DuckDuckGo Delivers Private Sync For Passwords and Bookmarks

Lily Polanco Follow Feb 14, 2024 · 2 mins read
DuckDuckGo Delivers Private Sync For Passwords and Bookmarks
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DuckDuckGo has built its reputation on a dedication to user privacy. Its search engine and web browser promise not to track your online activity or data. However, this commitment makes it difficult for DuckDuckGo to offer expected browser features like synchronizing passwords, bookmarks and settings across devices.

Now with its latest browser update, DuckDuckGo has managed this tricky balancing act. The new Sync & Backup system lets users privately synchronize browser data between phones, tablets, laptops and computers without needing a user account.

Sync Uses End-to-End Encryption With No Tracking

Sync & Backup leverages advanced end-to-end encryption to protect user data. This means only a user’s devices have the keys to decrypt the data - not even DuckDuckGo’s servers can decrypt it. No accounts, logins or tracking of any kind are used.

This allows DuckDuckGo users to finally enjoy seamless switching between all their devices. Saved passwords, bookmarks, open tabs and other information instantly carryover anywhere they access the DuckDuckGo browser.

The Sync Process Explained

Syncing data across devices takes a few quick steps:

    1. Open DuckDuckGo browser on any device
    1. Navigate to Settings and select Sync & Backup
    1. Choose “Sync With Another Device”
    1. Scan displayed QR code with another device’s camera
    1. Or select “Enter Code” and type code into other devices

Once the initial sync connection is made, all DuckDuckGo data automatically stays perfectly synchronized going forward.

Local Backups Also Possible

For single device users, Sync & Backup can instead save an encrypted browser backup locally. This allows recovery of passwords and bookmarks if anything happens to that device.

The encrypted backup file sits on DuckDuckGo’s servers. But without the user’s unique decryption key, it’s impossible for anyone else to access the data.

Save Recovery Key in Secure Location

Because no accounts are used, DuckDuckGo emphasizes the critical importance of saving the provided Recovery Key. This unique code for each user is the only way to restore data if devices linking synced browsers are all lost.

Users must securely save this key externally - either in a text file or PDF format. As long as the Recovery Key is intact, encrypted backup files remain accessible. But without it, passwords and bookmarks cannot be retrieved.

The Bottom Line

DuckDuckGo faces a tricky balancing act in trying to deliver expected browser functionality while still protecting user privacy. In the past this has meant omitting useful features like sync and backup.

But with Sync & Backup’s zero-knowledge encryption approach keeping data secured, DuckDuckGo has finally achieved this goal. Users can now sync across all devices without any tracking or central accounts.

It’s a major leap forward in both usability and maintaining superior privacy standards. As long as users remember to properly secure their Recovery Keys, they can now privately synchronize their digital life.

Written by Lily Polanco Follow
Junior News Writer @