Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history
- Revision id: 6322
- Creator: scoobidiver
- Comment: add a summary, fix indented bullet list
- Reviewed: Yes
- Reviewed by: Verdi
- Is approved? Yes
- Is current revision? No
- Ready for localization: No
This article describes a feature available in Firefox 3.5, Private Browsing, which allows you to browse the Internet without Firefox retaining any data about which sites and pages you have visited:
History is used by the browser to enhance your experience on the Internet. When the browser remembers a website you previously visited or the username and password for your favorite web site, this information is considered your history.
However, there may be times when you do not want other users of your computer to see or access such information. For example, if a friend or family member shares your computer, you might prefer for them not to be able to see what websites you've visited or what files you've downloaded.
Firefox 3.5 and later provide "Private Browsing", which allows you to browse the Internet without Firefox saving any data about which sites and pages you have visited.
Table of Contents
What Private Browsing will not retain
- 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 Use the Search bar in Firefox will be saved for Control whether Firefox automatically fills in forms.
- Passwords: No new passwords will be saved.
- Download List entries: No files you download will remain in the list in the Where to find and manage downloaded files in Firefox after you turn off Private Browsing.
- Cookies: Cookies are files created by websites that store information on your computer, such as your preferences when visiting a certain site. These will not be stored. For more information on cookies, see Cookies - Information that websites store on your computer.
- Web cache files: No temporary Internet files or cached files from web pages will be saved until you turn off Private Browsing.
- If you create new Bookmarks in Firefox 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, those files 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 Where to find and manage downloaded files in Firefox list.
Turn on Private Browsing
- Click on the
menu and select .
- The first time you turn on Private Browsing, Firefox will alert you that it will save your current windows and tabs for after you finish using Private Browsing. Click on
- Put a check mark next to "Do not show this message again" if you do not want to receive this alert the next time you turn on Private Browsing.
- You will then enter Private Browsing mode, and the Private Browsing information screen will appear.
When browsing in Private Browsing mode, the Firefox window's title will show (Private Browsing) during your session.
Turn off Private Browsing
- Click on the
menu and select the entry.
- The windows and tabs you were using when you enabled Private Browsing will appear, and you can use Firefox normally. The Firefox window's title will no longer show (Private Browsing) when Private Browsing is off.
Always start Firefox in a private browsing session
There is a setting in the OptionsPreferences window which will automatically enable Private Browsing whenever you start Firefox.
- Click the menu button and choose . .
Select the panel and go to the History section.
- Click to select Automatically start Firefox in a private browsing session.
- Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.