Private browsing allows you to browse on Internet without leaving any traces in the computer you are using. When you use private browsing in a browser, it doesn't store the websites you visit, files you download, forms you fill, your searches, etc. Its very useful when you are using a public computer.
Private browsing feature is also known with a few other names such as "Incognito mode" in Google Chrome, "InPrivate" in Internet Explorer, etc.
Following are the official definitions of Private Browsing according to popular web browsers:
In Private Browsing session, Firefox won't keep any browser history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files. However, files you download and bookmarks you make will be kept.
Private Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session. This includes cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data. Toolbars and extensions are disabled by default.
Pages you view in private browsing window won't appear in your browser history or search history, and they won't leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close all open windows. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be preserved, however.
If you wish to browse without leaving a trace, for example, if you're using someone else's computer or a public one, you can use private browsing.
To start a web browser in private browsing mode, you can use keyboard shortcuts or menu commands as following:
- Internet Explorer: Press Ctrl+Shift+P keys together or select "InPrivate Browsing" from Tools menu
- Mozilla Firefox: Press Ctrl+Shift+P keys together or select "Start Private Browsing" from Tools menu or orange button
- Google Chrome: Press Ctrl+Shift+N keys together or select "New incognito window" using Wrench icon
- Opera: Press Ctrl+Shift+N keys together or select "New Private Tab" from Tabs and Windows menu
Many times you may want to always start your browser in private browsing mode and don't want to waste your time in selecting the private browsing option from menu bar or pressing the hotkeys each time you start the browser.
So today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to start your favorite web browser always in private browsing mode. If you also want to do this, check out following simple steps:
1. Always Start Mozilla Firefox in Private Browsing Mode
1. Click on orange Firefox button and select Options.
2. Go to "Privacy" tab and select "Use custom settings for history" option present in History section.
3. Now enable "Always use private browsing mode" option and apply the changes.
Alternatively you can set browser.privatebrowsing.autostart preference to true in about:config window. Both are same.
NOTE: Using this method Firefox will always start in private browsing mode but its orange button will not convert into blue which usually happens when you start Firefox in private browsing mode using the hotkey or menubar. Don't worry, its by design. Firefox is properly running in private browsing mode which can be confirmed by clicking on orange Firefox button. It'll show you "Stop Private Browsing" option instead of "Start Private Browsing" which means its running in private browsing mode.
PS: The method given below for Internet Explorer also works for Mozilla Firefox i.e. add -private at the end of Target string in Firefox's shortcut Properties.
2. Always Start Internet Explorer in Private Browsing Mode
1. Right-click on Internet Explorer's shortcut and select Properties.
2. Now add -private at the end of the string present in Target text box as shown in following screenshot:
There must be a blank space between existing string and -private.
3. Click on Apply button and now whenever you'll launch Internet Explorer using this shortcut, it'll always start in InPrivate browsing mode.
3. Always Start Google Chrome in Private Browsing Mode
1. Right-click on Google Chrome's shortcut and select Properties.
2. Now add --incognito at the end of the string present in Target text box as shown in following screenshot:
There must be a blank space between existing string and --incognito.
3. Click on Apply button and now whenever you'll launch Google Chrome using this shortcut, it'll always start in incognito mode.
This method will also work in all other Chromium based browsers such as Comodo Dragon, etc.
4. Always Start Opera in Private Browsing Mode
1. Right-click on Opera's shortcut and select Properties.
2. Now add -newprivatetab at the end of the string present in Target text box as shown in following screenshot:
There must be a blank space between existing string and -newprivatetab.
3. Click on Apply button and now whenever you'll launch Opera using this shortcut, it'll always start with 2 tabs: one your default startup page and the other will be a new tab in private browsing mode. It happens because Opera comes with per-tab private browsing mode.
That's it. Feel free to share your feedback or questions in your comment...
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