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What Are Bangs in DuckDuckGo?


Whether you’ve been using DuckDuckGo for a while or are completely new to it, you might wonder what bangs are. Here’s everything you need to know.

A desk with a computer displaying a cartoon exclamation mark and a slogan

DuckDuckGo offers you more privacy when it comes to searching the internet. Along with keeping its hands off of your personal information, and promising not to target you with geared ads, the search engine also offers you a unique tool called !bangs or simply bangs.

In this article, we’ll briefly explain what they are and how to use them so that you can save time searching the internet and still find relevant results.

What Are Bangs in DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo’s bangs are shortcuts that allow you to skip the use of the search engine altogether. Each bang represents a website, and when you use one, you’re searching that website directly.

Screenshot of a website layout with a phone and text shortcuts

For example, if you want to try Google instead of DuckDuckGo, you would type !g followed by your query. Adding the bang takes you directly to the results Google would give, which saves you the step of visiting Google and typing it into the search bar directly.

Related: The Best Private Search Engines That Respect Your Data

There are thousands of bangs that you can learn to get the results you’re looking for quickly. You can view a full list of the available bangs on DuckDuckGo. The site even lets you add suggestions in case there’s a site not supported.

However, keep in mind, if privacy is a concern, once you use a bang you’re leaving DuckDuckGo and the site you’re going to may use tracking. Same as if you’re using the private search engine in a browser like Chrome.


How to Use Bangs in DuckDuckGo

Each bang begins with an exclamation mark and ends with a letter or keyword. If you’re using DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, you can enter the bang followed by your query directly into the address bar.

Screen shot of a search engine beside a screenshot of a video game store layout

When visiting the search engine’s homepage, you follow the same directions in the search bar. Some examples of common bangs include !a for Amazon, !steam for Steam, !pss PlayStation Store, and !yt for YouTube.

Related: Is It Time to Switch to DuckDuckGo as Your Android Browser?

Give Bangs a Try in DuckDuckGo

While DuckDuckGo’s results may not be as extensive as Google’s, bangs are yet another feature that makes it worth the switch if you’re looking for a more private search engine.

Now that you know how to use them, it’s only a matter of time before you memorize your favorites and cut down the time it takes for you to find what you’re looking for.

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