A very useful tool that any web browser offers is Private browsing. Even though each browser calls it by a different name (InPrivate, Private Browsing, Incognito or Private Tab), this feature always does the same thing: allows users to browse the web without saving data like cache, history or cookies. However, this is done locally, meaning that only people using your computer won't be able to find out what websites you have visited. The websites you visited, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and, in fact, every server your requests pass through, know what you visited. In this article we will show how to enable Private browsing in all the major web browsers and how to check if you are browsing privately or not.
Microsoft Edge - InPrivate Browsing
Microsoft Edge is the new browser from Microsoft which comes bundled in the newest version of their operating system - Windows 10. In order to enable InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge, click or tap the More actions button on the top-right of the browser window.
Next, click or tap the New InPrivate window option.
Now, you'll see a new InPrivate window that notifies you that "When you use InPrivate tabs, your browsing data (like cookies, history, or temporary files) isn't saved on your PC after you're done.".
If you are a keyboard user, you should know that the shortcut for InPrivate window is Ctrl+Shift+P.
If you want to check whether or not you are in the InPrivate mode, look in the left-top corner of the window. If you see the same logo shown below, then the InPrivate mode is turned on.
Internet Explorer 11 For Desktop - InPrivate Browsing
Microsoft uses the term InPrivate for private browsing. In the Desktop version of Internet Explorer 11, to enable InPrivate browsing you have to open the Tools menu by clicking the little gear icon on the top-right corner.
Then, hover over Safety in order to open the corresponding submenu.
Now, click or tap the InPrivate Browsing section.
Internet Explorer 11 opens a new browser window, where the following notification is displayed: "InPrivate is turned on. InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session.".
The browser won't store cookies, temporary Internet files, history and other data. By default, it also disables extra toolbars and extensions you normally have installed in Internet Explorer 11.
If you are a keyboard user, you should know that the shortcut for InPrivate browsing is Ctrl+Shift+P.
You can check if you are using InPrivate browsing, by looking at the left side of the address bar. If you see the logo shown below, InPrivate browsing is turned on.
If you want to leave the InPrivate browsing simply close the window.
Internet Explorer App - InPrivate Browsing
The Internet Explorer app for Windows 8.1 is a touch oriented version of this browser. Enabling InPrivate browsing is simpler than in the desktop version.
To enable InPrivate browsing, tap the Tab tools button, represented by the three dots, found on the right side of the list with opened tabs.
Then, tap the New InPrivate tab section in the menu that is shown.
A new InPrivate tab is opened, which informs you that "InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session. This includes cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data.".
If you are a keyboard user, you should know that the shortcut for InPrivate Browsing is Ctrl+Shift+P.
To check if you are using an InPrivate tab, look at the left side of the address bar.
You'll also notice that InPrivate tabs have the corresponding blue tag on their left sides.
To leave InPrivate browsing, all you have to do is to close all the InPrivate tabs you have opened.