How to Launch a Browser in Private or Incognito Mode by Default

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Updated: 11/16/2019 by Computer Hope

Many people value their privacy while browsing the Internet. Luckily, all of the popular Internet browsers provide their users the ability to not store any of the history or information they enter as they surf the Internet. The private browsing feature may be turned on at any time, but to have your browser launch in incognito mode by default, select your browser from the list below and follow the instructions.

Launching Chrome in incognito mode

Chrome

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Right-click the Chrome icon and select Properties from the drop-down menu that appears.

Windows properties selector

  1. In the Chrome Properties window, click the Shortcut tab.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in the Target text field, type -incognito at the end (A), then click Apply (B), and then OK (C).

Opening in incognito mode.

  1. From now on, when you use that shortcut to open Chrome, it opens in incognito mode.

Launching Microsoft Edge in InPrivate mode

Edge

Unfortunately, as of v1809, Microsoft Edge no longer has the option to open in InPrivate mode by default. To get Edge into InPrivate mode, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. Click Microsoft Edge More icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
  3. Select New InPrivate window from the drop-down menu that appears.

InPrivate selector in Microsoft Edge.

Launching Firefox in a private window

Firefox

  1. Open the Firefox browser.
  2. Right-click the icon and select Properties from the drop-down menu that appears.

Windows properties selector

  1. In the Firefox Properties window, click the Shortcut tab.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in the Target text field, type -private-window at the end (A), then click Apply (B), and then OK (C).

Launching Firefox in private window by default.

  1. From now on, when you use that shortcut to open Firefox, it opens a private browsing window.

Launching Opera in incognito mode

Opera logo

  1. Open the Opera browser.
  2. Right-click the icon and select Properties from the drop-down menu that appears.

Windows properties selector

  1. In the Opera Properties window, click the Shortcut tab.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in the Target text field, type –private at the end (A), then click Apply (B), and then OK (C).

Launching Opera in incognito mode by default.

  1. From now on, when you use that shortcut to open Opera, it will be open in incognito mode.

Launching Safari in private mode

Safari

  1. Select Safari from the dock.
  2. In the upper-left corner of the screen, next to the Apple icon, click Safari.
  3. Select Preferences from the drop-down menu that appears.

Preferences selector in Safari

  1. Under the General tab (A), in the Safari opens with section, click the arrow (B) and select A new private window.

Lanuch Safari in private mode

  1. Safari will now open in a private window by default.
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