How to Use DuckDuckGo Maps

DuckDuckGo Maps is powered by Apple Maps and is known for privacy

Users have long flocked to the DuckDuckGo search engine for its privacy features, but its Apple Maps-powered mapping and routing functionality is gaining attention for its anonymity and interactivity. Here's a look at how DuckDuckGo Maps works and how to use it.

DuckDuckGo and its mapping functions are available using DuckDuckGo in a web browser, a browser extension, and the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

How to Get Directions With DuckDuckGo Maps

Mapping and routing functionality is integrated into the main DuckDuckGo search engine. These functions are automatically triggered when you search for a business or location. To get directions and plan your route, use search-query styles, such as:

  • The full address of a location.
  • A city, state, country, or region name.
  • A business name.
  • A type of business.
  • A Near Me search.

Perform a Near Me, Business Type, or Name Search

Search for a restaurant, store, or any kind of business and follow it with near me to get local search results. Or, search for a business, such as a hotel, golf course, or grocery store, by type or name.

  1. Open the DuckDuckGo search engine in a web browser.

    Open the DuckDuckGo search engine in a web browser.
  2. Type your search query and then select Search (the magnifying glass). This example shows a Near Me search about restaurants.

    Type a map-related search and select Search
  3. Select Enable Location (anonymously) to get more accurate search results.

    Select Enable Location, which is anonymous, to get more accurate search results.
  4. Map-related search results appear on the left side. Select More Places.

    Select More Places from the Maps results
  5. A full-screen map layout of your search results appears. Select a result from the list on the left.

    Full screen layout with map in DuckDuckGo

    Alternatively, select any of the search results on the map to display more information about the business.

  6. More information about the business displays in the left pane, including its website and TripAdvisor reviews. Select Directions for directions to the establishment.

    Select Directions for directions to the establishment.
  7. Select Driving or Walking to see the various routes. You'll also see your routes on the map.

    Select Driving or Walking to see your various routes.
  8. Select Show Steps to see the route's exact directions. Each route shows the distance and time to your destination.

    Select Show Steps to see your exact route

    Click or use your mouse to zoom in on the map.

  9. Your turn-by-turn or step-by-step directions display. On the map side, select Satellite at any time to switch to a satellite view.

    Select Satellite at any time to switch to satellite view.
  10. You'll see a satellite view of your route.

    Satellite view of your route.
  11. Select the X on the search results pane to exit.

    Select the X on the search results pane to exit.
  12. A box to search for other restaurants, bars, grocery stores, parks, and more appears. Select any category to display search results.

    Select a category to search it

    Alternatively, zoom in on the map and select Search This Area to search for more places.

  13. You'll see a list of locations that match the category. Select any to find directions to that site, or select a site from the map.

    List of new locations from your new search

    Since Apple Maps features TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Booking.com integration, DuckDuckGo maps-related search results return information from these sites.

Use an Exact Address Search for Route Planning

If you know your destination's exact address, here's how to get your route and map it out with DuckDuckGo.

  1. Open the DuckDuckGo search engine in a web browser.

    Open the DuckDuckGo search engine in a web browser.
  2. Type the address and then select Search (the magnifying glass).

    Type the address and then select Search (magnifying glass).

    You can type a more general location, such as Las Vegas, Nevada.

  3. Select Open Map.

    Select Open Map.

    Alternatively, select Directions to go to your route options.

  4. A map opens and shows the location. Select Directions to get directions to the location.

    Select Directions to get directions to the location.
  5. Select a route for step-by-step directions.

    Select a route for steo-by-step directions.

    Switch from Driving to Walking if you need walking directions.

How to Get the DuckDuckGo Browser Extension

DuckDuckGo offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, making it easy to perform DuckDuckGo map searches from your favorite browser.

DuckDuckGo Chrome Extension

You can download the DuckDuckGo extension from the Chrome Web Store.

  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials.

    Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for DuckDuckGo.
  2. Select Add to Chrome.

    Select Add to Chrome.
  3. Select Add extension to confirm.

    Select Add Extension to confirm.
  4. To perform a DuckDuckGo search, select its icon from the extension bar.

    To perform a DuckDuckGo search, select its icon from your extension bar.
  5. Enter your map-related query in the pop-up search box and then select Search.

    Enter your map-related query in the pop-up search box and then select Search.
  6. Select from the search results and find routes and directions as usual.

    Select from your search results and find directions as usual.

DuckDuckGo Firefox Extension

The DuckDuckGo extension is also available from the Firefox Add-On page.

  1. Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials on the Mozilla Firefox Add-On page.

    Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials on the Mozilla Firefox Add-On page.
  2. Select Add to Firefox.

    Select Add to Firefox.
  3. Select Add to confirm.

    Select Add to Firefox to confirm.
  4. Enter a map-related search term and then select Search (the arrow).

    Enter a map-related search term and then select Search (arrow).
  5. Select from the search results and find routes and directions as usual.

    Select from your search results and find directions as usual.

DuckDuckGo Safari Extension

The Mac App Store also has the DuckDuckGo extension.

  1. Navigate to the DuckDuckGo Safari Extention in the Mac App Store and select Get.

    Navigate to the DuckDuckGo Safari Extension in the Mac App Store and select Get.
  2. Select Install.

    Select Install.
  3. If prompted, sign in with your Apple ID and Password.

    Sign in with your Apple ID and Password.
  4. Select Open.

    Select Open to open the extension
  5. Enable the extension in Safari and then use it for DuckDuckGo map searches.

How to Use the DuckDuckGo Mobile App

It's easy to get directions, create a route, and find locations with the DuckDuckGo mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Download for:

  1. Open the DuckDuckGo mobile app.

  2. Type your map-related search query.

  3. You'll see your search results.

    Doing a map search in DuckDuckGo mobile app
  4. Select Open Map.

  5. Select Directions.

  6. Choose a route to see turn-by-turn directions.

    Getting directions with DuckDuckGo app
  7. If you have an iOS device, select Navigate in Apple Maps to send the route to Apple Maps on your mobile device so you can hear audible directions.

  8. In Apple Maps, select Go to start your route and hear turn-by-turn directions.

  9. Follow the instructions to your destination.

    Send your DuckDuckGo route to Apple Maps

About DuckDuckGo Maps

Before 2019, DuckDuckGo used data from an open-source map service called OpenStreetMap to provide limited mapping functionality for its users. It also let users choose direction services from Bing, Google, and HERE Maps.

With its Apple Maps exclusive partnership in 2019, DuckDuckGo aimed to match its rivals' full-featured mapping results while retaining its commitment to privacy.

When you do a map or address-related search on DuckDuckGo, the search engine pulls results from Apple Maps. The results offer business listings, embedded maps, and directions in the search results. For route planning, you'll see the distance and time to your destination. This functionality works similarly to the map and address features on Google and Bing, except DuckDuckGo searches are anonymous.

Apple Maps collects only anonymous data. DuckDuckGo uses the same address database and satellite imagery as the main Apple Maps app. However, DuckDuckGo doesn't send personal data, such as IP addresses, to Apple or any other companies.