Mobile Private Browsing - Browse the web on your mobile device without saving or syncing information about the sites you visit

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As you browse the web on your mobile device, Firefox remembers information for you such as sites you've visited, usernames and passwords you've saved, and more. If you use Firefox Sync, this becomes especially useful as this data is synced between Firefox on your mobile device and another instance of Firefox--say, on your desktop computer at home. However, there may be times that you don't want Firefox to remember stuff, such as when shopping on your phone for a birthday present for a family member who also uses your home desktop computer.

Mobile private browsing allows you to browse the internet without saving any information about which sites and pages you've visited. This article explains what information is not saved when in Private Browsing and gives you step-by-step instructions for using it.

Note: This article doesn't apply to your version of Firefox. It requires the latest Firefox beta version which can be downloaded from

Warning: Private Browsing doesn't make you anonymous on the Internet. Your Internet service provider, employer (if using your employer's wifi, for example), or the sites themselves can still track what pages you visit.

What does Private Browsing not save?

  • Visited pages: No pages will be added to the Awesome Screen or your browsing history.
  • Form and Search entries: Nothing you enter into text boxes on web pages or into the address bar to search will be saved for for autocomplete.
  • Passwords: No new passwords will be saved.
  • Downloads: No items will be saved in your list of downloaded files after you close your Private Browsing tabs or end your Private Browsing session. These files will, of course, still be saved to your device.
  • Cookies: Cookies store information about websites you visit such as site preferences, login status, and data used by plugins. Cookies can also be used by third parties to track you across websites. For more info about tracking, see How do I use Do-not-track on Firefox for Android?
  • Cached Web Content, Offline Web Content, and User Data: No temporary Internet files (cached files) or files that websites save for offline use will be saved.
  • If you create new Bookmarks while using Private Browsing, they will not be removed when you stop Private Browsing.
  • If you use Firefox Sync, your private browsing info from your device will not be synced to your browsing info in your other instances of Firefox.

How do I open a new Private Browsing tab?

There are two ways to open a new Private tab.

Open a new, blank Private tab

  • Tap the Firefox Menu button (either at the bottom edge of the screen or in the the top-right corner) , then tap New Private Tab.
When you are viewing a private tab, the Menu icon is purple instead of gray.
new private tab Android image of new private tab

  • Long tap on any link to bring up a menu of choices. Tap Open link in Private Tab.

    Open link in new private tab Android

Manage your open Private Browsing tabs

  • Tap the number next to the address bar--this is the number of tabs you have open. It will open a list of your current tabs.

    Tabs in Android list of tabs in Android

  • Tap the Private Browsing icon--a mask--to view your list of private tabs, where you can close each tab individually.

    private browsing tabs in Android
  • From here, you can also tap the Menu icon and tap Close All Tabs.

    close all private browsing tabs

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