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How to open shortcut links in Private window without editing shortcut?

Posted

For work, I receive and send lots of desktop shortcut links. I want to be able to click on them and for Firefox to automatically open in Private mode.

I see this question asked a lot, but the main "solution" is to edit the shortcut with "-private". However, other people whom I send the shortcut files to use different browsers, so I can't edit the shortcut files.

Another solution I have seen is to change regular Firefox to never remeber history. However, this isn't a solution for me either, because I want Firefox to remember my history during normal browsing, just not when opening these work links.

I simply want to be able to select "Firefox Private mode" as my default browser option, so shortcut links open in private mode. Then I can have a regular-mode Firefox button pinned to my taskbar to open regular-mode Firefox windows when doing my normal browsing.

Is this possible?

For work, I receive and send lots of desktop shortcut links. I want to be able to click on them and for Firefox to automatically open in Private mode. I see this question asked a lot, but the main "solution" is to edit the shortcut with "-private". However, other people whom I send the shortcut files to use different browsers, so I can't edit the shortcut files. Another solution I have seen is to change regular Firefox to never remeber history. However, this isn't a solution for me either, because I want Firefox to remember my history during normal browsing, just not when opening these work links. I simply want to be able to select "Firefox Private mode" as my default browser option, so shortcut links open in private mode. Then I can have a regular-mode Firefox button pinned to my taskbar to open regular-mode Firefox windows when doing my normal browsing. Is this possible?

Chosen solution

This may not work in every situation, but it is pretty fast to set up. (I tested on Windows 7.)

Part One: Create a Firefox shortcut that loads a private tab

right-click the edge of the Desktop > New > Shortcut

Location of the item (including the quotation marks):

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -private-window

Name for the shortcut:

PrivateFox

Note: -private only works in the initial startup, not if any non-private windows are already open, so we use -private-window instead.

Part Two: Convert New Shortcut to "Send To" item

In the Windows system search box, type or paste

shell:sendto

and press Enter.

Resize the resulting Windows Explorer window so you can see the PrivateFox shortcut and drag it into this folder.

Part Three: Test

Right-click any .url type shortcut > Send to > PrivateFox

Firefox should load the standard private tab welcome page (purple background) and then the URL of the shortcut should load in its place.

What do you think?

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Additional System Details

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:58.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/58.0

More Information

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
7778 solutions 63349 answers

Chosen Solution

This may not work in every situation, but it is pretty fast to set up. (I tested on Windows 7.)

Part One: Create a Firefox shortcut that loads a private tab

right-click the edge of the Desktop > New > Shortcut

Location of the item (including the quotation marks):

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -private-window

Name for the shortcut:

PrivateFox

Note: -private only works in the initial startup, not if any non-private windows are already open, so we use -private-window instead.

Part Two: Convert New Shortcut to "Send To" item

In the Windows system search box, type or paste

shell:sendto

and press Enter.

Resize the resulting Windows Explorer window so you can see the PrivateFox shortcut and drag it into this folder.

Part Three: Test

Right-click any .url type shortcut > Send to > PrivateFox

Firefox should load the standard private tab welcome page (purple background) and then the URL of the shortcut should load in its place.

What do you think?

This may not work in every situation, but it is pretty fast to set up. (I tested on Windows 7.) '''Part One: Create a Firefox shortcut that loads a private tab''' right-click the edge of the Desktop > New > Shortcut ''Location of the item (including the quotation marks):'' "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -private-window ''Name for the shortcut:'' PrivateFox ''Note: -private only works in the initial startup, not if any non-private windows are already open, so we use -private-window instead.'' '''Part Two: Convert New Shortcut to "Send To" item''' In the Windows system search box, type or paste shell:sendto and press Enter. Resize the resulting Windows Explorer window so you can see the PrivateFox shortcut and drag it into this folder. '''Part Three: Test''' Right-click any .url type shortcut > Send to > PrivateFox Firefox should load the standard private tab welcome page (purple background) and then the URL of the shortcut should load in its place. What do you think?

Question owner

Thanks, jscher2000 - that solution works perfectly.

Thanks, jscher2000 - that solution works perfectly.