What is DuckDuckGo.com

DuckDuckGo.com is a legitimate and reputable search engine, however, sometimes users unintentionally install DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension or set this search engine as default accidentally and want to uninstall it. This guide will show general methods to uninstall DuckDuckGo.com from computer and browsers.

DuckDuckGo.com is a search engine, that prioritizes users privacy and tries to provide best results and not depending on users interests and browser and search history. It can be installed in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari on Windows and Mac. Often, DuckDuckGo.com is accompanied with an add-on, called DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials. This extension is available in Chrome Store and in Firefox Add-ons catalog. This extension sets up https://www.duckduckgo.com as default search engine and sometimes as homepage. The add-on also adds sites security checking feature and sites privacy analysis. The complete removal of DuckDuckGo.com website from settings is impossible without DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials uninstallation. Below you can find step-by-step instructions to remove DuckDuckGo.com.com from browsers and reset browser settings.


How DuckDuckGo.com infected your PC

DuckDuckGo.com comes bundled along with DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, that in its turn, is promoted on various resources and has over 2.3 million users. Search engines fight for the market and promote themselves via installers of popular free programs, browser ads, and pop-ups. Although DuckDuckGo.com is a high-quality search engine and was not caught in unfair marketing practices, some users get it without intention and don’t want to use it instead of more popular Google.com, Yahoo.com or Bing.com. This detailed tutorial is aimed to help users willing to uninstall DuckDuckGo.com.

Download Removal Tool for Windows

Download Removal Tool

compatible with microsoft

To remove DuckDuckGo.com completely, we recommend you to use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It detects and removes all files, folders and registry keys of DuckDuckGo.com and several millions of other adware, hijackers, toolbars.

Download Removal Tool for Mac

Download CleanMyMac

To remove DuckDuckGo.com completely, we recommend you to use CleanMyMac. It can help you remove files, folders and registry keys of DuckDuckGo.com and uninstall hijackers, toolbars and unwanted add-ons from Safari browser.

Remove DuckDuckGo.com manually for free

Here is the manual step-by-step tutorial for full DuckDuckGo.com removal from your computer. This works 99% and was checked with the latest versions of DuckDuckGo.com installer on operating systems with the latest updates and browser versions.

Note: DuckDuckGo.com can be installed as Google Chrome extension as Administrator (you may see Installed by enterprise policy inscription near it), and this will not allow removal. Therefore, before starting removal process, perform these actions:

  1. Start the Command Prompt by clicking the Start menu button and typing command prompt (or just searching for “command prompt” in Windows 10 search field). Right click on the Command Prompt result and choose Run as Administrator.
  2. start command prompt as administrator

  3. Type in and execute the following commands:

    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers"
    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy"
    gpupdate /force

  4. update group policy in windows

Remove DuckDuckGo.com from Control Panel

To start removing DuckDuckGo.com you should uninstall it using Control Panel. It can be present by different names – “DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials” or just “DuckDuckGo.com”. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use IObit Uninstaller to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and MacOS.

Remove DuckDuckGo.com from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. DuckDuckGo.com might have an Uninstaller.
  3. Otherwise, drag DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Remove DuckDuckGo.com from Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Choose Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove DuckDuckGo.com from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials and click Uninstall.

Remove DuckDuckGo.com from Windows 8:

  1. Hover mouse pointer to the bottom-right corner to see Menu.
  2. Click Search.
  3. After that click Apps.
  4. Then Control Panel.
  5. Click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  6. Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, click Uninstall.

Remove DuckDuckGo.com from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall DuckDuckGo.com from Windows 10

Way one
  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the System tile.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials in the list.
  5. Click on it and then click Uninstall button near it.
Way two (classic)
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Programs and Features.
  3. Locate DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Cannot uninstall DuckDuckGo.com

In some cases, DuckDuckGo.com won’t uninstall and gives you the message, that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall DuckDuckGo.com. Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing DuckDuckGo.com folder and files. This happens, because process or service does not allow you to do it. In this case, I will recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes or uninstall DuckDuckGo.com in Safe Mode. To boot in Safe Mode do the following:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. While it starts booting press F8 button.
  3. This will open Advanced Boot Options menu.
  4. Choose Safe Mode and wait until Windows loads.
  5. Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a program and remove DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

>> See detailed instructions and video tutorial on how to boot in Safe Mode

and for Mac:

If you can’t uninstall DuckDuckGo.com using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of DuckDuckGo.com. Follow instructions below:

  1. Download free AppCleaner.
  2. Drag DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
  3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with DuckDuckGo.com.
  4. Click Delete button.

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling DuckDuckGo.com from Control Panel often does not bring desired effect. It sometimes have browser extension and it may still be active in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove DuckDuckGo.com extension from your browsers manually.


  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Click Extensions tab.
  3. Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button to remove it.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://extensions/.
  3. Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials add-on.
  4. Click the trash can icon to remove them.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:addons.
  3. Choose DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension.
  4. Click Disable or Remove button.
  5. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

Note: There is no feature to remove browser extensions from browser in latest version of Internet Explorer. To remove DuckDuckGo.com from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling program from Control Panel. To disable DuckDuckGo.com, please, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu Manage Add-ons.
  4. Select Toolbars and Extensions.
  5. Click Disable DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

Generally, DuckDuckGo.com does not install in Opera browser however you can always double check. Do the following:

  1. Start Opera browser.
  2. Go to Tools > Extensions > Manage Extensions.
  3. Find DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

DuckDuckGo.com installs search engine, that hijacks your browsers. Here is instruction to reset your browsers homepage, new tab and search engine to default values.

Reset Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data button.
  4. In opened window click Remove Now button to remove data stored by websites in Safari.
  5. Go to the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences.
  6. Click the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.
  7. In the menu click Develop and select Empty Caches from this menu.
  8. Again, go to Safari menu and choose Clear History….
  9. Choose to clear all history and click Clear History button.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://settings/.
  3. Scroll down and find Show advanced settings link.
  4. Click on it and scroll down to the bottom again.
  5. Click Reset browser settings button and click Reset to confirm.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:support.
  3. Click Reset Firefox… button.
  4. Click Reset Firefox to confirm.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu choose Internet options.
  4. Click Advanced tab.
  5. Click Reset button.
  6. Choose Delete personal settings and click Reset.

Opera Browser:

  1. Close Opera and open command prompt from the start menu.
  2. Type following command del %AppData%\Opera\Opera\operaprefs.ini
  3. Start Opera.

How to block redirects and pop-ups from DuckDuckGo.com

DuckDuckGo.com redirects, in most cases, are caused by a program installed on your PC or add-on installed in browsers. However, sometimes it can appear on a clean computer when visiting malicious website, using advertising script. Also, apps that generate “DuckDuckGo.com” are themselves installed from pop-ups. To protect your PC and browsers from phishing websites, pop-up ads, banners, malicious scripts it is recommended to use AdGuard. Download free trial here:

Download AdGuard for Windows Download AdGuard for Mac

Alternative way to remove adware browser extensions and reset browser settings

avast browser cleanup For safe and effective browser extension removal use avast! Browser Cleanup utility. Run it with administrator privileges and remove all extensions with bad rating including related to DuckDuckGo.com. You can also reset your browser settings for each of your browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.

Download Avast Browser Cleanup

Cleaning browsers shortcuts

shortcut cleaner You can clean your browser shortcuts manually right-clicking on your browser icon, choosing “Properties” and removing hijacker address from “Target” field (leave just the path to your browser). However it is easier to use free Shortcut Cleaner from BleepingComputer. Download it here – its FREE:

Download Shortcut Cleaner

Final tips

Be careful surfing the internet and downloading software, as programs like DuckDuckGo.com may become a real headache as they are hard to remove and break your privacy. To keep safe from such threats we recommend you always use antivirus and one of anti-malware programs available on the market. One of the best anti-spyware and anti-malware programs is SpyHunter 5. It can protect your PC from threats, like DuckDuckGo.com.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here



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