Tried: DuckDuckGo web browser for macOS

About a week ago I showed you that DuckDuckGo has a browser beta for the Mac: DuckDuckGo Browser for Mac Beta Waitlist has started. As part of the research for this article, I had put myself directly on the waiting list. This morning I got the push message from the DuckDuckGo iOS app that a registration code was available and I could try the DuckDuckGo web browser for macOS. I did the same. Here you can find my first impressions. Small spoiler: If you already know the app from the iPhone or iPad, there is not that much that is new.

If you want to test the DuckDuckGo browser on the Mac, you can register for it in the mobile app. After the code for the registration has been received, we can start.

If you want to test the DuckDuckGo browser on the Mac, you can register for it in the mobile app. After the code for the registration has been received, we can start.

Download and register for the beta test

As already mentioned, I had secured a place on the waiting list for the beta of the Mac version via the DuckDuckGo web browser on the iPhone. Now that I received the access code, I downloaded the Mac web browser installer file from duckduckgo.com/mac and started the installation. As usual, a window appeared in which you have to drag the app icon into the Programs or Applications folder. Once that was done, I could open the program and enter the code I received (see above). 

The installation of the DuckDuckGo browser under macOS is very easy.

The installation of the DuckDuckGo browser under macOS is very easy.

Brief introduction and optional import of data

Similar to the mobile version, the first time you use the DuckDuckGo web browser for the Apple Mac you get a small introduction: If you no longer want to be tracked on the Internet, you are in the right place, and so on. Then there is a data import. You can transfer both bookmarks and passwords from other "less secure" browsers. Next is offered the Browser to be set as the default browser, e.g. B. Links from e-mails or apps can be opened directly in it. After these points, which you can either carry out or skip, you are ready to go.

The fire icon at the top right: Quickly burn history and cookies

Similar to the mobile app, the DuckDuckGo browser on the Apple Mac also offers a fire button. This is in the top right corner and can be used in a number of ways. After the appropriate selection, there is then a comic-like fire animation, after which the browser start page is displayed. You can choose these options:

  • Delete all data (cookies, history, etc.) from the browser
  • Delete all data from the current program window
  • Clear all data accumulated in the active tab

In the current version DuckDuckGo 0.22.3 for macOS there is no way to change or disable the fire animation. So these options weren't carried over from the iOS app. There you can z. For example, you can choose from two other animations that visually indicate that history and cookies are being deleted. You can also select that no animation is played, but only that the tab is closed and the deletion process is carried out.

More settings and options

In addition to the still missing option to animate the deletion of accumulated data differently or not at all, there are already some settings in the DuckDuckGo browser on the Mac that can be highlighted. Here is a list of the different options that can be reached via the "Preferences" menu item:

  • Default Browser: Here you can make the app the default browser.
  • Appearance: Choice of light and dark mode as well as the ability to display full URLs instead of abbreviated ones in the address bar.
  • Privacy: Websites can be made "fireproof", i.e. fireproof, e.g. B. to secure logins even if other data is removed. In addition, DuckDuckGo can take care of cookie notices and use Global Privacy Control to request a restriction on data transfer.
  • Autofill: Autofill can be activated for logins, addresses and/or payment methods. In addition, the autofill feature can be automatically deactivated if the computer has been inactive for a certain period of time.
  • Download: Here you can specify a download folder or set that the storage location should be queried for each download.
  • About: Details about the browser and the current version as well as links to further information.

You can call up the "Preferences" via the three items for the menu selection, which you can find under the fire symbol shown above. In addition to this menu item, there are also a few other options here. For example, you can activate an "Email Protection" if you do not use a client such as Mail, Outlook or Thunderbird, but manage your e-mails via the web browser on the provider side. The first point is also important for anyone who has complaints or finds a bug: "Send Feedback" is the link to the developers.

The DuckDuckGo browser for the Apple Mac is currently in the beta phase. If you have feedback for the developers, you can get rid of it directly via the app.

The DuckDuckGo browser for the Apple Mac is currently in the beta phase. If you have feedback for the developers, you can get rid of it directly via the app.

What do you think of DuckDuckGo Browser for Mac? Please leave a comment!

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8 comments

  1. peter v. says:

    I just installed Duckduckgo on my iPad. Can't find an import option for bookmarks there.

  2. ufo2010 says:

    Tried but deleted again on the Mac.
    No possibility to import bookmarks, at least from Safari and the English-only interface is not my cup of tea either.
    Maybe again at a later date.

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hello ufo,

      yes, unfortunately that's a shame. But that's what the beta is for. You can ask the developers if you want Safari imports and other languages ​​for the interface. This is definitely constructive advice.

      Best regards
      John

  3. peter v. says:

    Isn't there the ddg extension. For the Safari in the Mac shop? Shouldn't that serve the main purpose?

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hello Peter,

      yes, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is available as an extension for Safari in the Mac App Store. As a replacement for the basic functions of the new browser (in the current version), it could definitely be of some use. But maybe the creators of DuckDuckGo have more plans and want to implement more features in their own browser in the future. There they would of course have more freedom than in Safari.

      Best regards
      John

  4. Peter William says:

    Yeah, and what about the really interesting facts?
    Is the browser fast, faster or slower?
    Can it handle the current HTML and CSS standards?
    Does he slow down the computer?
    How does it behave when you have many tabs open?

    Can you maybe say something about that?
    That would be very nice.

    Best regards,
    TT

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Here are the answers in order:
      – The browser is fast, I would even say “very fast” – it always depends on what you use as a comparison.
      - Yes, he can handle things - the corresponding test tools give the same value as with Safari.
      – It doesn't slow down the computer (I'm testing with M1 Pro though, which browser is supposed to slow it down?)
      - When many tabs and other apps are open, everything still runs smoothly.

      Have a nice weekend.

      • Peter William says:

        Hey great! Thanks.
        Yes, with the M! you're right. Even with concrete shoes, it's still faster than anything else. :-)

        Best regards,
        TT

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