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Remove DuckDuckGo (Removal Instructions) - updated Oct 2020

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: System tools

DuckDuckGo search is a reliable search engine with several cons

DuckDuckGo adwareDuckDuckGo virus - a term that has been used by users who found this search engine without any notice. In reality, such activity is launched by adware.

DuckDuckGo is considered to be a reputable search engine, and it is not a virus! We want to put this forward not to give you the wrong impression about the software which receives an average of 63 million searches per day in mid-2020,[1], and is mostly used by mobile device users.[2] The search engine has received mostly positive feedback and has increased in popularity exponentially in the past few years. Having in mind its popularity, it might be that you already came across Duck Duck Go at some point, especially if you have been looking for a new search tool that does not spy on your online activities.

Questions about DuckDuckGo

As you might already know, browser hijackers which modify search engines often collect various user browsing details or even their personal information. DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that does not track its users for personalized advertisements, but instead provides results that are not filtered by personal preferences. While some might see it as a negative, browser's users think that it is an excellent feature that allows them to experience an organic web without being tracked.

Name DuckDuckGo
Type Search engine
Any dangers? The search engine does not track you and provides organic search results
Compatible with Can appear on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and other browsers
Distribution DuckDuckGo can be set up as main search engine via the browser settings; this can also happen after a browser hijacker modifies browser settings without permission
Compatible OS macOS, Windows, Android, iOS
Removal process If the search engine was set up by a potentially unwanted program, you can undo these changes by eliminating it. You can perform uninstallation manually or by employing anti-malware tool that detects PUPs
Optional steps You can also reset your web browser in case a browser hijacker or other unwanted program has gained access to your device. In such a case, you should also make additional checks with repair tools such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to ensure best computer performance

As we all know, privacy is a very rare feature found in search engines[3], and there is a wide belief that this search engine can be used to avoid tracking [4]. However, you should keep in mind that DuckDuckGo has been employing active promotion strategies. So, it may happen that the search engine may show up on your browser without your direct permission. 

Such tendencies of software distribution are not new and are considered to be legitimate. However, they have been actively used by both reliable developers and shady search providers. If you have just found DuckDuckGo on your Mac, iPhone, Android, or computer, the only person who is to blame for letting this search provider into the system is you. Why is that, you ask?

That's because you are the one who allows the installation of bundled programs by skipping important installation steps of the freeware. If you want to know what steps do you need to perform to avoid the DuckDuckGo search engine, check further paragraphs. Ensure that you have read all the below-provided information carefully in order to reach the best option.

What is more, right after you enter the official website of the software, you can immediately notice how much stress does this web page put on your browsing habits. This might interfere with your browsing sessions as it tends to direct its users to other domains occasionally. This phenomenon might become far from annoying as it tries to promote sponsored websites and help them increase their visitors' traffic.

DuckDuckGoDuckDuckGo - a reliable search engine which has been misleadingly spread via the unfair freeware and shareware as an optional component. As a result, people think that they are infected.

If you don't want to deal with these redirects, we recommend you remove DuckDuckGo search engine along with the hijacker that gained access to your machine without permission. For time-saving purposes, you can install anti-malware and perform a full system scan with it (you can also investigate and increase your machine's performance after a computer infection whit repair tools such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego). Note that, even if this program is not malicious and can be used as a reliable browser tool, there is no need to keep it on your computer system if you did not want to use it in the first place.

The latest versions of the DuckDuckGo search tool are compatible with Android and iOS. If you are dealing with any of these versions on your smartphone or tablet, you should uninstall them without hesitation. Apart from the previously-mentioned redirect tendency, the hijacker may add related plug-ins to your browser[5]. If you are not OK with that, DuckDuckGo removal should be your current priority.

You can find plenty of reasons not to remove DuckDuckGo

Right after you open the Privacy Policy or End User's License Agreement of the DuckDuckGo search tool, you can see that developers' main concern is privacy. They claim that they do not compile any personal information of their users and do not share it with third parties. Nevertheless, if you read further, you might see the following provisions which contradict each other:

“When you search at DuckDuckGo, we don't know who you are and there is no way to tie your searches together. 

We also save searches, but again, not in a personally identifiable way (…) Similarly, we may add an affiliate code to some eCommerce sites (e.g. Amazon & eBay) that results in small commissions being paid back to DuckDuckGo when you make purchases at those sites.”

In short, every website collects more or less technical information about the users. It does so not only for marketing purposes but for maintaining the security of their websites. While using this search engine, you might encounter DuckDuckGo redirects from time to time. It means that the web page might guide you to the domains of its partners.

Likewise, these third-parties might employ various tracking technologies[6] to collect the information which defines your personal browsing preferences. After acquiring such data, online advertising companies might cram your browser with frustrating personalized commercial offers.

DuckDuckGo team goes further when it comes to privacy – possibly more than any other browser on the market. It provides a variety of perks that would help users to take privacy and browsing into their own hands:

  • Privacy Grade – rates websites based on their trustworthiness
  • Encryption – forces sites to use encrypted connections when available
  • Tracker Blocker – prevents advertisers from tracking you on the websites you visit
  • Search history privacy – DuckDuckGo does not track your search history.

As you can see, in a world where most of the data about your digitized, taking privacy into your hands is extremely important. This is why DuckDuckGo is one of the better options for privacy, along with privacy-focused browsers, such as Brave, Mozilla Firefox, Chromium MS Edge, and a few others.

DuckDuckGo privacy searchDuckDuckGo is one of the rare search engines that does not lock you in filter bubble of personalized search results

Reasons for obtaining unwanted search services

According to tech experts,[7] usually, possibly unwanted programs infiltrate computers by disguising under the freeware[8]. Users also contribute to such distribution peculiarities as they quickly rush through the installation wizard without even realizing that “bonus” programs come along legitimate applications as well.

In order to escape DuckDuckGo hijack in the future, change the usual sequence of installation order:

  1. Run the software installation wizard and select “Advanced” mode.
  2. Then, you should notice several check boxes that ask you do agree to download additional add-ons. Unmark them all.

If you accidentally enabled them and they got installed eventually, rest assured as the PUP can be easily removed. Keep in mind that downloading and installing a reliable antimalware program will also prevent installations of questionable-looking programs and for the content that you did not apply any requests to download on your machine.

Easy way to remove DuckDuckGo

If you want to initiate DuckDuckGo removal on your computer, check the manual removal steps that are given below. You need to uninstall this search engine and also reset your browsers to get rid of it. This process overtakes different types of web browser apps such as Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Edge, Safari, etc.

Once you finish this procedure and DuckDuckGo is no longer on your PC, you should also think about a full system scan with anti-spyware software to make sure that your computer is totally safe and free of serious computer pests. For that, you need to use one of the security programs that are given below, update it to its latest version and run a full system scan.

Usually, it takes only a couple of minutes to remove DuckDuckGo virus properly from the device. Lastly, do not forget that personal cautiousness significantly reduces the chances of encountering a cyber threat.

DuckDuckGo tool


Question. DuckDuckGo website has replaced my homepage. Although it really looks cool, it makes my computer lag and displays some annoying ads. I decided that I do not need this search engine nor do I want to use it… Can you tell me what should I do?

Answer. If DuckDuckGo has appeared as your default homepage and also as a primary search engine, you might have been inattentive while installing another app on your computer. However, it is NOT a virus, so you can use it for your searches. If the previously-used search engine looks better for you, we recommend you to remove DuckDuckGo search from your PC. You can find the removal guidelines below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove DuckDuckGo, follow these steps:

Delete DuckDuckGo from Windows systems

To remove DuckDuckGo manually, you need to perform the steps that are given below. Make sure you uninstall everything related to this company.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall DuckDuckGo and related programs
    Here, look for DuckDuckGo or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove DuckDuckGo from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Erase DuckDuckGo from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove DuckDuckGo from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for DuckDuckGo-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove DuckDuckGo, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to DuckDuckGo and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the DuckDuckGo-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove DuckDuckGo from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for DuckDuckGo and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example,
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete DuckDuckGo removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate DuckDuckGo from Microsoft Edge

To fix Microsoft Edge, you need to remove add-ons related to DuckDuckGo. You can also opt for resetting this browser.

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the DuckDuckGo-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Get rid of DuckDuckGo from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To stop using DuckDuckGo search, you can either get rid of related add-ons from Mozilla or reset the browser.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select DuckDuckGo and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete DuckDuckGo removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall DuckDuckGo from Google Chrome

Get rid of the new DuckDuckGo browser tool from your Google Chrome web browser by using this guide:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select DuckDuckGo and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete DuckDuckGo removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete DuckDuckGo from Safari

To remove DuckDuckGo from Safari, you need to reset this web browser. It is not a virus, so you can also try changing your start page and the default search provider as it is shown in the guide below.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for DuckDuckGo or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by DuckDuckGo, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete DuckDuckGo removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.


Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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Contact Ugnius Kiguolis
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  1. prince says:
    May 10th, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    to open my mail

  2. Gen says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    It isnt hard: uninstall it from your programs, then go into IE Settings, Internet Options, Advanced, reset, click reset personal settings, apply, then close IE, perform a clean up, and restart IE. All traces should be gone.

    Worked for me, hope this helps!

  3. Anonymous says:
    September 14th, 2014 at 1:03 am

    DuckDuckGo Isnt Really a Virus I Use It Currently On My Browser They Are Just A Search Engine That Doesnt Track You If You Want To Remove From Google Chrome Just Go To The Top Right With The Three Line Bars And Click On It And Click On Settings Next Go To The Open Specific Pages
    And Click The Set Pages Option And Click The x On The Right Side Then Go To Manage Search Engine And Click On It And Make Google Default And Click The x Button Not The Right Side On Top Just On The Right Side Hoped This Helped.

  4. Roy Wadhams says:
    November 13th, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Using SpyHunter 4,Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium and Superantispyware Professional and only SpyHunter found DuckDuckGo but after trying a number of times it will not remove this software.
    DDG is not in Add/Remove and does not show anywhere on my computer but is a default search engine in Firefox but I “removed” it.
    I did not install this at any time and when downloading software,if I come across DDG,I do not accept their product.

  5. Cristina says:
    December 10th, 2015 at 9:34 am

    The article is good, I have uninstalled DuckDuckGo ads already! You probably do not know that hijackers are dangerous and can redirect you to dangerous sites on the web!

Your opinion regarding DuckDuckGo