10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with DuckDuckGo

There are lots of features in this search engine

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that offers several unique and useful features for web searchers, such as streamlined shortcuts and instant answers. It's especially appealing if you're keeping track of how information is gathered about you online.

Below are 10 different things you might not know you could accomplish with the DuckDuckGo search engine and you can see how it differs from competitors like Google.

What Is DuckDuckGo and What Can You Do With It?

DuckDuckGo offers a few features that are worth a second look for the savvy web searcher:

  • The DuckDuckGo results pages aren't paginated, making it easy to scroll down and find what you're looking for quickly.
  • Favicons (the small images that show up in the address bar, unique to each site) are displayed next to search results for instant recognition of your favorite sites.
  • Instant answers called "zero-click info" show up before any other result, providing the answer to your question right upfront.

The search engine gives users the ability to jump to a website directly using bangs, which are shortcuts you can enter into DuckDuckGo that bypass the search results. There are thousands of DuckDuckGo bang shortcuts, covering a huge swath of sites varying in topics like research, tech, entertainment, and news. Here's one example you could enter into the search engine to jump to Amazon.com: !a 55" tv.

In addition to the shortcuts given above, DuckDuckGo offers what they call goodies, an intriguing array of all kinds of search shortcuts, anything from special keyboard shortcuts to specialized cheat sheets.

The DuckDuckGo search engine works through a mobile app, too, for Android and iOS users.

DuckDuckGo and Privacy

Here's more about their increasingly more popular stance on privacy, according to the DuckDuckGo privacy policy:

"DuckDuckGo prevents search leakage by default. Instead, when you click on a link on our site, we route (redirect) that request in such a way so that it does not send your search terms to other sites. The other sites will still know that you visited them, but they will not know what search you entered beforehand . . . DuckDuckGo takes the approach to not collect any personal information. The decisions of whether and how to comply with law enforcement requests, whether and how to anonymize data, and how to best protect your information from hackers are out of our hands. Your search history is safe with us because it cannot be tied to you in any way."

Protecting web privacy is becoming more of an issue for many people as the internet continues to evolve. If you're concerned with privacy and you enjoy a simple, uncluttered interface with plenty of shortcuts, then DuckDuckGo would probably be a good choice for you as a search engine.

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Run a Stopwatch

DuckDuckGo stopwatch

DuckDuckGo lets you run stopwatches right there in your browser window by typing stopwatch into the search box.

Maybe you need to time how long the turkey has been cooking, record how long you've been working, or see if you can beat your old games in record time. Just use the built-in stopwatch to start, lap, and reset the stopwatch as many times as you want.

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Quickly Find Word Definitions

DuckDuckGo define option

You can use DuckDuckGo to define terms for you, so you don't have to poke around through dictionary sites to look up a simple definition. Just enter define and then the word you want to learn more about.

For example, define empathy shows that definition at the top of DuckDuckGo.

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View a Brief Weather Report

DuckDuckGo weather

Enter weather into DuckDuckGo to see the local weather forecast. Or, add a location to the search to view the weather there (e.g., Chicago Illinois weather).

The search engine will automatically display graphics and details about the weather before any other weather-related result. You can see the weather for the next several hours and all week, including highs and lows, special weather statements, and weather conditions.

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Find Your Favorite Recipe

DuckDuckGo Halloween recipes

Need to impress someone with your culinary skills? Use DuckDuckGo to search for recipes that include ingredients you already have on hand. Maybe you're in the mood for salmon recipes, quinoa recipes, or Christmas recipes.

The first few results you see aren't the only ones you can browse on DuckDuckGo. Select Recipes at the top, below the search bar, to find more recipes related to your search.

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Convert Something Easily

DuckDuckGo kph to mph conversion

Need to figure out ounces to grams, feet to yards, or inches to centimeters? Enter into DuckDuckGo what you'd like to convert, and you'll immediately see the completed calculation done for you.

Here are a few examples:

  • 8 oz to grams
  • 55 feet to inches
  • 12 kilometers to miles
  • 8 fl oz to pints
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Generate a Strong Password

DuckDuckGo strong password search

It only makes sense that a search engine like DuckDuckGo that focuses on privacy makes generating secure passwords easy. Just enter password, followed the length of the password, and then strong.

For example, password 12 strong.

If you don't like the generated password, refresh the page to make a new one. If it's too hard to remember (it probably will be), consider storing it in a password manager.

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Locate Nearby Attractions

DuckDuckGo near me search results for water parks

DuckDuckGo is also helpful for finding nearby attractions. Whether you're looking for something in your local area that you haven't tried yet, or you're in a new city that you're unfamiliar with, this particular feature can come in handy.

Since DuckDuckGo automatically picks up where you're located, all you have to do to find restaurants in the area is type restaurants near me, or for bars, you might type bars near me. You can change the phraseology a little if you want, such as parks in this area to locate nearby parks.

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Check a Website's Status

DuckDuckGo website status search

Not knowing why a website you like to visit is currently down can be frustrating, but one thing you can do to alleviate the worry that it's something you can fix is to ask DuckDuckGo if the website is down.

To do this, type is [website] up. For example: is lifewire.com up

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Find an Image

DuckDuckGo image search of the grand tetons

The DuckDuckGo search engine wouldn't be complete without offering images. Like any good search engine, you can complete the phrase images of or picture of to see pictures on DuckDuckGo.

If you start the DuckDuckGo image search from the Web tab, you'll see only a few pictures above the web page results. Selecting More Images from the top right will reveal all the related photos.

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Find a Video

DuckDuckGo snowboarding video results

There are literally millions of videos on the web, and it can get somewhat overwhelming when you try to search for something specific. The DuckDuckGo video search lets you adjust several filters to help narrow down the results.

After entering a video title, use the duration filter to limit the video results to less than four minutes, between 4-20 minutes, or over 20 minutes. There are also resolution and region-specific filters.

Bonus Tips

These useful DuckDuckGo features don't necessarily warrant their own item in this list, but they're still helpful nonetheless:

  • Put a backslash before a search item to trigger "I'm feeling lucky": \lifewire
  • Enter ip address to find your public IP address
  • Generate a QR code for any URL: enter qrcode followed by the address: qrcode lifewire.com
  • See what a short URL goes to by entering expand and then the short URL: expand bit.ly/2iSHN7p
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