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How to Always Launch any Web Browser in Private Browsing/Incognito Mode

Always start your browser in private browsing mode

by: - Last updated on: September 26th, 2020

Incognito mode or private browsing is one of the several privacy-focused features on most modern web browsers. It allows users to surf the internet privately, without letting the browser record their session, history, cookies, and other related data. To provide this functionality, the browser creates a temporary browsing session within a new window, which is isolated from other tabs/windows and their session data. So if you are someone who uses their browser in incognito/private mode most of the time, and you are looking for ways to have your browser in incognito/private mode every time you open it, here’s a guide on how to always open any browser in private mode on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Always Launch any Web Browser in Private Browsing Mode

1. Brave

Brave is a free and open-source internet browser based on Chromium, and slowly, it is gaining popularity for its speed and privacy. Compared to Google Chrome, which is also based on Chromium, Brave offers less a cluttered experience with enhanced privacy-focused features and less power resource consumption. The browser is available across all major computer platforms: Linux, Mac, and Windows.

On Linux

Private Browsing Brave

1. From your desktop, right-click on the Brave shortcut and click Properties.
2. In the Properties window, select Basic from the top.
3. Here, click on the input field next to Command and append it with space, followed by --incognito.
4. Hit Close.

On Mac

Private Browsing Mode Brave

1. Open Spotlight Search [command + space], search for Script Editor, and hit return.
2. Here, tap on New Document on the bottom left-hand side.
3. In the document, paste the following code: do shell script "open -a /Applications/Brave\\ Browser.app --args --incognito”.
4. Go to File > Save or hit command + s to open the save prompt.
5. Here, give a name to your script and tap on the dropdown button next to File Format and select Application.
6. Hit Save.

Once the script is created, head over to Finder > iCloud Drive > Script Editor. From here, copy the script you just created and place it on your desktop or dock. To execute, double-tap it.

On Windows

Private Browsing Brave Windows

1. Right-click on the Brave launcher icon and select Properties.
2. On the Properties page, make sure you are on the Shortcut section.
3. In the input field next to Target, append the existing path with space, followed by --incognito.
4. Click on Apply, and when prompted, select Continue to provide administrator permission.
5. Hit OK.

2. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is, undeniably, one of the most popular web browsers used across a range of devices. It is based on the Chromium project, similar to Brave, and has been a preferred choice for many users for quite some time now. Even though it does have its share of shortcomings — notably excessive resource consumption — Chrome still remains one of the most used browsers on the internet across a range of devices.

On Linux

Private Browsing Google Chrome

1. Right-click on the Google Chrome shortcut and select Properties.
2. In the Properties window, go to the Basic tab.
3. From here, click on the input field for Command and append the existing command with space and add --incognito.
4. Click on Close to close the window.

On Mac

Private Browsing Mode Google Chrome

1. Open Spotlight Search [command + space], search for Script Editor and open it.
2. Now, tap on New Document on the bottom left.
3. Copy the following code and paste it into the document: do shell script "open -a /Applications/Google\\ Chrome.app --args --incognito".
4. Hit command + s or go to File > Save to open the save window.
5. Here, provide a name to your script and select the File Format as Application from the dropdown menu next to File Format.
5. Finally, hit OK.

Once the script is created, head over to Finder > iCloud Drive > Script Editor. From here, copy the script you just created and place it on your desktop or dock. To execute, double-tap it.

On Windows

Private Browsing Google Chrome Windows

1. Locate the Google Chrome shortcut on your desktop, right-click on it, and select Properties.
2. In Properties, go to the Shortcut tab.
3. Tap on the input field for Target and append it with space and --incognito.
4. Hit Apply and grant the app administrator access to make the changes.
5. Click OK.

3. Microsoft Edge

Over the past few decades, Microsoft has been bundling Internet Explorer as the default browser on its Windows platform. And while initially, people had a good experience with the browser, in the last decade — with the emergence of better feature-rich better browser options — Internet Explorer has almost lamented in terms of the overall number of users. Following which, a few years down the line, Microsoft introduced a new browser, Edge, initially built on EdgeHTML, and later, rebuilt with Chromium. Ever since its launch, Microsoft Edge has seen an increase in its user base, with more people getting on board each day. A primary reason for which has to do with the smooth performance that it has to offer, without hogging up on the machine’s resources. Edge is currently available on Mac and Windows and is expected to arrive on Linux, as well.

On Mac

Private Browsing Mode Microsoft Edge

1. Open Spotlight Search [command + space] and search for Script Editor.
2. Here, tap on the New Document button at the bottom left.
3. In the document window, paste the following command: do shell script "open -a /Applications/Microsoft\\ Edge.app --args —inprivate".
4. Hit command + s or go to File > Save to get save prompt.
5. In the Save window, give a name to your script and tap on the dropdown button next to File Format and select Application.
6. Hit OK.

Once the script is created, head over to Finder > iCloud Drive > Script Editor. From here, copy the script you just created and place it on your desktop or dock. To execute, double-tap it.

On Windows

Private Browsing Microsoft Edge Windows

1. Right-click the Microsoft Edge shortcut on your desktop and select Properties.
2. In the Properties page, select on the Shortcut section.
3. Here, tap on the input field next to Target and append it with space, followed by -inprivate.
4. Hit Apply and allow the app to make the specified changes.
5. Finally, tap on OK.

4. Safari

Safari is Apple’s in-house web browser for its lineup of devices that includes the Mac, the iPhone, and even the iPad. When compared to some of the other popular web browsers out there, Safari comes on top as a slick and lightweight browser. Primarily because, despite offering fewer features than its competitors, the browser does not compromise on the performance and the browsing experience. Safari is only available on Mac.

On Mac

Private Browsing Safari Mac

1. Open Safari and head over to Safari Preferences [command + ,].
2. Got to the General tab and tap on the dropdown button next to Safari opens with.
3. From the list of options, select A new private window.
4. Close the window.

5. Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is one of the oldest browsers of the lot. And ever since the inception of the Windows operating system, it has been bundled-in as the default browser on the operating system. In the initial days — with not many browser options available — the browser stood up on top of the standards and offered users the necessary functionalities prevalent back in the day. As of now, there aren’t many users of Internet Explorer, except for a minority that is continuing to hold on to the browser for their browsing needs. Internet Explorer is only available on Windows.

On Windows

Private Browsing Internet Explorer Windows

1. Go to the Internet Explorer shortcut and right-click on it.
2. Select Properties and tap on the Shortcut section.
3. Here, click on the input field for Target and append it with space and add -private.
4. Click on Apply, and grant the app administrator access to make the changes.
5. Hit OK.

Using the steps described above, you can always launch any of the browsers mentioned above in incognito/private browsing mode and prevent your browser from saving session data, history, cookies, etc for that session.

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