I would like to be able to search DuckDuckGo from spotlight.

I am aware that pressing ⌘ + B in spotlight will search the web in your default browser (I use Firefox), however this always defaults to a Google search.

I read that spotlight uses the Safari default search engine for internet searches so I changed my Safari default to DuckDuckGo, but this does not change the search engine used in Firefox.

This question is similar, but does not address the case where Safari is not the default browser. How do I change Spotlight search engine?

Does anyone know how to change this setting?

  • I don't know about spotlight, but you can do that in Alfred. I'm not entirely sure where the line for the paid power pack license goes, but it would surprise me if the default search engine customization was a paid feature. Some features are free, where as something like Workflows are not. All around great app and worth the money too, if the power pack features interest you. Alfred also has search keyword prefixes. For instance if you want to search duck duck go, you can use the prefix duckduck . This will search duck duck go no matter what your default is.
    – Joonas
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 6:53
  • I thought Spotlight always just used the default browser's default search engine, do you have DuckDuckGo as Firefox's default search engine? Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 7:34
  • @RedEagle2000 Yep, I made sure to check that. Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 16:10
  • I haven't heard of Alfred before, I'll give that a look. Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 16:10
  • If the Workflows feature interests you, you can find them around the internets and a lot of them you can find here packal.org Workflows can also extend those search functions.
    – Joonas
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


So this question is very old, but I had the same problem and figured I'd answer for the next person that sees this in 5 years.

The solution is setting the Safari default search engine, even if you don't use safari.

I found spotlight would open FireFox and search with DuckDuckGo after I had set Safari to DuckDuckGo.

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