DuckDuckGo has been building a reputation as the “go to” search engine for folks who are privacy conscious. Unlike many other search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track you or keep records of what you’ve been searching for. But aside from being privacy focused, what else does DuckDuckGo bring to the table? Here are our tips and tricks.
Start by making DuckDuckGo your default
Once that’s done you’ll need to go to your browser’s settings and enable DuckDuckGo as the default browser.
Safari: Open the Safari | Preferences menu and go to the Search section. Choose DuckDuckGo from the list of avail be search engines.
Chrome: When you installed the Chrome plug-in, the setting was automatically updated for you.
Firefox: When you installed the Chrome plug-in, the setting was automatically updated for you.
Edge: Open the ellipsis menu at the right-hand edge of the toolbar and open Settings. Open the Advanced settings, click the Change search provider button and set DuckDuckGo as the default.
Bang out a quick search
DuckDuckGo has a shortcut system called Bangs. A Bang is a shorthand version of the “site:” modifier you can use with most search engines. For example, of you want to find something on Amazon, start the search with “!A” (without the quote marks) and the search will be limited to Amazon. If you use “!R”, you’ll search Reddit.
There are almost 12,000 bangs and you can create your own. There’s a full list of DuckDuckGo Bangs here
Quick cheat sheets
If you’re trying to find the shortcuts for a popular apps, simply type the name of the app followed by “cheat sheet” and you’ll get a list of handy shortcuts.
URL shrinker and QR codes
As well as making it easy to find things, DuckDuckGo has a handy URL shortener built in. Just type in “shorten” (no quote marks) and the URL. DuckDuckGo will create a shortened URL for you.
Similarly, if you start the query with qr, DuckDuckGo will create a QR Code for that address.
Need a new, strong password? Just type in password # where # is the password length you want and DuckDuckGo will create a strong password of that length.
Finding alternative apps
DuckDuckGo has teamed with with AlternativeTo, a crowdsourced platform that provides recommendations for apps. If you’re after a different option for a task, then simply querying for “alternative to application_name” will bring up a list of apps you can choose from.
If you’re a fan of the xkcd comic strip, just type xkcd into DuckDuckGo and the most recent strip will be displayed along with controls for flipping back to past strips.