Ready… Set… Duck Duck Go!

If you missed the article on 10 reasons to use the duck search engine, I highly recommend you go back and check that out for some background. This article will focus on settings for the duck duck go search engine.

Getting Into the Duck’s Settings

When you first arrive at, you will find a settings menu with the following options: More Themes, and Other Settings. We will check out these first. Note that screen reader users may not notice any difference if playing with themes, so feel free to skip the following by jumping to the next heading where I’ll talk about other settings.

More Themes


The options you have under themes are:

  • Default
  • Basic
  • Contrast
  • Dark
  • Gray
  • Terminal

Once you check the theme you want, you can hit the Save and Exit link to save your settings.

Other Settings

If you activate the “other settings” link, you will be taken to the general settings on the duck search engine. Note that there is a listing of settings under more themes as well as other settings, so you can get to these options from both places.



The first option in general settings is region. This is a drop-down box that allows you to tailor duck to your region of the world. You can leave it as is if you don’t want results to be specific to your geographic location.

Browser preferred language

You will most likely want to leave this setting alone as it will use the language that your internet browser is set to. This is a dropdown box that will let you specify a different language than what your browser is set to.

Safe Search

This is yet another dropdown that lets you decide how much adult objectional content you get when you search. Your choices are off, moderate, and strict.


Note for screen reader users

Most of the other settings are checkboxes. You should know that the setting is above the description. As an example, you may hear something like:

Checkbox checked


Setting label

Description of setting

As we go through a few of these you will begin to understand this better.

Instant Answers

This will bring up answers to questions automatically without you needing to visit a website. To see this in action you can type the following question into the duck: “What is a tachyon?”

You’ll get the following text without visiting Wikipedia first:

“A tachyon (/ˈtækiɒn/) or tachyonic particle is a hypothetical particle that always moves faster than light. Most physicists believe that faster-than-light particles cannot exist because they are not consistent with the known laws of physics.”

Auto-Load Images

If on, this setting will Load more image results when scrolling. Screen reader users may want to turn this one off.


This option will load more results automatically while you are scrolling through them.


This setting will show you suggestions under the search box as you type. If you are using the keyboard, you can just arrow down to see search suggestions. If you type “Atlanta Georgia”, you will get things like weather or other suggested results. You can then click or press enter on the one you want.

New Window

This checkbox allows you to open search results in a new tab or window. Some people like having the result and the listing of results in different tabs or windows. If that’s not you, turn it off.


If you want to help support the duck, you can leave this on.

Keyboard Shortcuts

This turns on keyboard shortcuts for the duck.

Units of measure

This is a dropdown that allows you to select the measurements that you would like to see in your results. You can select No Preference (default), Metric (Kilograms, Meters, Celsius), or US Based (Pounds, Feet, Fahrenheit).

Directions Source

This is a dropdown that lets you choose the following map sources for directions: Bing, Google, Here Maps, or OpenStreetMap.

Map Rendering

This refers to the rendering method to use for interactive maps. Your options are: Not Set, Best Available, or Image Tiles.

Page Break #’s

Show page numbers at result page breaks. Screen reader users probably won’t notice this, so you can safely turn this off.

Page Break Lines

Show horizontal lines at result page breaks. Again, this is a visual item that helps separate search results. Screen reader users will likely not notice any benefit from this being on.

Install DuckDuckGo

Show links to instructions for how to add DuckDuckGo to your browser. If you already have the duck working in your browser you can just turn this off.


Add Duck Duck go Reminders

This shows you reminders intermittently to add duck duck go to your browser. If you’ve already done this, turn it off.

Privacy Newsletter

This option will show the form that allows you to subscribe to the duck’s privacy email newsletter.

Homepage Privacy Tips

Show the privacy benefits of using DuckDuckGo on the homepage

Help Improve DuckDuckGo

Once in a while, if this option is turned on, you may be asked to provide feedback on how well the duck is working for you.

If you’re done here, you can hit the Save and exit link to save and exit the settings.

Going back up to the top of settings, we will now explore appearance related settings.


Screen reader users may not get any benefit from changing these settings.

The first three settings here all deal with font settings. You have Font Style, Size, and Page Width.

Center Alignment

Center align the results page (instead of left aligned)

Most of the other settings here are all related to color of either links, heading styles, or results text. You also have to input these in hexadecimal formats. There are a few settings here that are not strictly visual. One allows you to show the full URL. Another allows you to show the full result URL for results-based searches. This can be useful if you need to know the source of a given answer to a question you asked the duck. Visual users may appreciate the ability to underline result title links, and that is an option here as well.

Saving settings

You can hit the save and exit settings whenever you want to. However, the duck also has a Save To Cloud option. You can find this in the privacy settings link at the top of settings. Here, all you need is a password. No account creation required. If you are on a new computer or browser and you want your settings back, just enter your password and your settings are instantly recovered on your new browser.

Well, that will do it for this article. We will get to bangs later. Until then… Qapla!

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