you choose whenever you select a video in DuckDuckGo's search results in the future.  (You can change this behaviour in DuckDuckGo's settings; see our DuckDuckGo Settings tutorial to learn how.)

    Finally, you can click the arrows in the bottom-right corner to select the previous or next video in the sequence, or click the "X" in the top-right corner to deselect the current video.

 

That's how to search for videos on DuckDuckGo!  Happy viewing!


DuckDuckGo Image Search

Looking for pictures instead of websites on DuckDuckGo?  Unfortunately, DuckDuckGo doesn't have as comprehensive an image search tool as some of the other major search engines.  However, it's simple and easy-to-use, and should find you what you need.

How to search for images on DuckDuckGo

  1. Go to www.duckduckgo.com in your web browser.

  2. Click in the search box and begin typing in your search terms.  As you do so, DuckDuckGo will suggest some words or phrases that are commonly searched for.  You can click a suggestion to search for those terms, or click the magnifying glass (or press the "Enter" key on your keyboard) to search for exactly what you typed in.  Or, click the "X" to clear your search terms and start over.

  3. Once you're on the results screen, click Images in the menu across the top.

  4. A window will drop down with images related to your search terms.  To see more images, scroll to the bottom of the window and click More.  Or, click on an image to select it.

  5. Once you have an image selected, the image search window will change slightly, giving you new options.

    Click on the title of the image or the Internet address of the website it comes from to go to the web page that contains that image.  Or, click on View File to see the image on its own, without any surrounding context. 

    You can also click the arrows in the bottom-right corner to select the previous or next image in the sequence, or click the "X" in the top-right corner to deselect the current image.

 

That's how to look for images on DuckDuckGo in a nutshell!


How to Search DuckDuckGo

Searching on DuckDuckGo is pretty much as easy as it is on other search engines.  A few interesting features that it has include "Instant Answers" to give you immediate background information on your search terms, or "bangs" that allow you to go right to a specific website from DuckDuckGo and look for your search terms there.  We'll explain how to do it all below.

How to do a basic DuckDuckGo search

  1. Go to www.duckduckgo.com in your web browser.

  2. Click in the search box and begin typing in your search terms.  As you do so, DuckDuckGo will suggest some words or phrases that are commonly searched for.  You can click a suggestion to search for those terms, or click the magnifying glass (or press the "Enter" key on your keyboard) to search for exactly what you typed in.  Or, click the "X" to clear your search terms and start over.

    The DuckDuckGo search box

  3. If your search is about something relatively familiar, you can find "Instant Answers" in the About section at the top (there may be more than one entry, depending on what you searched for).  These are summaries of information about what you're looking for from Wikipedia and other database websites.

    Some options for your DuckDuckGo search results

    You can also click the other buttons here to search for different kinds of results besides web pages (see our DuckDuckGo Image Search and DuckDuckGo Video Search tutorials for more information).  You can also click the "Region" button here to prioritize search results from areas that are close to where you live.

  4. All results from DuckDuckGo are displayed on the same page, so you don't have to click back and forth between different pages of results to find what you're looking for.  (If more results don't automatically display when you scroll down, click Load More at the bottom of the screen.)

    Navigating your DuckDuckGo search results page

    Click the arrow at the top of the window to go back to the top of the screen.  Or, if there are no more results to display, click one of the related searches at the bottom to search for something similar, but more specific.

  5. Click on a result's name or Internet link to go to it.  Or, move your mouse cursor over a result and then click More Results to narrow your search results by only looking for your search terms within that particular website.  (Click Show All Results at the top of the page to go back to your unfiltered results.)

    DuckDuckGo search result options

How to search on DuckDuckGo with "bangs"

"Bangs" are a feature of DuckDuckGo that allow you to search for your search terms directly on another website — even another search engine — through DuckDuckGo.  Basically, they consist of an exclamation point ("!") followed by a name or short-form of a website that you want to conduct a search on.

For example, if you want to search for content on YouTube right from DuckDuckGo, then click in the search box and type in the bang "!yt" as a search term, followed by whatever you're exactly looking for.

Searching on DuckDuckGo with a bang

When you submit your search by clicking the magnifying glass or pressing the "Enter" key on your keyboard, you will be taken directly to YouTube and conduct your search from there.  It's as if you were searching on YouTube the whole time!  Neat, huh?

The result of searching with a DuckDuckGo bang

There are over 8500 "bangs" that you can use to search directly on specific websites through DuckDuckGo!  To browse or search for a specific bang, click here.

 

Those are the basics for how to search on DuckDuckGo!