How to default launch a browser in private or incognito mode

Updated: 02/01/2021 by Computer Hope
Internet browsers

Many people value their privacy while browsing the Internet. Luckily, all the major Internet browsers allow users to not store any web addresses they visit or the information they enter when surfing the Internet. This private browsing feature may be turned on at any time, but to have your browser launch in private or incognito mode (InPrivate for Edge users) by default requires additional steps. To proceed, choose your browser from the list below and follow the instructions.

Chrome

Google Chrome

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Right-click the Chrome icon and select Properties in the drop-down menu that appears.

Windows properties selector

  1. In the Chrome Properties window, click the Shortcut tab.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in the Target text field, type -incognito at the end (A), click Apply (B), then click OK (C).

Opening in incognito mode.

From now on, when you use that shortcut to open Chrome, it opens in incognito mode.

Firefox

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open the Firefox browser.
  2. Right-click the icon and select Properties in the drop-down menu that appears.

Windows properties selector

  1. In the Firefox Properties window, click the Shortcut tab.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in the Target text field, type -private-window at the end (A), click Apply (B), then click OK (C).

Launching Firefox in private window by default.

From now on, when you use that shortcut to open Firefox, it opens a private browsing window.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge

As Microsoft Edge is built into Windows 10, you need to adjust the browser's properties at the software level to make it launch in InPrivate mode.

  1. Right-click a Microsoft Edge shortcut icon.
  2. Select Properties in the drop-down menu that appears.

Properties selector in Windows 10.

  1. In the Microsoft Edge Properties window, click the Shortcut tab.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in the Target text field, type -inprivate at the end (A), click Apply (B), then click OK (C).

Setting InPrivate as the default method in Edge.

From now on, Microsoft Edge opens in InPrivate mode.

Opera logo

Opera

  1. Open the Opera browser.
  2. Right-click the icon and select Properties in the drop-down menu that appears.

Windows properties selector

  1. In the Opera Properties window, click the Shortcut tab.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in the Target text field, type --private at the end (A), click Apply (B), then click OK (C).

Launching Opera in incognito mode by default.

From now on, when you use that shortcut to open Opera, it opens in incognito mode.

Safari

Safari

  1. Select Safari from the dock.
  2. In the upper-left corner of the screen, next to the Apple icon, click Safari.
  3. Select Preferences in the drop-down menu that appears.

Preferences selector in Safari

  1. Under the General tab (A), in the Safari opens with section, click the arrow (B) and select A new private window.

Launch Safari in private mode

From now on, Safari opens in a private window, by default.