in Utilities

If you, like me, are not fond of running JavaScript in your browser, or if you use a Mozilla browser plugin like GNU LibreJS, you might run into difficulties using DuckDuckGo. Although DDG provide two separate HTML-only ways to search the web (both a plain HTML version of the normal site and a lite version), their website sometimes fails to redirect you to one of them when its scripts don’t run.

Update (4th June, 2020): The original DuckDuckGo (HTML SSL) add-on has been removed. Without this add-on, we cannot force Firefox to use the HTML-only version of DuckDuckGo by default. This article will remain here for posterity.

I recommend that all users of DuckDuckGo install the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials add-on, which will set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine whilst helping you protect your privacy.

Fortunately for users of Firefox-based browsers, DuckDuckGo provides a myriad of search engine provider add-ons. Head to about:preferences‘s search options. In the section titled “One-Click Search Engines”, click the “Find more search engines” hyperlink.

The one click search settings area of Firefox.

You’ll be redirected to Mozilla’s search engines add-on page. Use the search box at the top of the page to search for “DuckDuckGo”, and you’ll get a pretty long list of results. Everything from DuckDuckGo over TOR to DuckDuckGo with mandatory safe search is available as a one-click search engine.

If you’re just looking for the normal DuckDuckGo search without JavaScript, as I was, you’ll want the DuckDuckGO (HTML SSL) add-on.

The DuckDuckGo (HTML SSL) add-on search result.

Use the “Add to Firefox” button to install the add-on. You’ll get a pop-up, as below, to approve it. You can use the checkbox in the pop-up to set your new search engine as your default.

The pop-up for adding the DuckDuckGo search engine to the Firefox browser.

You’re all set! If you go back to the “One-Click Search Engines” settings, you should see DuckDuckGo (HTML SSL) is your new default search engine. If you search for anything via Firefox’s built-in search functions, you’ll browse DuckDuckGo without JavaScript.

As always, drop a comment below or join the Rauchland Discord server (even if it does use JavaScript!) if you have any comments or questions.

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