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When I press Private icon.the page changes but I do not see the "private icon" on the screen. Why is this and am I actually on a new private tab?
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That is because you are in permanent Private Browsing mode.
- browser.privatebrowsing.autostart: True
In that case all windows are Private Browsing mode windows/tabs by default and you won't see the purple PB mode icon.
You can use an extension to get Private Browsing mode support per tab.
- Private Tab: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/private-tab/
- Private Browsing mode tabs get a dashed underline
- You can toggle Private Browsing mode on/off via the right-click context menu of a tab