DuckDuckGo Launches Desktop Browser

John Lister's picture

The developers behind a "privacy focused" search engine are working on their own desktop web browser. DuckDuckGo is already available in mobile form with a reported 150 million downloads.

The DuckDuckGo search engine is based around user privacy, with minimal data collected. It's funded through ads that relate solely to the search term a user looks for, rather than any data about their browsing history.

The reduced reliance on personal data does arguably mean the search results aren't as relevant as with other search tools, though the developers claim this is better because users don't get a "filter bubble of manipulated results."

The developers have also produced an email forwarding service that relays messages but removes any tracking. This includes invisible "tracking pixels" that help marketers know when their message has been read.

One-Button Data Deletion

Unveiling the forthcoming desktop browser, DuckDuckGo's Gabriel Weinberg said "It's not a 'privacy browser'; it's an everyday browsing app that respects your privacy." (Source:

That said, the key features do seem to be very much based around privacy, with the main selling point being that users don't have to worry about navigating settings menus to select privacy levels or toggles. Instead the browser has the strongest privacy settings switched on by default, though it does appear users can still make some choices.

As with the mobile app, the most eyecatching feature is likely to be the "Fire" button. That's a simple and visible way to immediately delete all browsing data and history with a single click. However, the settings menu suggests users can label some websites as "Fireproof" so they are excluded from this process.

Technical Challenge

Beyond that, there's not a great deal of information about the browser, other than DuckDuckGo saying "Instead of forking Chromium or anything else, we're building our desktop app around the OS-provided rendering engines (like on mobile), allowing us to strip away a lot of the unnecessary cruft and clutter that's accumulated over the years in major browsers.

What that actually means in practice is a little uncertain. It appears that the browser will still use open source code such as Chromium and Apple's Webkit for rendering, which means turning the code of a web page into what's actually shown on screen. That still leaves a lot of functionality to build from scratch, so the project may take some time. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Would you be attracted by a privacy-focused browser? Would you trade performance for privacy? What privacy features would you like to see in a browser?

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Average: 4.8 (12 votes)


jhatz's picture

I've been using the Brave browser since it was recommended to me in a cyber security class I was taking online. It blocks trackers and ads. Based on Chromium so you can still use your Chrome extensions.

kitekrazy's picture

There's so many browser extensions that I use ti stick with Firefox. Plus there's menu on top,

buzzallnight's picture

It blocks a lot of ads and is fast!

Amazon13's picture

I have been, a long time user of Firefox! I never liked Internet Explorer‼️ My Browser of choice before Firefox was Netscape. When I made the switch it was to Firefox! Now I'm not thrilled about how Firefox takes over my choices, of how I use my Web Browser‼️ There are too many updates and Mozilla's choice to limit my choices as to when I want to update.

I truly hope, that this Browser meets my expectations and I never have to switch to another‼️ I'm counting on it, to prove me right. All anyone wants, is to be confident that they can browse the Internet safely without being spied on and tracked against one's will! Privacy, is the key‼️ I have been a long time user of DuckDuckGo and I've recommended it to many, many friends and family... Don't Let Me Down⁉️

Unrecognised's picture

New DDG browser sounds great. Irrelevant results? Get over it. You're free (ish).

On phone I'm with Brave after losing a bit of faith in DDG. But on PC still invested in FF with a heap of privacy extensions.

Might try soon as a round tuit from deep space streaks down and smites me on the pate.