How to make your web browser always open in private mode on Windows 10

This tutorial will show you step by step how to make Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Firefox always open in private browsing mode on Windows 10.

In Google Chrome, it's called incognito mode, in Microsoft Edge, it's called InPrivate window, in Brave, it's called a private window, and in Firefox, it's called private browsing.

Private browsing mode

In Google Chrome, it's called incognito mode, in Microsoft Edge, it's called InPrivate window, in Brave, it's called a private window, and in Firefox, it's called private browsing.

Private browsing mode lets you browse the Internet without saving your internet history.

That's it.

There are a lot of misconceptions about private browsing or incognito mode.

Private browsing mode isn't as private as many people think.

It won't keep your internet service provider, government, or system administrator in the office or school from seeing your browsing activities.

It won't stop websites from seeing your physical location.

But there are still valid reasons to use private browsing mode.

You might share a computer with someone else, and you don't want the other person to see your internet history.

You could be shopping for a gift, and you don't want anybody to find out and spoil the surprise.

You can use it to log in to multiple email accounts, social network accounts, or bank accounts at the same time.

Or maybe you want to limit the amount of data companies collect about you.

How to make Google Chrome always open in incognito mode

1. Locate the shortcut you use to open Google Chrome. The shortcut can be in the taskbar, on your desktop, or in the Start menu.

2. Right-click on the Google Chrome shortcut and then click on Properties.

If you open Google Chrome from the taskbar, then right-click on the Google Chrome taskbar icon, right-click on Google Chrome in the menu that appears, and then click on Properties. Note: The menu with the “Properties” option may appear a little bit later after clicking.

Open Google Chrome taskbar shortcut properties

If you open Google Chrome from the Start menu, then right-click on Google Chrome > More > Open file location > right-click on the Google Chrome shortcut > Properties.

Open Google Chrome start menu shortcut properties

A “Properties” window appears.

3. Add -incognito to the end of the path in the Target field. Add a space between the path and -incognito (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" -incognito).

Make Google Chrome always open in incognito mode

4. Click on the Apply button in the bottom right corner of the “Properties” window.

5. Click on the OK button.

Google Chrome will now open in incognito mode when you open it from this shortcut.

If you use other shortcuts to open Google Chrome, then you will also need to edit them.

You can undo this change by editing the shortcut and removing the -incognito text you've added.

How to make Microsoft Edge always open in private browsing mode

1. Locate the shortcut you use to open Microsoft Edge. The shortcut can be in the taskbar, on your desktop, or in the Start menu.

2. Right-click on the Microsoft Edge shortcut and then click on Properties.

If you open Microsoft Edge from the taskbar, then right-click on the Microsoft Edge taskbar icon, right-click on Microsoft Edge in the menu that appears, and then click on Properties. Note: The menu with the “Properties” option may appear a little bit later after clicking.

Open Microsoft Edge taskbar shortcut properties

If you open Microsoft Edge from the Start menu, then right-click on Microsoft Edge > More > Open file location > right-click on the Microsoft Edge shortcut > Properties.

Open Microsoft Edge start menu shortcut properties Open Microsoft Edge start menu shortcut properties

A “Properties” window appears.

3. Add -inprivate to the end of the path in the Target field. Add a space between the path and -inprivate (e.g., "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe" -inprivate).

Make Microsoft Edge always open in private browsing mode

4. Click on the Apply button in the bottom right corner of the “Properties” window.

5. Click on the OK button.

Microsoft Edge will now open in InPrivate browsing mode when you open it from this shortcut.

If you use other shortcuts to open Microsoft Edge, then you will also need to edit them.

You can undo this change by editing the shortcut and removing the -inprivate text you've added.

How to make Brave always open in private browsing mode

1. Locate the shortcut you use to open Brave. The shortcut can be in the taskbar, on your desktop, or in the Start menu.

2. Right-click on the Brave shortcut and then click on Properties.

If you open Brave from the taskbar, then right-click on the Brave taskbar icon, right-click on Brave in the menu that appears, and then click on Properties. Note: The menu with the “Properties” option may appear a little bit later after clicking.

Open Brave taskbar shortcut properties

If you open Brave from the Start menu, then right-click on Brave > More > Open file location > right-click on the Brave shortcut > Properties.

Open Brave start menu shortcut properties

A “Properties” window appears.

3. Add -incognito to the end of the path in the Target field. Add a space between the path and -incognito (e.g., "C:\Program Files\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\Application\brave.exe" -incognito).

Make Brave always open in private browsing mode

4. Click on the Apply button in the bottom right corner of the “Properties” window.

5. Click on the OK button.

Brave will now open in incognito mode when you open it from this shortcut.

If you use other shortcuts to open Brave, then you will also need to edit them.

You can undo this change by editing the shortcut and removing the -incognito text you've added.

How to make Firefox always open in private browsing mode

Method 1

1. Locate the shortcut you use to open Firefox. The shortcut can be in the taskbar, on your desktop, or in the Start menu.

2. Right-click on the Firefox shortcut and then click on Properties.

If you open Firefox from the taskbar, then right-click on the Firefox taskbar icon, right-click on Firefox in the menu that appears, and then click on Properties. Note: The menu with the “Properties” option may appear a little bit later after clicking.

Open Firefox taskbar shortcut properties

If you open Firefox from the Start menu, then right-click on Firefox > More > Open file location > right-click on the Firefox shortcut > Properties.

Open Firefox start menu shortcut properties

A “Properties” window appears.

3. Add -private to the end of the path in the Target field. Add a space between the path and -private (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -private).

Make Firefox always open in private browsing mode

4. Click on the Apply button in the bottom right corner of the “Properties” window.

5. Click on the OK button.

Firefox will now open in private browsing mode when you open it from this shortcut.

If you use other shortcuts to open Firefox, then you will also need to edit them.

You can undo this change by editing the shortcut and removing the -private text you've added.

Method 2

1. Open Firefox.

2. Click on the menu button in the top right corner of your web browser. The menu button consists of three horizontal lines (≡).

Firefox menu button

3. Click on Options.

4. Click on Privacy & Security in the left menu.

5. Scroll down to History.

6. Click on the selection menu button and select Never remember history.

Make Firefox always open in private mode

7. Firefox will ask you to restart Firefox. Click on the Restart Firefox now button.

Firefox will now always use the same settings as private browsing mode and will not remember any history as you browse the Internet.



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How to delete your Microsoft Edge sync data

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References:

HowToGeek.com: How to always start any browser in private browsing mode

Mozilla.org: Incognito browser: What it really means

CNBC.com: There are a lot of misconceptions about browsing the web in “incognito” mode, researchers say