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What is InPrivate Browsing?

Monday, June 7th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

I’ve been hearing a lot about InPrivate browsing. What is it?

InPrivate browsing is when you go shopping online and hit websites like It can also be something as simple as shopping in a grocery store with a fedora stuck on your head. Whatever, it’s cool; I am not here to judge. Besides, that’s not what I am talking about, anyway.

I am (surprise!) talking about browsing the internet without leaving a trail. Nobody who gets on your computer can see what pages you have been to or what websites you have visited while on the internet.

Private browsing was first introduced by Google Chrome and is called Incognito Mode. Internet Explorer (version 8) is the browser that labels its private browsing feature InPrivate Browsing. Most browsers now have private browsing available, and there are software programs out there that can do the same thing. The features vary, but the principal is the same: You can surf the internet and nobody will be able to tell what you have been doing after you close the window. Let’s talk a little about how this works.

When you start InPrivate browsing, a new window pops up. This begins your new session of browsing, and that’s the part of your browser that is private. When you are InPrivate browsing you can have as many tabs open as you want – in the InPrivate browsing window. If you happen to have another window open at the same time, the websites, etc. that you access will not be InPrivate unless you enable it in that window, too. In other words, you can only be protected with InPrivate browsing when it is started with your session.

While you are surfing, temporary internet files and cookies are stored so that you can re-access sites without having to log in again and again and to make sure that all of the websites work properly. However, when you are done with your InPrivate browsing session, simply close the browser window and everything is deleted.

Here is some information about InPrivate browsing does:

Cookies: These are kept in memory for the reasons I explained above, and are cleared when you close the browser.

Temporary Internet Files: Again, these are stored so that web pages will work correctly, but they are deleted when you close the InPrivate browser window.

Webpage history: This information isn’t stored.

Form data and passwords: These are not stored.

The Address bar and search AutoComplete: This information isn’t stored.

There are some things that InPrivate browsing doesn’t do, however:

Networks: If you are on a network, InPrivate browsing does not keep other people – like your administrator – from seeing where you’ve been.

Visited websites: InPrivate browsing does not provide you anonymity when you’re surfing. The websites you visit can still store your information or identify you when you are on their website.

Changed browser settings: If you change your security settings or even your home page, those changes will not be discarded when you close out your InPrivate browser window.

Okay, so this is all great and wonderful, but how do you do it? Here’s how to do it in WinXP:

First, open your browser. Go up to the very top (the menu bar) where you see
File – Edit – View – Favorites – Tools – Help. Click on Tools and point to InPrivate Browsing.


Click on InPrivate Browsing and a whole new window pops up and looks like this:


You’re all set. I typed in Worldstart in my InPrivate window. Notice that the address bar has InPrivate before Worldstart’s web address in the address bar.


That’s all there is to it! If you want to go traveling around the internet and you don’t want to leave a trail, then try InPrivate browsing.


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