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As you browse the web, Firefox remembers lots of information for you: sites you've visited, files you've downloaded, and more. There may be times, however, when you don't want other users on your computer to see this information, such as when shopping for a birthday present.
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.
Table of Contents
What does Private Browsing not save?
- Visited pages: No pages will be added to the list of sites in the History menu, the Library window's history list, or the Awesome Bar address list.
- Form and Search Bar entries: Nothing you enter into text boxes on web pages or the Search bar will be saved for Form autocomplete.
- Passwords: No new passwords will be saved.
- Download List entries: No files you download will be listed in the Downloads Window after you turn off Private Browsing.
- Cookies: Cookies store information about websites you visit such as site preferences, login status, and data used by plugins like Adobe Flash. Cookies can also be used by third parties to track you across websites. For more info about tracking, see How do I turn on the Do Not Track feature?
- Cached Web Content and 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 save files to your computer while using Private Browsing, they will not be deleted when you stop Private Browsing. However, any files you open in an external application will be cleared from the system's temporary folder, and none of the files you download will appear in the Downloads list.
How do I open a new Private Window?
There are two ways to open a new Private Window.
Open a new, blank Private Window
- At the top of the Firefox window, click the
button and select . A new Private Window will open.
Open a link in a new Private Window
- Right-click on any link and choose
from the context menu. A new Private Window will open with the link you selected.
How do I always start Firefox in Private Browsing?
There is a setting in the OptionsPreferences window that automatically enables Private Browsing whenever you start Firefox.
- At the top of the Firefox window, click on the button and then select
- Select the panel.
- Set Firefox will: to Never remember history.
- You will see a message that Firefox needs to restart to enable this feature. Click and Firefox will restart in permanent Private Browsing mode.
Last Update: 2013-04-04