Whenever you browse through the web, Mozilla Firefox will store a lot of information: sites you’ve visited, files you’ve downloaded, and more. This can save time when revisiting sites and help you keep track of where you’ve been. There are some occasions, however, when you might not want other users on your computer to see this information, like if you’re shopping for a birthday present or booking a surprise vacation.

Firefox private browsing lets you browse through the Internet without saving any information about the websites you’ve visited or the files you’ve downloaded. In this tutorial we will be showing you how to set Firefox for private browsing and explain what information is not saved when in this mode.

Firefox private browsing will not save:

  • Visited pages – No web pages will be added to the Internet history menu, the library window’s history list, or the Awesome Bar address list. (The Awesome Bar is a nickname for the Location bar autocomplete feature.)
  • Form and search bar entries – No web page text box or search bar entries will be saved for the Form autocomplete feature.
  • Passwords – No new passwords will be remembered for future use.
  • Download list entries – No downloaded files will be listed in the Download window after you turn off private browsing.
  • Cookies – No site preferences, login statuses, or plugin data will be saved as Cookies.
  • Cache – No temporary Internet files or files that websites save for offline use will be saved.

How to turn on private browsing

  • Open the Mozilla Firefox Internet Browser. On the top, you’ll notice a menu bar that says File, Edit, History, Bookmarks, Tools and Help.
  • Click Tools and then select Start Private Browsing. You can also use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+P to do this as well.
  • A window will pop up titled Start Private Browsing will alert you that Firefox will save any current windows and tabs for after you finish private browsing. You can click a check box next to the Do not show this message again if you do not want to receive this alert the next time you turn on private browsing. Click the button beneath this message that says Start Private Browsing.
  •  To turn off private browsing, click Tools again and select Stop Private Browsing. The shortcut for this is also Ctrl+Shift+P.

How to always start Firefox in Private Browsing

  • Click on Tools and then select Options. A new window will pop up titled Options. You’ll see a menu bar on the top of this window that has sections titled General, Tabs, Content, Applications, Privacy, Security, Sync, and Advanced.
  • Select Privacy. You’ll then see a section titled, History.
  • Set Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history using the drop down menu.
  • Select the check box for Always use private browsing mode.
  • Click OK to close the Options window.

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