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How to disable DuckDuckGo App Tracking Protection for a specific app on Android

If you've found DuckDuckGo's App Tracking Protection is causing problems for specific apps, there's an easy solution for that.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin
Person using phone at home
Morsa Images/Getty Images

DuckDuckGo App Tracking Protection goes a long way to keep third parties from keeping tabs on you. For example, in the past week, the app has blocked 21,335 tracking attempts on my phone (some of which happened in apps I haven't used in weeks). Clearly, there's a lot going on in the background that DuckDuckGo is stopping. 

Also: How to boost your browser's privacy with DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

However, I have noticed some apps don't function correctly with DuckDuckGo blocking them. To me that says one of two things: There are too many apps that require tracking to function or DuckDuckGo can be a bit overzealous in its blocking. Either way, if I find a must-use app isn't behaving as expected, there's only one solution -- disable App Tracking in DuckDuckGo for that app in question.

Do understand, I only take this action on apps that I know aren't working properly because they are being blocked by DuckDuckGo's App Tracking Protection. How do I know? The easiest method is to disable App Tracking Protection for an app and try to use it. If it then behaves properly, you know App Tracking Protection was the problem. If the app continues behaving improperly, chances are good that it's not DuckDuckGo.

Either way, you're going to want to know how to disable App Tracking Protection on a per-app basis. Let me show you how.

How to disable App Tracking Protection for a single app

What you'll need: To achieve this, you'll need the DuckDuckGo app installed on an Android device and App Tracking Protection enabled. That's it. Let's fix your app's problem.

1. Open DuckDuckGo

The first thing to do is open the DuckDuckGo app from either the Android App Drawer or the home screen.

2. Open Settings

Tap the three-dot menu button in the upper right corner of the page. 

Also: Tired of being tracked online? DuckDuckGo's Email Protection can help

Then, tap Settings.

The DuckDuckGo menu.

Accessing the DuckDuckGo Settings app from the menu.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Open App Tracking Protection

Scroll to the bottom of the resulting page and tap App Tracking Protection.

The App Tracking Protection listing in the DuckDuckGo Settings page.

As you can see, App Tracking Protection is still in beta.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. View Apps

Scroll to the bottom of this page and tap View Apps.

The View Apps entry takes you to a list of all of your installed apps.

You can tap Having issues with an app? and it will take you to recent app activity, where you can also disable protection for an app.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

5. Disable protection for a specific app

Locate the app in question and tap the On/Off slider until it's in the Off position. 

Also: The best secure browsers for privacy

You will be prompted to report an issue for the app, which you can either go ahead and report or tap Not Now to dismiss the prompt. 

A partial listing of installed app viewed through DuckDuckGo.

Some apps simply do not behave properly if App Tracking Protection is enabled.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

At this point, DuckDuckGo is no longer protecting the app against tracking. Keep in mind, the only time I disable protection for an app is if I'm certain DuckDuckGo is keeping it from properly running. If, however, you find the app still doesn't behave correctly, re-enable App Tracking Protection and look for another issue causing the malfunction.

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