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How to turn on private browsing

Updated July 20, 2017

Web browsers include a private browsing mode. When you browse the Internet, your Web browser normally records a history of the websites you visit, files you download, settings web pages leave on your computer and so on. However, when private browsing mode is activated, none of this information is recorded and the Web browser deletes all cached content when it's closed. Turn on private browsing mode in your Web browser and browse without leaving a trace.

Open Internet Explorer by clicking "Start," "All Programs" and "Internet Explorer."

Click the "Safety" button on the toolbar at the top-right of the "Internet Explorer" window.

Click "InPrivate Browsing" in the "Safety" menu. The private browsing window appears alongside your existing Internet Explorer browser windows.

Open Mozilla Firefox by clicking "Start," "All Programs," "Mozilla Firefox" and "Mozilla Firefox."

Click "Tools" and "Start Private Browsing" in the "Mozilla Firefox" window.

Click "Start Private Browsing" in the "Would You Like to Start Private Browsing?" window. Firefox replaces your current browser windows with new private browser windows; restore your tabs by clicking "Tools" and "Stop Private Browsing."

Open Google Chrome by clicking "Start," "All Programs," "Google Chrome" and "Google Chrome."

Click the gear icon at the top-right of the "Google Chrome" window.

Click "New Incognito Window" in the menu that appears. The Google Chrome incognito browser window appears alongside your existing Google Chrome browser windows.

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About the Author

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around tech geek who writes for PC World, MakeUseOf, and How-To Geek. He's been using Windows since Windows 3.1 was released in 1992.