Change the Default Safari Search Engine to DuckDuckGo with Safari Omnibar

Not too long ago I installed a SIMBL plugin that enables Safari’s address bar to function like Chrome’s (i.e., incorporating search functionality alongside the standard address seeking behaviour). The Safari Omnibar was created by Olivier Poitrey and has made my browsing experience with Safari infinitely better. That is no exaggeration either.

My favourite feature of the Safari Omnibar is that it provides the means to add your own custom search engines besides those included with Safari as the default. This means that instead of merely having the choice between Google, Bing and Yahoo, you may use pluckily little search engines like DuckDuckGo or Blekko. (I use the former for every single one of my searches, or at least start my searches there, thanks to the very handy !Bang syntax.)

To make DuckDuckGo your default search engine in Safari follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the current text in your address bar (i.e., the url of the page you’re currently on).
  2. Right click the text and select “Edit Omnibar Search Providers…” from the context menu.
  3. Add another search provider by clicking on the “plus” button on the lower left hand corner.
  4. Under “Search Provider” enter the name of your new search engine, “DuckDuckGo” in my case.
  5. Specify some keyword, letter, or phrase to distinguish between search providers, I chose the letter “d”.[1]
  6. If you’d like to use DuckDuckGo, under “URL” enter “{searchTerms}”, otherwise enter the specific search url for which ever search engine you choose.
  7. Finally, if you prefer to search without being tracked, then make DuckDuckGo the default by clicking on the “Set as Default” button at the bottom while DuckDuckGo is still selected.

For increased searching prowess I suggest learning some specific !bang terms to help you navigate your way through Ebay, Twitter, Dribbble, Amazon, etc.[2] Once you have I doubt you’ll be able to use Safari any other way. I certainly know I can’t.

  1. This feature is to help the user cycle between search engines. This is especially useful when you’d like to use a more narrowly defined search engine, say, to search only for Twitter for certain tweets, or images on Flickr. ↩︎

  2. !eb, !twitter, !dribbble and !a, respectively. ↩︎


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