Keep Your Privacy AND Still Use Chrome? How to Make DuckDuckGo Your New Search Engine

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that more than 65 percent of Americans are not too confident – or not confident at all – that their online activities will remain private and secure.

The reason? Mainstream search engine providers like Google make money by tracking what users do online and selling it to companies that consider the information useful.

For example, Google “Brand X Cars” and do a little bit of research about what your next car could maybe, possibly be and suddenly ads and promos for “Brand X Cars” will begin following you around the Internet. For some (like that 65+ percent not too confident), it’s an incredible invasion of privacy and at the very least, makes for an uneasy feeling about using the Internet.

We have talked already about changing browsers, and it remains a viable option for protecting your privacy.

But if you’re married to Chrome and don’t like the idea of losing dozens and dozens or more of your bookmarks (or change in general), consider at least changing your default engine to one rapidly growing in popularity – DuckDuckGo.

The main selling point? It does not record any information about its users or their search history. Period.

Reports (from the company’s founder on CNBC) indicate use has grown 600 percent in the last two years and it processes about 3 billion searches annually. Use has been bolstered after last year, when Apple made it the default search engine on iOS- and OS X-based devices, and privacy concerns continue to be an issue.

I’ve tested it for the last week and found it to deliver all of the results I needed and more – namely, I don’t feel my Internet activity is being compromised.

Here is a really simple step-by-step guide to changing your default search engine in Chrome from Google to DuckDuckGo.

Start by typing “DuckDuckGo” into your address bar at the top. When the “Set as Default Search Engine” appears, click the “Here” button.



When the below pops up, click “OK”



In the right corner of Chrome, click the “hamburger” menu. Go to “Settings”



Scroll down to “Search” and look for this and click “Manage search engines..”:



On the next screen, scroll past a bunch of stuff you don’t care about right now to find this and click on “Make default.”

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.



Congrats! When you see this, your default search engine is no longer cashing-in on your Internet behavior/activities. BUT WAIT…you’re not quite done!



You will want your homepage to be DuckDuckGo search box, not Google. You still need to change that. Like when you started, type “DuckDuckGo” in that address bar at the top of the page. This will pop up. This time, click on “Set as Homepage.”



This pop-up will appear. Follow the instructions to get to the same settings menu from above…



…and go to “On startup” and click on “Set pages.”



Click “Use current pages” and feel free to bid adieu to Google search.



When you see this, your homepage is set to DuckDuckGo.



Next time you open your browser, you will see this. And though you will no longer get Google’s cutesy little animated thingies on holidays and random anniversaries/birthdays built around the Google logo, you DO have privacy. What’s most important is for you to decide.


Posted in: Tips

About the Author:

Andrew is a writer and producer/content developer for and the PC Mike Techcast at He has been a professional storyteller for 16 years, building a successful career as a newspaper reporter and public relations specialist. Andrew's work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Oshkosh Northwestern, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Crain’s Chicago Business, Advertising Age, Automotive News, Waste News, Appleton Post-Crescent, and Real Detroit.