I use DuckDuckGo search engine. I have customized it and saved my settings to the cloud.

Now I would like to use the customized version as my default Firefox 57 search engine.

Is it possible to edit default DuckDuckGo search engine (or create a new one) in order to use the customized version?

I tried to find a button to add the customized version to my search engines list, as you can do with StartPage for example, but I found nothing.

The only things available in DuckDuckGo are URL Bookmarklet and JSON setting so I don't know what to do with those.


  • Is this a custom url/page? Tried going to the page & right-clicking on it's search box? There could be an "add search" type entry in the popup menu (I'm pretty sure there used to be anyway, but haven't used Firefox for quite a while & they seem to be changing quite a few things) – Xen2050 Dec 2 '17 at 9:24
  • @Xen2050, some are custom engines, others are not. I tried that but there is no option for that. – Frank Dec 2 '17 at 9:32
  • If there's nothing in the settings, then maybe an add-on to edit the search engines might work? – Xen2050 Dec 2 '17 at 9:35
  • What addon you mean? – Frank Dec 2 '17 at 10:01
  • Used to be some that changed the search engines, I haven't checked them for a while, but try searching the addons for search engine – Xen2050 Dec 3 '17 at 13:34
  1. Go to http://mycroftproject.com/search-engines.html?name=duckduckgo

This will bring you a list of DuckDuckGo customizations.

  1. Hover over one of the results and make note of the number in parenthesis (e.g., 76816).

  2. Go to http://mycroftproject.com/submitos.html, enter the number by the Load button and click it.

  3. Edit your settings

  4. Click Generate Plugin and then Test Plugin to add it to your Firefox.

| improve this answer | |

This setup sets the Firefox Homepage button to act as a shortcut for loading your DuckDuckGo custom preferences. If you clear the cache, or launch a new Private Browsing window (Incognito mode) and lose the custom preferences, you can then hit the Home button and your preferences will be loaded back again. All consecutive searches including searches from the address/search bar should then abide to the loaded custom preferences. (If using the "start." version of DDGo read the next section below...)

  1. Navigate to https://duckduckgo.com/settings

  2. Choose "Other Settings".

  3. Customize your settings, then on the right side under "Cloud Save", choose "Save Settings" - or just load from the cloud (if previously saved).

  4. Then choose "Show bookmarklet and settings data" under the same panel

  5. Copy the "Bookmarklet URL".

  6. Open FF preferences -> "Home"

  7. Click on the dropdown for "Homepage and new windows" and select "custom URL".
  8. Paste the DDG Bookmarklet URL copied earlier.

Now the Homepage button should act as a shortcut for loading the custom preferences.

If you are using the "start." version of DDGo then you have to reflect that in the default FF search engine json file:

The "start." version simply differs in that the page is presented with the DDGo search form only, exluding the "About section" or any other messages... It is the same as scrolling down and choosing "Dismiss forever" (except that "forever" is only until you clear your cache, or launch an Incognito mode). Effectively the "start." version is like a Lite version of the page.

  1. Navigate to https://start.duckduckgo.com/settings
  2. {Follow steps 2-8 above}
  3. Install this extension for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mozlz4-edit/ –This allows you to edit the default search engine list of Firefox, within the browser! (Source: https://github.com/serj-kzv/mozlz4-edit)
  4. Launch the mozlz4-edit extension
  5. Choose "open file"
  6. Navigate to (on MAC) /Users/{userame}/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/{profilename}. Choose "search.json.mozlz4"
  7. Scroll down until you find DuckDuckGo "_name": "DuckDuckGo"
  8. Prepend "start." here: "template": "https://start.duckduckgo.com/"
  9. ...and here: "resultDomain": "start.duckduckgo.com"
  10. Now choose "Save as mozlz4" and a download will commence.
  11. In Finder (MAC), swap this new saved file in the downloads folder with the original "search.json.mozlz4" file in /Users/{userame}/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/{profilename}. (Recommended: Backup original "search.json.mozlz4" file!)
  12. Quit/Reopen Firefox
| improve this answer | |
  • Note that anytime Firefox updates those steps must be repeated. – Dan A. Sep 11 '18 at 19:15

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