Remove DuckDuckGo (Uninstall Guide) - Sep 2017 updated

DuckDuckGo Removal Guide

Description of DuckDuckGo

Should I set DuckDuckGo as my default search engine?


DuckDuckGo virus is neither a real virus nor a useful search engine. The developers present it as an alternative and absolutely safe to use search engine. Besides, it has a mobile version which is compatible with both, Android and iPhone, devices. The authors stress out that they do not collect any information about users and do not have any intentions to share any of your personal details with third parties.

If it is so innocent and sweet, why do we talk about it? Indeed, it’s not so great as developers say. This search engine is a potentially unwanted program (PUP), more specifically – a browser hijacker. It spreads bundled with freeware and shareware, so users rarely notice when it got inside the system.

However, they clearly see that their homepage and default search engine are changed to DuckDuckGo. As well as other browser hijackers this one is annoying and reduces browsing quality dramatically. DuckDuckGo redirect issues will play with your nerves and patience a lot.

You may frequently be redirected to various promotional websites or its domain. This way the developers generate revenue and you are left with nothing. Therefore, you should not hesitate and initiate DuckDuckGo removal.

Browser hijacker delivers lots of personalized advertisements. You may wonder how it can happen if authors claim that they do not collect information about the users. We have read their Privacy Policy, and we have some questions and doubts as well.

In the beginning, the developers of DuckDuckGo virus claim that they do not collect any information, but later they mention about saving your searches and putting affiliate codes. Indeed, something is not right here. What is more, you might be redirected to some third party website that installs tracking cookies to your browser. Since then, shady third-party companies starts stalking you.

Hopefully, they collect only browsing-related information. Sometimes they try to steal users’ private information, so if you use this search engine and patiently deal with redirects – fingers crossed that your identity and credit card information is safe. Furthermore, once companies gather all necessary information, they start flooding your browser with individualized ads. We have no doubt that you are not interested in aggressive advertising techniques, so remove DuckDuckGo with FortectIntego right now!


I haven’t installed DuckDuckGo. How did it appear on my browser?

We have already mentioned that browser hijacker spreads bundled with free programs that users download from the Internet. The developers of PUPs are aware of the fact that computer users are lazy, brave and inattentive. They always choose ‘Quick’ or ‘Recommended’ software installation mode and just several times click ‘Next’ and ‘Agree’ buttons.

They do not realise that by using this setup and clicking ‘Agree’ they let PUPs in. To avoid DuckDuckGo hijack or other suspicious add-ons, you have to choose ‘Advanced’ or ‘Custom’ setup. Then you will be able to see the list of additional programs and decline their installation.

Besides, you should always download software from reliable sources and read all documents provided by the developers. The Privacy Policy, EULA or Terms and Agreements might not be the most interesting pieces to read, but you have to secure your computer and your identity.

The first aid: remove browser hijacker

Fortunately, DuckDuckGo is not an actual virus; it’s an annoying computer infection. However, you should not underestimate it. It might install additional add-ons, browser extensions, and other suspicious plugins. Indeed, they might deliver more ads, collect your personal information and cause other unpleasant problems.

Therefore, we do not recommend delaying its removal. For DuckDuckGo elimination you can choose either manual or automatic removal. Our team prepared detailed and illustrated manual virus removal instructions. However, if you value your time, opt for automatic elimination.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. 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 fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Security Tools
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Security Tools
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of DuckDuckGo. Follow these steps

Uninstall DuckDuckGo in Windows systems

Follow the steps below and remove browser hijacker from the computer. After doing it, check all your web browsers. It might have installed additional plugins, and you have uninstall them all.

Terminate suspicious programs from Windows 10/8 machines by following these instructions:

  1. Type Control Panel into Windows search and once the result shows up hit Enter.
  2. Under Programs, choose Uninstall a program.
    Programs in Control panel
  3. Find components related to suspicious programs.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. Click Yes when User Account Control shows up.
    Confirm uninstall
  6. Wait for the process of uninstallation to be done and click OK.

Windows 7/XP instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start and go to Control Panel on the right pane.
  2. Choose Add/Remove Programs.
    Remove the program
  3. Select Uninstall a program under Programs in Control Panel.
  4. Click once on the unwanted application.
  5. Click Uninstall/Change at the top.
  6. Confirm with Yes.
  7. Click OK and finish the removal.

Uninstall DuckDuckGo in Mac OS X system

Follow the instructions below and get rid of the browser hijacker. Once you remove it from the computer, make sure that all your browser are not infected as well. If you find any suspicious plugins installed, remove them immediately.

  1. Users who use OS X should click on Go button, which can be found at the top left corner of the screen and select Applications. Click on 'Go' to open a drop-down menu and select 'Applications'.
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for DuckDuckGo or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on each malicious application and select 'Move to Trash'

Delete DuckDuckGo from Microsoft Edge

Follow the steps below and remove browser hijacker from the browser.

Delete suspicious extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Go to the Menu by clicking on the three horizontal dots at the top-right.
  2. Then pick Extensions.
    Uninstalling apps
  3. Choose the unwanted add-ons on the list and click on the Gear icon.
  4. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.

Clear cookies and other data:

  1. Click on the Menu and from the context menu select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, select Choose what to clear.
    Clear data
  3. Choose everything except passwords, and click on Clear.

Alter new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge fully:

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

When none of the above solves the issue, you might need an advanced Edge reset method, but you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on the PC: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on the selection and choose Delete
  4. Right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
    PowerShell clearing
  5. Copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

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

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions:

  1. Open Edge and click Settings.
  2. Then find Extensions.
  3. Delete unwanted extensions with the Remove.

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and then Settings.
  2. Find Privacy and services.
  3. Locate Clear browsing data, then click Choose what to clear.
  4. Time range.
  5. Click All time.
  6. Select Clear now.

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge browser fully:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. On the left side, choose Reset settings.
    Full browser reset
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Click Reset.

Delete DuckDuckGo from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

DuckDuckGo might have installed various plugins and extensions. You have to find and delete them.

Remove suspicious Firefox extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the three horizontal lines at the top-right to open the menu.
  2. Select Add-ons in the context menu.
    Browser settings
  3. Choose plugins that are creating issues and select Remove.

Reset the homepage on the browser:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner.
  2. This time select Options.
  3. Under Home section, enter your preferred site for the homepage that will open every time you launch Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Find the Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to choose Cookies and Site Data.
    Blocking sites
  4. Click on Clear Data… option.
  5. Click Cookies and Site Data, Cached Web Content and press Clear.

Reset Mozilla Firefox:

If none of the steps above helped you, reset Mozilla Firefox as follows:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and go to the menu.
  2. Click Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.
    Troubleshooting issues
  3. Locate Give Firefox a tune-up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox on the pop-up.
    Reset the Firefox

Chrome browser reset

To remove browser hijacker completely, you have to make sure that it hasn’t installed any suspicious entries to your browser. However, if you find some, remove them without any hesitation.

Find and remove suspicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. In Google Chrome, open the Menu by clicking three vertical dots at the top-right corner.
  2. Select More tools > Extensions.
  3. Once the window opens, you will see all the installed extensions.
  4. Find any suspicious add-ons related to any PUP.
  5. Uninstall them by clicking Remove. Removing extensions

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click the Menu and select Settings.
  2. Find Privacy and security section.
  3. Choose Clear browsing data.
  4. Select Browsing history.
  5. Cookies and other site data, also Cached images and files.
  6. Click Clear data. Clearing data

Alter settings of the homepage:

  1. Go to the menu and choose Settings.
  2. Find odd entries in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages.
  4. Then click on three dots and look for the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome fully:

You might need to reset Google Chrome and properly eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Go to Chrome Settings.
  2. Once there, scroll down to expand Advanced section.
  3. Scroll down to choose Reset and clean up.
  4. Click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Click Reset settings again. Resetting Google Chrome

Delete DuckDuckGo from Safari

Follow the instructions below and remove all questionable entries that might be related to DuckDuckGo from Safari.

Get rid of questionable extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari.
  2. Then go to Preferences…
    Preferences of Safari
  3. Choose Extensions on the menu.
  4. Select the unwanted extension and then pick Uninstall.

Clear cookies from Safari:

  1. Click Safari.
  2. Choose Clear History…
    Clearing history
  3. From the drop-down menu under Clear, find and pick all history.
  4. Confirm with Clear History.

Reset Safari fully:

  1. Click Safari and then Preferences…
  2. Choose the Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop.
    Empty caches
  5. Then select Empty Caches.

Even if you have completed all the steps above, we still strongly recommend you to scan your computer system with a powerful anti-malware software. It is advisable to do that because an automatic malware removal tool can detect and delete all remains of DuckDuckGo, for instance, its registry keys. The anti-malware program can help you to easily detect and eliminate possibly dangerous software and malicious viruses in an easy way. You can use any of our top-rated malware removal programs: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting system tools

Prevent the government from spying on you

As there is a growing debate in government about collecting users' data and spying on citizens, you should take a closer look at this issue and find out what shady ways of gathering information can be used to collect information about you. You need to browse anonymously if you want to avoid any government-initiated spying and tracking of information. 

You can enjoy secure internet browsing and minimize the risk of intrusion into your system if you use Private Internet Access VPN program. This VPN application creates a virtual private network and provides access to the required data without any content restrictions.

Control government and other third party access to your data and ensure safe web browsing. Even if you do not engage in illegal activities and trust your ISP, we recommend being careful about your security. You should take extra precautions and start using a VPN program.

Reduce the threat of viruses by backing up your data

Due to their own careless behavior, computer users can suffer various losses caused by cyber infections. Viruses can affect the functionality of the software or directly corrupt data on your system by encrypting it. These problems can disrupt the system and cause you to lose personal data permanently. There is no such threat if you have the latest backups, as you can easily recover lost data and get back to work.

It is recommended to update the backups in parallel each time the system is modified. This way, you will be able to access the latest saved data after an unexpected virus attack or system failure. By having the latest copies of important documents and projects, you will avoid serious inconveniences. File backups are especially useful if malware attacks your system unexpectedly. We recommend using the Data Recovery Pro program to restore the system.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - Expert in malware removal

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