Private browsing in Firefox for Android Beta

This article is no longer maintained, so its content might be out of date.

This article applies only to an experimental version of Firefox for Android (Beta/Nightly formerly called Firefox Preview) that's no longer supported. Please download the supported version of Firefox for Android at the Google Play store

Firefox lets you open sites in private browsing tabs, so you can search and browse without the browser saving any history.

This feature also allows you to:

  • Launch private browsing directly from your home screen without opening Firefox regular browsing first.
  • Close all private tabs.
  • Open links in private browsing by default.

Start a Private browsing session

To start a Private browsing session:

  1. On the Firefox home screen, tap the mask button at the top of the screen to switch to Private Browsing.
    start private session preview home
  2. On the Private Browsing home screen, enter your search or website address in the address bar.

Or open a new tab in a private browsing window by visiting the tabs tray.

  1. Tap the numeric icon next to the address bar.
    FenixViewTabs
  2. Tap the mask icon to view private tabs.
    FenixPrivateTabs
  3. Tap the + PRIVATE button to open a new tab in your private browsing session.

Switch to regular browsing

  1. Visit the tabs tray by tapping the numeric tab icon next to the address bar.
    numeric tab preview
  2. Private browsing tabs are listed under the mask icon. To switch to the regular browsing tabs, tap the square icon.
    FenixTabsTray
  3. Here you can close all tabs (regular or private) as explained below, or to go back to the Firefox home screen by tapping the + button.

Add a private browsing shortcut

Adding a private browsing shortcut to your home screen lets you launch Firefox in private browsing by default.

The first time you switch to private browsing, an option to add a shortcut to open private tabs from your Home screen shows up.

FirefoxPreview-FirstTimeAddShortcutPrivateTabs

Just tap Add shortcut and follow the prompt from your device.

You can also do it later manually:

  1. Tap the menu button.

    Fenix79Menu
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select Private browsing under Privacy and security.
  4. Tap Add private browsing shortcut.
  5. Follow the prompt to add the icon to your home screen.
Tip: You can also tap and hold the Firefox app icon on your home screen to open a private tab.

Open links in private tabs by default

You can set Firefox to always open links from other apps in private browsing:

  1. Tap the menu button.

    Fenix79Menu
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select Private browsing under Privacy and security.
  4. Enable Open links in a private tab.

Allow screenshot in private browsing

You can choose to allow or disable the ability to take screenshots in private browsing mode.

  1. Tap the menu button.

    Fenix79Menu
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select Private browsing under Privacy and security.
  4. Toggle Allow screenshots in private browsing mode.

Close all private tabs

  1. Visit the tabs tray by tapping the number next to the address bar, this number shows how many open tabs you have:
    numeric tab preview
  2. Tap the three-dot menu button in the tabs tray.
    FenixTabsMenu
  3. Select Close all tabs
  4. A Tabs closed notification will briefly appear, tap UNDO to reopen these tabs.

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