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Is there a PrivateMode command-line argument that DOESN'T delete old history?

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I've read at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/private-browsing-command-line-/ that some such feature (it wasn't explicitly mentioned though) should be available since v3.6 -- but it's not listed at http://kb.mozillazine.org/Command_line_arguments so i'm thinking it might have been deprecated... Anyway, my question is whether there is any option to start an InPrivate Fx session without losing all older history (i want that to be available whenever i start Fx in normal mode)?

I've read at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/private-browsing-command-line-/ that some such feature (it wasn't explicitly mentioned though) should be available since v3.6 -- but it's not listed at http://kb.mozillazine.org/Command_line_arguments so i'm thinking it might have been deprecated... Anyway, my question is whether there is any option to start an InPrivate Fx session without losing all older history (i want that to be available whenever i start Fx in normal mode)?

Modified by cb80

All Replies (5)

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You probably know that since Firefox 20, you can open a private browsing window from a regular session.

As a result of that change, I suspect the command-line switches might not work as designed any more. However, you could test using the old documentation: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/d.../Command_Line_Options.

I don't know what effect that would have on your history. Perhaps it would make sense to experiment in a new profile? You can use the profile manager to create a new profile and import your bookmarks. That new profile will be the default until you go back into the profile manager and switch to a different one, so you can use it for start-up testing until you determine whether the command line switches help.

Note: Please back up all your profile before selecting any for removal in the profile manager... wouldn't want to have you lose the wrong one.

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In case you are using "Clear history when Firefox closes":

  • do not clear the Browsing History

Note that clearing "Site Preferences" clears all exceptions for cookies, images, pop-up windows, software installation, and passwords.


Future Firefox versions will support Private Browsing per tab, this is already available as an extension.

The Firefox menu button gets a purple background or you get a purple PB mask on the menu bar or tab bar (Linux) when you are in a PB tab and all Private Browsing mode tabs get a dashed underlining unless you are in permanent PB mode.

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To change a tab to private browsing, right click on the tab to change and select Private Tab. You can also press Crtl + Alt + V to change the current tab to Private Browsing.

If you plan to use private browsing a lot and find it a hassle to switch between Private and Normal browsing, I recommend downloading this extension:

<center>Private Tab </center>

This extension will add a moveable Private Browsing button that will open a new private tab when clicked.

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Thank you, jscher2000, for suggesting the change to a new profile, it hadn't occurred to me :">, since i'm used to having one profile per user... :)

PS PrivateTab is "Not available for Firefox 15.0.1" (sorry that i didn't take the time to login into the VM to check the Fx version earlier)... So both that and the "Firefox 20" suggestion are out of the question in my case.

(As for the 3rd so-called "answer" i received, it was totally out-of-place in the current context...)

Modified by cb80

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Of course you know what's coming next... Version 15.0.1 is not secure; Mozilla discloses security flaws after each new release. Is something holding you back from upgrading to Firefox 23? Please let us know so we can suggest solutions or workarounds.